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Bob Marley & The Wailers - Buffalo Soldier (1983)

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  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.4
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"Buffalo Soldier" is a reggae song written by Bob Marley and Noel "King Sporty" Williams, and recorded by Bob Marley and the ...

"Buffalo Soldier" is a reggae song written by Bob Marley and Noel "King Sporty" Williams, and recorded by Bob Marley and the Wailers. It did not appear on record until the 1983 posthumous release of Confrontation, when it became one of Marley's best-known songs. The title and lyrics refer to the black U.S. cavalry regiments, known as "Buffalo Soldiers", that fought in the Indian Wars after 1866. Marley linked their fight to a fight for survival, and recasts it as a symbol of black resistance.

Background

The origin of the term "Buffalo Soldier" is theorized as given to black troops by Native Americans, who thought African Americans' hair felt and looked like a buffalo's pelt. The name was embraced by the troops, who were well acquainted with "the buffalo's fierce bravery and fighting spirit". The Buffalo Soldier's duties were settling railroad disputes, building telegraph lines, repairing and building forts, and otherwise helping settlers colonize lands violently taken from Native Americans. They were also tasked with protecting the colonizing settlers from displaced Native Americans seeking to reclaim their homelands.

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