Bob Marley, Duppy Conqueror, Rare Studio Take

We’re back in the 1974 Catch a Fire sessions as Bob Marley and the Wailers cut a fifth version of “Duppy Conqueror.”  What is a “duppy,” and why is Bob conquering them?  Interesting question.  Well, in Jamaica, duppy is slang for ghost, and Bob was thinking about opening up a Jamaican branch of the Ghostbusters.  Actually, according to legend, i.e. Wikipedia, Bob’s success was bringing a lot of leeches and hangers on, draining his spirit like vampires (duppys.)  Bob was determined to rise above the situation and conqueror them, and presto, a song was born.  The song itself is a beautiful slow harmonized jam about overcoming prisons both mental and physical.  It’s a great abstract metaphor and a great song.  Bob sings it so soulfully, yet again bringing his unique perspective to a universal pop context.  Genius at work here folks.  Enjoy.

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