In the past couple of years, Sean started to listen to a lot of reggae music; Bob Marley (and the Wailers) became the last and greatest musical love of his life. He found plenty of early and obscure stuff online; much of this was better, we felt, than Marley’s later, more ‘produced’ and more commercial output.
Sean admired Marley as a person … the football skills, the voice, the song-writing talent, the social conscience, the independent attitude, the single-minded pursuit of his vision. Marley is one of the all-time musical greats, and listening to the tracks Sean played was no hardship for me or his mum (she had Wailers records when she was Sean’s age, and we went to many reggae gigs when we first lived together).
The following are some of the tracks that will always remind us of Sean in the phase when his precious and wonderful life on this earth, unknown to us, was drawing to its close.
7 responses to “Sean’s music 7 … Bob Marley and the Wailers”
I like Bob Marley’s music; he has always been ‘there’. My mother likes him too. She is of Marley’s generation.
I would be wary of seeing him as some sort of messiah though; and I am not particularly fond of the rastafarian approach to women. I think Marley fathered many children by quite a few women.
Interestingly, in the Caribbean I know, ‘respectable’ black parents and black schoolteachers tend to be very wary of Marley and the rasta movement. They see that scene as a possible trap for their young people – marijuana, irresponsible sexuality, not working at school and becoming a layabout etc. My younger son actually had a Caribbean biology teacher who asked the children to decorate their exercise books, but NOT to use red, yellow, green in conjunction, as those were the colours of the drug addict!
Hello Cymbeline. Yes, I’d certainly be wary of some aspects of Rastafarian culture, and I know Pauline would too … especially the attitude to women, as you mention. Sean didn’t buy it hook, line and sinker, or see Marley as a messiah, but he did have a lot of respect for what he saw as his artistic integrity, and he did love the music.
Yes, he was right to love the music. It is great music. The power of that music is even stronger for you and your wife now.
As an odd aside, I immediately thought of Marley many months ago, when you mentioned your big toe and playing football, in the same breath.
That’s interesting. Sean did mention that the cancer that killed Marley started with his toe injury.
I think he admired and identified with Marley’s interest in music and sport and his ability to survive and thrive in a tough environment … his streetwisdom, so to speak.
Yes, it started with the big toe, and Marley refused to have it treated for rastafarian religious reasons.
Marley had to cope with being too black for the whites (his mother was a black Jamaican) and too white for the black Jamaicans (his father was a white Englishman). He was also very small – only five foot, I think. Character-building stuff, I suppose.
Yes: no wonder he was tough.
A shame that he died so young … he was only 36.
John Lennon will be 30 years dead on Wednesday. I remember clearly where I was when I heard that news.
Sean’s friend Aisling F left this comment elsewhere:
‘Day 22- A song you listen to when you are sad; love u Sean Obrien thanks for looking out for me during the election :)’
The song is ‘Redemption Song’. Many of Sean’s friends comment online that they love and miss him – some say that they miss his good advice.