Song of the Day #5,081: ‘Jamming’ – Bob Marley and the Wailers

In December of 1976, Bob Marley was shot during an assassination attempt at his home that injured three others (including Marley’s wife, Rita) but resulted in no fatalities. The attack, by seven armed assailants, is believed to have been ordered by a political opponent unhappy with Marley’s public activism.

A conspiracy theory suggests the shooting was a set-up aimed at cementing Marley as a left-wing martyr (which would explain the surprisingly superficial nature of the victims’ wounds). Another theory says the hit was ordered by the CIA, a story one of the gunmen reportedly supported.

After the shooting, Marley left Jamaica for London, and recorded what might be his best album, Exodus. In fact, in 1999, Time magazine called Exodus the greatest album of the 20th century. OK, then.

Exodus is as schizophrenic a release as its predecessor, Rastaman Vibration, but here the divide feels intentional. Side One is dedicated to political and religious songs (including the excellent title track), while Side Two features lighter, romantic tunes. Lyrics aside, the whole collection feels of a piece.

Musically, Exodus is the best the Wailers have sounded yet, with a rich and lively rhythm section buoying some of Marley’s finest vocal performances.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the album also includes some of Marley’s most enduring compositions, including ‘Jamming,’ ‘Waiting in Vain,’ ‘Three Little Birds,’ and a new take on ‘One Love.’

Exodus is a perfect starter album for anyone interested in Bob Marley but averse to greatest hits collections.

Ooh, yeah, alright
We’re jammin’
I wanna jam it with you
We’re jammin’, jammin’
And I hope you like jammin’, too

[Verse 1]
Ain’t no rules, ain’t no vow, we can do it anyhow:
I’n’I will see you through
‘Cos everyday we pay the price, we’re the living sacrifice
Jammin’ till the jam is through

[Chorus 1]
We’re jammin’
To think that jammin’ was a thing of the past
We’re jammin’
And I hope this jam is gonna last

[Verse 2]
No bullet can stop us now, we neither beg nor we won’t bow;
Neither can be bought nor sold
We all defend the right; Jah – Jah children must unite:
Your life is worth much more than gold

[Chorus 2]
We’re jammin’ (Jammin’, jammin’, jammin’)
And we’re jammin’ in the name of the Lord
We’re jammin’ (Jammin’, jammin’, jammin’)
We’re jammin’ right straight from Yard

Yeh! Holy Mount Zion
Holy Mount Zion:
Jah seated in Mount Zion
And rules all creation

[Chorus 3]
Yeah, we’re – we’re jammin’ (Wotcha-wa)
Wotcha-wa-wa-wa, we’re jammin’ (Wotcha-wa)
See, I wanna jam it wid you
We’re jammin’ (Jammin’, jammin’, jammin’)
I’m jammed: I hope you’re jammin’, too

[Verse 3]
Jam’s about my pride and truth I cannot hide
To keep you satisfied
True love that now exist is the love I can’t resist
So jam by my side

We’re Jammin’ (Jammin’, jammin’, jammin’), yeah-eah-eah!
I wanna jam it wid you
We’re jammin’, we’re jammin’, we’re jammin’, we’re jammin’
We’re jammin’, we’re jammin’, we’re jammin’, we’re jammin’;
Hope you like jammin’, too
We’re jammin’, we’re jammin’ (Jammin’)
We’re jammin’, we’re jammin’ (Jammin’)
I wanna (I wanna jam it wid you) – I wanna –
I wanna jam wid you now
We’re jammin’, we’re jammin’
(Jammin’, jammin’, jammin’, hope you like jammin’ too)
Eh-eh! I hope you like jammin’, I hope you like jammin’
‘Cause (I wanna jam it wid you). I wanna jam it wid you
I like – I hope you – I hope you like jammin’, too
I wanna jam it;
I wanna jam it

One thought on “Song of the Day #5,081: ‘Jamming’ – Bob Marley and the Wailers

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Ah, love this song, and the others on this album that wound up on his greatest hits collection.

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