Picking a favorite Bob Marley song is like selecting a top Beatles song or Bruce Springsteen concert you have attended. There are so many options, finding a consensus is as easy as getting 10 friends to agree on where to go to dinner.
But poll 10 Bob Marley fans and chances are good one song that will come up at least once or twice is the iconic “No Woman, No Cry,” which is being celebrated today on International Reggae Day (July 1) with a new video.
Not only one of the most beloved reggae songs of all time, it is a standard in the pop music pantheon. Since Marley and the Wailers first recorded the song in 1974, an astonishingly diverse and respected group of people have covered the song, including Joan Baez, Jimmy Cliff, Graham Parker, Erykah Badu, Blues Traveler, Wyclef Jean with Stephen Marley, Nina Simone and most famously the Fugees.
Cedella Marley, daughter of the late reggae legend, understands why the song continues to resonate so deeply with both artists and listeners.
“‘No Woman No Cry’” is a favorite for so many, including myself. This beautiful and powerful video continues to breathe life into a song that has already stood the test of time,” she tells me. “A celebration of female love and power. Daddy understood the importance of a matriarch. My mom ruled our roost and Daddy’s love for her lives on in his music. I am so grateful for that.”
It is that female love and power that is celebrated in the powerful new clip, a seven-minute plus short film shot in both Jamaica and New York. Directed by Kristian Mercado Figueroa (Pa’lante) the new version shows a loving family divided by geography, as the mother takes care of the family in Jamaica and the father works as a cab driver in NYC, both in hopes of a better life for their children.
The new video for “No Woman No Cry” is the latest in a treasure trove of riches for Marley fans this year celebrating what would have been the reggae king’s 75th birthday in 2020.
Just last month, Marley’s iconic “Live At The Rainbow” show, filmed in London in 1977, was shown in its entirety on Marley’s YouTube channel and a new six-song EP Why Should I/Exodus celebrating his seminal Exodus album was released.
Next following the video release today will be a limited edition picture disc of Marley’s Legend album, one of the best-selling albums of all time and a rite of passage in every college dorm around the world for 36 years now, being released July 24.