Rally Round

Album: True Democracy (1982)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican activist who called for unification among those descended from Africa. His message rang clear in Caribbean nations like Jamaica that were colonies of European countries. Steel Pulse was formed in Birmingham, England, by the children of Jamaican immigrants who were brought there to help rebuild the country after World War II. The group picked up Bob Marley's message, but from a different perspective, as most of them didn't travel to Jamaica until after the group formed.

    In this song, Steel Pulse echo Garvey's call to rally around the Jamaican flag, whose colors are gold, black and green. They also rally for the red, representing "the blood that flowed like the river."
  • This song is the centerpiece of the True Democracy album, which takes its name from the lyric:

    Liberation, true democracy
    One god, one aim, one destiny


    It was the first Steel Pulse album on Elektra Records, which signed the group after they were dropped by Island.
  • Steel Pulse leader David Hines wrote this song. In a 2019 Songfacts interview, he said: "I love 'Rally Round,' but it's run its course. But a lot of people sing it as their national anthem, so we keep it in for that reason and because it's the song that echoes True Democracy."

    Hines cites the song "Soldier" as the one the one that best represents the group.

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