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Political songs are basically connected to some given situations or events such as strikes, unemployment, election, discrimination or racism. This is contrary to patriotic songs which tend to be interesting to listeners and non-controversial. The key goal of political songs is to motivate and support people, though in a satirical manner. One political song that was released before 1975 is titled Some Time in New York City by John Lennon. On the other hand, Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley was released after 1975. These two political songs will be examined in this assignment.


One similarity between the two songs is that they both convey a message to protest certain political issues that were incumbent at that time period. In his song, John Lennon was protesting against the repression resulting from the riots of Attica prisons as well as against the imprisonment of Angela Davis (Bielen, 2007). Bob Marley protests against the white supremacy and the unfair, brutal and unjust treatment of slaves, who were mostly Black. An isolated group of Black Calvary fighters in the course of American campaigns were referred to as Buffalo soldiers. It is ironical that majority of the soldiers originated from Africa. Hence, Bob Marley protests against the responsibility of a back man in developing a nation that continually brutalizes and oppresses him. The other similarity is that both songs were written out of anger because of the form of injustices and acts that were against the rights of mankind (Bogues, 2003).

There are some differences associated with the two songs by John Lennon and Bob Marley respectively. While John Lennons song was considered a failure by his fans, the Bob Marleys song was a hit and a great success. Most of his fans loved and still love the song up to date. The other difference is that John Lennon collaborated with another singer called Yoko Ono to come up with the song, Some Time in New York. Contrary to John Lennon, Bob Marley is a solo singer in his song, Buffalo Soldier. To appeal, the listeners, John Lennon makes use of metaphors and a form of symbolism. A good example is the use of a newspaper as symbol for conveying messages contained in his songs. The main focus of his song is a political event or individuals who are in the news at that period of time. Bob Marley also uses symbolism by stating that the buffalo solder was stolen from Africa to mean that the said buffalo soldiers had an African origin (Bogues, 2003).

The song by Bob Marley is more effective compared to that released by John Lennon. It is evident that Bob Marley songs did not receive as much criticisms as John Lennons song. The eventual out come of the song was the support and motivation of Black people to fight for their rights and freedom. It was a perfect time for releasing the song since there was the dire need to attain freedom from the unjust, harsh and oppressive rule. It is therefore appropriate to presume that Bob Marleys political song achieved its key objectives which are boosting the morale, motivating and supporting the oppressed parties.


Bielen, K. G. (2007). The words and music of John Lennon. Greenwood Publishing Group

Bogues, A. (2003). Back heretics, black prophets. Radical political intellectuals. Routledge.

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