Bob Marley at 75 - here are 30 of his most memorable quotes

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 4:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 4:21 pm

On Thursday 6 February, legendary reggae artist and pop cultural icon Bob Marley would have been 75 years old.

Songs like “Buffalo Soldier”, “No Woman, No Cry” and “Could You Be Loved?” have made the Jamaican singer one of the most famous musicians of all time, while he has also been adopted across the globe as a figurehead of peace and love.

Sadly, Marley passed away in 1981, aged just 36, after being diagnosed with a form of skin cancer some years earlier.

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His words have continued to echo around the world and down through the years, though – here are a few of his best lines.

Bob Marley had a unique talent for making profound things simple. Picture: Keystone/Getty Images

“Every man got a right to decide his own destiny”

“I don’t believe in death, neither in flesh nor in spirit”

“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold”

“A hungry mob is an angry mob”

“In this great future, you can’t forget your past”

“One good thing about music – when it hits you, you feel no pain”

“Better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life”

“Don’t trust people whose feelings change with time. Trust people whose feelings remain the same, even when the time changes.”

“If you’re white and you’re wrong, then you’re wrong; if you’re black and you’re wrong, you’re wrong. People are people. Black, blue, pink, green – God make no rules about colour; only society make rules where my people suffer, and that why we must have redemption and redemption now.”

“Live for yourself and you will live in vain; live for others, and you will live again.”

“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.”

“The people who are trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off – why should I?”

“The biggest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her.”

“You entertain people who are satisfied. Hungry people can’t be entertained – or people who are afraid. You can’t entertain a man who has no food.”

“And don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.”

“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can.”

“I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.”

“If you get down and quarrel every day, you’re saying prayers to the devil, I say”

“If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy. … Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”

Marley has become as important as a symbol as he was as a musician. Picture: Evening Standard/Getty Images

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind.”

“Just because you are happy it does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections.”

“I no have education. I have inspiration. If I was educated, I would be a damn fool.”

“The day you stop racing is the day you win the race.”

“Life and Jah are one in the same. Jah is the gift of existence. I am in some way eternal, I will never be duplicated. The singularity of every man and woman is Jah’s gift

“What we struggle to make of it is our sole gift to Jah. The process of what that struggle becomes, in time, the Truth.”

“The devil ain’t got no power over me. The devil come, and me shake hands with the devil. Devil have his part to play. Devil’s a good friend, too… because when you don’t know him, that’s the time he can mosh you down.”

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”

“Until the philosophy which hold one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war”

“And what has been hidden from the wise and the prudent been revealed in the mouth of the toddlers”

“Beginnings are usually scary, and endings are usually sad, but it’s everything in between that makes it all worth living.”

“If something can corrupt you, you’re corrupted already.”

This article originally appeared on our sister site, The i.