Songfacts®: You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.
This was Marley's last single before his death on May 11, 1981. It sums up his life and what he stood for in his songs: freedom and redemption. Marley was a very spiritual singer who gave hope to the downtrodden in his native Jamaica, and whose message spread to the United States and around the world when he became a star.
Marley completed this album (his last) in the summer of 1980. He was suffering from the cancer that would eventually kill him at age 36, but was very productive in his later years. He refused traditional medicine because of his Rastafarian beliefs and chose to make music and perform as long as he could.
This was the last song Marley performed. He sang it from a stool at a show in Pittsburgh on September 23, 1980.
This plays over the credits for the 2007 movie I Am Legend starring Will Smith. It was also sung by the character Sawyer in the season finale of the first season of the show Lost on ABC. (thanks, Rita - South Pas., Israel, and Layla - DC, DC)
Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer both covered this song. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
The song includes lyrics inspired by a speech given by civil-rights campaigner Marcus Garvey in 1937.
Barbadian singer Rihanna covered this for the Haiti Relief Fund after the earthquake that devastated the country. Urging fans to download the track she said: "This song for me, growing up, anytime there was a difficult situation, I always listened to this song because it was so liberating. Even now I listen to it when my back is up against the wall. I feel like the people of Haiti need to hear something inspiring."
Rihanna performed an acoustic version live on the Oprah Winfrey Show on January 20, 2010.
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash
The Wishbone Ash guitarist on how touring with The Who inspired one of their most enduring songs, and why they moved to America at the peak of their powers.
Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"
With the band in danger of being dropped from their label, Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith co-wrote the song that started their trek from horror show curiosity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The top Contemporary Christian artist of all time on song inspirations and what she learned from Johnny Carson.
Harry is Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, Mark Shubb in The Folksmen, and Mr. Burns on The Simpsons