Get Up, Stand Up

Album: Burnin' (1973)
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  • This song is about taking action to avoid oppression. Marley wrote it with Peter Tosh, and the song was influenced by their upbringing in Jamaica, where they had to fight for respect and acceptance for their Rastafarian religion.
  • The music is based on the song "Slippin' Into Darkness" by the band War. Marley was friends with members of the band, and encouraged them to come to Jamaica.
  • The Burnin' album, where this song first appeared, was released by Marley's group The Wailers. In 1974, The Wailers broke up but Marley continued to tour and record as "Bob Marley & The Wailers," even though he was the only original Wailer in the group.
  • Mick Jagger says that this is his favorite reggae song. The Rolling Stones frontman met Marley at the studio when Marley was working on his 1973 Catch a Fire album. The Stones would later dip their toes in the genre, covering the reggae song "Cherry Oh Baby" on their 1976 album Black And Blue. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2
  • This was the last song Marley performed; he sang it from a stool at a show in Pittsburgh on September 23, 1980. Marley's cancer had spread to his brain and it was surprising he could perform at all, but he did a 20-song set that night, closing with a 6-minute rendition of "Get Up, Stand Up," and collapsing soon after the show. He would die on May 11, 1981.

Comments: 10

  • Blessed Woman Of God from London EnglandNow more than ever in this Corona Virus Pandemic, the murder/s! We need to as the late great Bob Marley sang " GET UP! STAND UP! STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS!" DONT GIVE UP THE FIGHT! In Jesus name!
  • Gene from San Diego, CaDefinitely hear the religious and social issues being addressed. I am tired of the ism and skism game.
  • Jenny from Salem, Orwhat was the record label for this song..and when was it released?
  • Bmw from Pon Dis EarthI-tation by Norman H. Redington

    In Ethiopia the pre-Easter "Lent" -- Hudade Tsome -- is observed with abstinence from certain foods, confession of faults, the performance of long church services using special music in a special mode heard only at this time of year... in short, by "religious activities". But if that is all they are, Hudade has completely failed in its purpose, which is to liberate man and woman from every idol, including "religion", and put them in touch with the Living JAH.

    Thus, many Orthodox believers are particularly fond of Bob Marley's song "Stand Up for Your Rights", a song so Christian, and therefore so shockingly anti-religious, that attempts have been made by some to portray it as satanic when the very opposite is true!

    Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights

    The word "rights" here means not only political and economic rights (although they are included); "rights" translates the word "zedek", common (in some spelling) to Hebrew, Amharic, and Ge'ez. ["Zedekiah" = Zedek Jah = Jah's Righteousness.] It denotes perfect conformity with the Love of God: as Marley sings in another song, "They sold Marcus Garvey for rights".

    Most people think great god will come from the sky

    Well, are they wrong? This was, after all, proclaimed in almost exactly those words by the Ethiopian Church Council of Negus Joshua, and no Rastafari Bredren doubts that the End will come, JAH will be revealed in glory, the Black Star Liner will sail. The error is not the statement of fact GREAT GOD WILL COME FROM THE SKY but in the way MOST PEOPLE THINK.

    Slaves think what their masters want; slave-masters (including the invisible non-human slave-masters who kept the plantation-owners themselves as slaves) have always promoted religion as the "opium of the people", a drug to prevent both political and spiritual awakening. What use is a mythical, non-existent god unconnected to creation?

    Take away everything:

    The evil one always claims that God is uninvolved with matter, interested only in the spirit. It hardly matters whether the implication is that only matter exists or that matter is an illusion; either way God is exiled to a shadowy ghost-world far from ours. The Orthodox teaching however is that there is "tewahido", a complete oneness, in the universe: "Thou art everywhere and fillest all things." God is more real than the universe itself and he is not far away, but here; he will make all things new, not TAKE AWAY EVERYTHING.

    And make everybody feel high:

    Note the assumption -- which is indeed how MOST PEOPLE THINK! -- that they are safe from the Great Judgement. God will excuse my little transgressions, won't he? We'll all be in heaven by and by, right?

    But if you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth:

    Look for it, because it is lost. On earth, because that is where we are, and more importantly because (glory be to JAH) that is where He is too: "Say not in thy heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? -- that is, to bring Christ down from above -- or, Who shall descend into the deep -- that is, to bring up Christ from the dead -- but rather, the word is nigh thee."

    Waking up to this reality, realizing the presence of JAH here and now, is the purpose of the various Hudade exercises:

    Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights.
    Sick and tired of your easing, kissing game, dying and going to heaven in Jesus' name:

    The whole hypocritical charade of otherworldly religion, which bears no fruit (tafari) either in political justice or personal holiness. "Neither like Judas will I give thee a kiss, but like the Thief I cry unto thee, Egzio Iyasus Krestos, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner."

    For we know and we understand almighty God is a living man:

    Indeed, the only fully living Man. The rest of us live only to the extent that we live in HIM. Without HIM, we are duppies haunting the earth even before our physical deaths, but with HIM we are so alive that physical death is a minor matter. Indeed, although we will someday experience physical death and physical resurrection (for good or for ill), this is almost unimportant, because NOW is the day of duty (hudade): "Behold, THIS day have I set two roads before you, one to life and one to death. Choose life therefore, that ye may live."

    Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights.

  • Marc from London, EnglandPreacherman, dont tell me,
    Heaven is under the earth.
    I know you dont know
    What life is really worth.
    Its not all that glitters is gold;
    alf the story has never been told:
    So now you see the light, eh!
    Stand up for your rights. come on!

    in this verse he is basically saying that he doesnt belive what he is being told by the various religions at the time, all imposing their man made beliefs on the people in order to be able to control them better, blinding them with material gain.

    Most people think,
    Great God will come from the skies,
    Take away everything
    And make everybody feel high.
    But if you know what life is worth,
    You will look for yours on earth:
    And now you see the light,
    You stand up for your rights. jah!

    in this verse he is telling us that what we are taught by religion ect as we grow up is wrong, god isnt some mystical being that floats about above space. "God" is all around us all the time

    We sick an tired of-a your ism-skism game -
    Dyin n goin to heaven in-a jesus name, lord.
    We know when we understand:
    Almighty God is a living man.
    You can fool some people sometimes,
    But you cant fool all the people all the time.
    So now we see the light (what you gonna do? ),
    We gonna stand up for our rights! (yeah, yeah, yeah!)

    in this verse what he is saying all comes together. He is telling us, CLEAR AS DAY, that all religion is fallacy.

    "Almighty God is a living man."


    We are all "god"

    All part of the same global consciousness, the same being, with the power to create our own destiny. Possible if we dont become blinded by the glittering gold, the un-important material gain that society and the media impose on us daily.

    Could you be love?

  • Chris from Ontario, CanadaIn this song he says "you can fool all of the people sometimes, you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." This is actually one of Abraham Lincoln's quotes, and its so true too.
  • Josh from TorontoGood point a. Weird Al is awesome but he has loads of respect, and this song really is...something.
  • A from Fdsafds, AustraliaWeird Al wouldn't do it. He's got respect for the song, who shouldn't? but it's a great song.
  • Maxwell from Houston, TxI would like to see Weird Al Yankovic do a parody of this song. "Sit down, shut up"
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaAwesome fact about War. I've always liked this song.
    PS For any other Los Angeles people out there, I've just noticed that KROQ has started playing Bob Marley a lot more. I don't know why but I think it's awesome.
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