Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bob Marley, February 6, 1945 - May 11, 1981

February 6 is the birthday of Bob Marley, born this date in 1945.

More than anyone else, he is responsible for the worldwide popularity of reggae music.

I remember the first time I heard one of his songs, when I was in the 7th or 8th grade, and tried to describe it to a friend who finally figured out what I was talking about, and he exclaimed with surprise: "You like reggae!"

That song was "Buffalo Soldier." Later, in the Army, I learned about the Buffalo Soldiers (the US Army 10th Cavalry Regiment) and spent some time at Fort Leavenworth (not in Fort Leavenworth) where a monument to the Buffalo Soldiers is located (the Fort Leavenworth museum also contains much historic material related to the Buffalo Soldiers).

Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" (among others) helped me get through the US Army's Ranger School, where I would "listen" to reggae songs in my head, which I discovered are perfect for keeping time during long night movements through the desert or the woods (walking for several hours on end through the darkness and counting paces to determine how many kilometers we'd covered and how many more there were to go before the objective).

Music is profoundly important, in ways that we do not completely understand. There is evidence that ancient advanced civilizations were aware of the power of music and its relation to harmonic concepts in mathematics and architecture -- perhaps more aware of it than we are today! Previous posts have explored this subject from various angles (see for example here, here, and here).

Take some time today to listen to some of the timeless music of Bob Marley.