Bob Marley and the Wailers’ I Shot the Sheriff

Joe Cocker's Feelin' Alright
Joe Cocker’s Feelin’ Alright
November 10, 2017
John Sebastian's Welcome Back
John Sebastian’s Welcome Back
November 23, 2017

Bob Marley and the Wailers’ I Shot the Sheriff

Bob Marley and The Wailers' I Shot the Sheriff

Reggae Music

Bob Marley wrote the song and recorded it for his sixth album with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, the 1973 Burnin‘. (Tosh and Wailer left for solo careers after this album.) Marley gave a voice to the people of Jamaica in a musical genre, reggae, the originated in Jamaica. In the story of the song, the narrator admits that he shot the sheriff in self-defense when the sheriff who hated him tried to shoot him. But they would be wrongly accusing him about any shooting of the deputy. Marley says that the song is about justice.

There have been numerous covers. Erick Capton took the song to #1 in the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand in 1974. Other covers include versions by Warren G, Light of the World, Mary J. Blige, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins,Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, and many more.

On the track were Bob Marley (guitar, vocals), Peter Tosh (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Bunny WAiler (percussion, vocals), Aston “Family Man” Barrett (bass), and Carlton “Carlie” Barrett (drums).

Here are the lyrics to “I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley and The Wailers:

I shot the sheriff,
But I didn’t shoot no  deputy, oh no! Oh!
I shot the sheriff,
But I didn’t shoot no  deputy, ooh, ooh, oo-ooh

Yeah! All around in my home town
They’re trying to track me down
They say they want to bring me in guilty
For the killing of a deputy
For the life of a deputy
But I say

Oh, now, now. Oh!
I shot the sheriff — the sheriff
But I swear it was in self-defense
Oh , no! (Ooh, ooh, oo-oh) Yeah
I say: I shot the sheriff — Oh, Lord!
And they say it is a capital offense.
Yeah! (Ooh, ooh, oo-oh) Yeah

Sheriff John Brown always hated me
For what I don’t know
Every time I plant a seed
He say, “Kill it before it grow”
He say, “Kill them before they grow”
And so  and so

Read it in the news
(I shot the sheriff.) Oh, Lord!
(But I Swear it was in self-defense.)
Where was the deputy? (Oo-oo-oh)
I say: I shot the sheriff
But I swear it was in self-defense. Yeah! (Oo-oh)

Freedom came my way one day
And I started out of town, yeah!
All of a sudden I saw sheriff John Brown
Aiming to shoot me down
So I shot, I shot, I shot him down
and I say: If I am guilty I will pay
I shot the sheriff, but I didn’t shoot the  deputy, oh no! Oh!
I shot the sheriff, but I didn’t shoot the  deputy, ooh, ooh, oo-ooh yeah!

Reflexes had got the better of me
And what is to be must be
Every day the bucket a-go a well
One day the bottom a-go drop out
One day the bottom a-go drop out

I say:
I-I-I-I shot the sheriff
Lord, I didn’t shot the deputy. Yeah! I-I shot the sheriff
But I didn’t shoot no deputy, yeah! No, yeah!

For More 70s Tunes

The System has daily featured music from all sorts of genres of 1970s music. You’re welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections in The System. Thank you for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed “I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.