That Bob Marley was taken from us so young will forever sting. But so goes the opportunity to commemorate the indellible reggae spirit on this the day of his birth in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica, where he began to incubate his conceptions of peace with a firm backbone in Jah. He had his misfit youth days in Trench Town, sure. But he got the hell out and became an ambassador of social reform, single-handendly ending political civil wars in his homeland, bankrolling the well-being of hundreds of friends and friends of friends and most importantly, went on writing some of the most universally good messages of his time. If you haven’t heard his “One Love” spin of the hook in Curtis Mayfield‘s “People Get Ready,” slapped with a palm mute and strung up with the glistening harmonies of the I-Threes, there is a piece of progressive mankind missing from your heart. Regardless of your religious beliefs, “one love, one heart” – doesn’t get more unifying and simply beautiful than that:

Let’s join together to fight this holy armageddon

So when the Man comes there will be no, no doom

Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner

There ain’t no hiding place from among the kingdom of love, yes