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Music / Burnin'

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"Get Up, Stand Up: Stand Up For Your Rights!"

Burnin' is a 1973 album by Bob Marley And The Wailers. It was released in 1973 and scored hits with "Get Up, Stand Up" and "I Shot The Sheriff"."I Shot The Sheriff" 's success was aided by Eric Clapton who had a hit with a Cover Version of Marley's original around the same time.

In 2007, it was added to the National Recording Registry for its "historical, cultural and aesthetical significance".


Side One

  1. "Get Up, Stand Up" (3:16)
  2. "Hallelujah Time" (3:28)
  3. "I Shot The Sherrif" (4:41)
  4. "Burnin' and Lootin'" (4:15)
  5. "Put It On" (4:00)

Side Two

  1. "Small Axe" (4:01)
  2. "Pass It On" (3:33)
  3. "Duppy Conqueror" (3:34)
  4. "One Foundation" (3:42)
  5. "Rastaman Chant" (3:47)

Tropy Conqueror:

  • Album Filler: This LP has more recuts than any other Wailers release, which can give it this image to fans who heard the group's earlier work. However, It Makes Sense in Context as the group's live set featured these and they were getting their music to an international audience.
    • In addition, Peter Tosh's "One Foundation" is often regarded as this, it is unusually simplistic and romantic for him and one of his only compositions that he never returned to solo. A likely reason is Chris Blackwell feeling Peter could capitalise on the Silly Love Songs of Johnny Nash.
  • Album Title Drop: "Burnin' and Lootin"
    That's why we're gonna be burnin' and lootin' tonight.
  • Anti-Police Song: "I Shot The Sherrif".
    Sherrif John Brown always hated me
    For what I don't know
    Every time I plant a seed
    He said: "Kill it, before it grows"
  • Badass Boast:
    • "Get Up, Stand Up"
    We're sick and tired of your ism and schisms game
    Go die and go to Heaven in Jesus' name, Lord
    We know when we understand
    Almighty God is a living man
    You can fool some people some time
    But you can't fool all the people, all the time
    So now we see the light: we're gonna stand up for our rights!
    • "Small Axe":
    If you are the big tree
    We are the small axe
    Sharpened to cut you down.
    • "Duppy Conqueror": A duppy is an evil spirit in Jamaican folklore, so being the "duppy conqueror" really shows how powerful you are.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: The line "you can fool some people some time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time" in "Get Up, Stand Up" is a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln.
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: Inverted in "I Shot The Sheriff", where the protagonist confesses the murder of the sheriff, but claims he didn't shoot his deputy. Confessing the murder of the official higher in ranking instead of the lower one will no doubt result in a stronger sentence if he is ever caught.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: The album cover alone says it all.
  • The Coup: "Burnin' And Lootin'" implies that the people will start burnin' and lootin' in protest against the system. "Get Up, Stand Up" also rallies everybody to do so.
  • Crapsack World: "Burnin' And Lootin'".
    How many rivers do we have to cross
    Before we can talk to the boss
    All that we got, it seems we have lost
    We must have really paid the cost
    • That line is also a shoutout to Jimmy Cliff who had a hit with Many Rivers To Cross, and whose The Harder They Come soundtrack album was a contributor to the popularity of reggae along with Marley.
  • Cut Song: Bob's "Iron Lion Zion", Bunny's "Reincarnated Souls" and "The Oppressed Song" and a recut of Peter's "No Sympathy" were all cut. "Iron Lion Zion" was released in overdubbed form on the "Songs Of Freedom" box set and later a remix single. The last three were released on the "Burnin'" remaster, although an alternate mix of "Reincarnated Souls" was released as the b-side to Concrete Jungle, Bunny recut it and "The Oppressed Song" for his solo album 'Blackheart Man', and "No Sympathy" was recut for Peter's solo album "Legalize It". Articles from prior to the album's release suggest the group included the cut songs on their preview tapes for journalists, and they were cut quite late on.
  • Drugs Are Bad: For being such a poster boy for marijuana use the following line in "Burnin' And Lootin'" does show that Marley wasn't particularly pleased with people sitting down and smoking weed instead of actually doing something to change things:
    I must say: all them- all them drugs gonna make you slow
    It's not the music of the ghetto.
  • Face on the Cover and Floating Head Syndrome: The band is shown on the album cover as a group of heads.
  • Fugitive Arc: In "I Shot The Sheriff" the protagonist is on the run for being accused of murdering Sheriff John Brown, which he admits he did, though he had nothing to do with the murder of his deputy.
  • The Future Will Be Better: "Hallelujah Time", "Get Up Stand Up", "Small Axe" and "Put It On" all promise hope despite today's misery.
  • I Am the Band: On the album cover Bob Marley's head is seen in the center of the rest of the band members.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: "Burnin' And Lootin'", "I Shot The Sherrif"'' and "One Foundation". In "Duppy Conqueror" the protagonist is actually set free.
  • The Missionary: "Pass It On" provides the listeners with ethical messages.
    Be not selfish in your doings
    Pass it on.
    Help your brothers in their needs
    Pass it on
    Live for yourself, you will live in vain
    Live for others, you will live again.
  • Murder Ballad: "I Shot The Sheriff"
    I shot the sheriff (but I did not shoot the deputy)
  • Oddball in the Series: This is the only Wailers album on Island that has Bunny Wailer singing lead on some tracks, (two on the original, four on the remaster). The reason is that he had expressed frustration that Island was making Bob the star, so Chris Blackwell suggested including a few of his compositions. Bunny still left the group after refusing to appear on the tour (and according to most that worked with him, was quite difficult to deal with at this time) though remained signed to Island and included his two remaining songs on his eventual solo album Blackheart Man.
  • One-Word Title: "Burnin'".
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Get Up Stand Up" for all oppressed people everywhere.
  • The Promised Land: In both "Duppy Conqueror" and "Rastaman Chant" the protagonist wants to fly away home to Zion.
  • Protest Song: "Get Up, Stand Up", "Small Axe", "I Shot The Sheriff", "Burnin' And Lootin'".
  • Rearrange the Song: "Small Axe", "Duppy Conqueror" and "Put It On" had been recorded by The Wailers before. The band had been performing them in their setlists and the group had not made money on the originals due to poor deals. "Pass It On" is a rerecording of a song Bunny Wailer had previously released as a solo single prior to "Catch A Fire" (this is not to be confused with The Wailers' version, which had different verse melody and lyrics - later reused in Bunny's solo song Innocent Blood).
  • Rebellious Spirit: "Get Up, Stand Up" and "Burnin' And Lootin'" cry for resistance.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: "Burnin' And Lootin'", where the revolution will consist of setting buildings on fire and looting what's inside.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Take That!: "Small Axe" has a direct one by Upsetter records, against Studio One, Federal and Treasure Isle, known as 'the big three'. In Jamaican patois the word 'three' is pronounced like 'tree', so the song is really saying 'Upsetter records is going to cut down all the other record companies by being better'. Lee Scratch Perry, owner of Upsetter wrote the lyrics to this song, and was often known for filling his songs with biblical imagery and hidden meanings.
  • Working Title : Prior to the album's release, a Jamaican single was released consisting of "Curfew" and "Chant I", early names (though identical recordings) of "Burnin And Lootin'" and "Rastaman Chant".


Video Example(s):


"I Shot The Sheriff"

"I Shot The Sheriff" by Bob Marley from Burnin', in which the narrator turns out to have killed the racist sheriff in self-defence. Also, "Rebel Music" from Natty Dread, in which the police is targeted for arresting people for drug possession.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / AntiPoliceSong

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