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Poetic Explication of Bob Marley's "Buffalo Soldier"

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Harrison Macdonald

on 29 May 2014

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Transcript of Poetic Explication of Bob Marley's "Buffalo Soldier"

Setting
Rhyme Scheme & Style
Tone
Mood & Diction
Bob Marley
As one of the first pioneers of reggae it is no shock that Bob
Marley was born in Jamaica. Even though he did have a drug problem he did corner the market on reggae because of the fact that he basically capitalized reggae. Bob Marley loved to tell stories with his songs just like "Buffalo Soldier."
"Buffalo Soldiers" in the American Indian Wars
The term "Buffalo Soldier" was used in the American Indian Wars of 1866 to describe a few regiments of African American soldiers that fought on the American side against the native Americans.

Due to the slightly superficial thoughts of the colonials at the time along with the cost of their own having to fight, the U.S. decided to take men from their native country (Africa) for the purpose of fighting their battle. These actions are looked down upon by us now, for they show how brutal and cruel our mindset was back then.

Even though this took place way before the birth of Bob Marley he was inspired to write this song because of racial prejudice in general and the amoral thing that is war.
Bob Marley intended to inform people about racism and history through this catchy and upbeat tune while still keeping it serious.
Poetic Explication of Bob Marley's "Buffalo Soldier"

By Harrison Macdonald & Katie Scherschel
The tone in "Buffalo Soldier" by Bob Marley coincides with his native Jamaican upbringing. This is evident in the sultry reggae melody of the song.

The tropical and original tone of "Buffalo Soldier" is meant to immerse the listener in to the mind set of a soldier being taken from his land for the purpose of fighting in another. This is done similarly to how Native Americans tell stories about their ancestors.
This song is about the man who was taken from Africa and forced to fight. Dreadlock Rasta the name of the soldier was taken to fight in the 10th Calvary of the United States against Native Americans that popped up in the year 1866.

The storyline of the song takes place in Africa & America. In detail, it takes place in Kansas because that was were the Buffalo Soldiers were instated.
"Buffalo Soldier" has a very lyrical and laid back rhythm probably because of Bob Marley's style of jamaican reggae.

The style in also similar to other black history styles, such as the music in Their Eyes Were Watching God.

As for a rhyme scheme "Buffalo Soldier" occasionally has an A/B rhyme scheme. In other parts of the song there are outlier words that don't rhyme.
The underlined mood in "Buffalo Soldier" is actually quite serious despite its relatively light tone. Due to the fact that these soldiers were taken from their homeland the mood is meant to express the racial prejudice that they faced among other things.

In "Buffalo Soldier" by Bob Marley there is a very unique diction that paints a picture in the listener's head. Words such as stolen, survival, war, etc... show the seriousness of the story while some of the more air headed words such as yoy (jamaican dialect) and Caribbean are meant to appease the listener.
Miscellaneous
An assassination attempt was made on the pope. An assassination attempt was made against Ronald Reagan the President.
A royal wedding. Michael Jackson released the song thriller.
Also the Vietnam War Memorial was opened.
U.S. Embassy was bombed in Beirut.
Mount St. Helen's erupted.
Full transcript