Song #15: “Duppy Conqueror”

Bob Marley’s Legend introduced me to reggae music. The next stop on that train was The Wailers. They released only two albums, Catch a Fire and Burnin’. Everything after that is “Bob Marley and The Waiers,” which is a good vibe but a different vibe. The original Wailers with the core members of Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley made reggae music that’s unmatched. It’s impossible to choose a single representative song, but “Duppy Conqueror” is a fun one. Listen carefully around 1:25 mark and hold on to that for the next 30 seconds.

I listened to “Duppy Conqueror” many times over a two or three year period before a room mate of mine in Toronto, who was deep into The Wailers, pointed out the silly lip sounds that kick in at exactly the 1:35 mark. The sounds fit the song so perfectly, I was never conscious of them. I began listening with greater attention after that and discovered all kinds of crazy rhythms and sounds in The Wailers’ music I’d never noticed before. Bob Marley’s Survival album is like that too. I got a lot of mileage out of those records.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at mudsongs.org.

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