Bob Marley: “Redemption Song”

Posted: December 5, 2013 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
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Broccoli Fields Forever ...

Broccoli Fields Forever …

In deference to the recent anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy I chose the greatest song John Lennon ever penned to launch Cover Me Impressed. Needless to say it is beyond disheartening that 42 years after this brilliant plea for peace was introduced it is as pertinent today as the day it was written.

The Original

Bob Marley:


The Cover Songs Competition


Can the steel drum conquer the mighty Pogues?


Bob Lyons vs. The Pogues


Bob Lyons:

The Pogues:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

Also, keep in mind that if you should spontaneously self-actualize while playing a cover then you could – and probably should – nominate it for Top 10 (i.e. “Impeccable”) consideration.



Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Cuspid says:

    I like steel drums… for about 90 seconds. And then they start to grate on my nerve ever so slowly until after about 4 minutes, when I just want to scream and throw something at the source of the sound. Fortunately, the Bob Lyons version is a good 1 second under the crucial 4 minute mark. So no damage was done to my psyche or to my computer. Then again, I found the Pogues’ version to also be somewhat annoying, although in their defense, this sounds like a demo that was never intended to see the light of day or a Cover Song Blog.

    So therefore I’ll go with the Pogues because one is most likely to hear their version in an Irish pub, while Bob Lyons’ version is most likely to be heard on a cruise ship in the Caribbean with a lot of old people over-stuffing their faces with food. And I like Irish pubs better.

    • RDubbs says:

      Cuspid, I took a quick look at my other offerings from Bob Lyons. Please be forewarned that there are three of his covers (i.e. Forever Loving Jah, Waiting In Vain, and Jammin’) that do indeed exceed the four minute mark. These covers could be presented on CMI anytime in the next 2 to 7 years. So please refer to our subscription agreement and take note that CMI is not responsible for any destruction to your, or any other party’s, personal property due to emphatically (and violently) objecting to any materials presented herein.

  2. Arnie Plotnick says:

    I kinda like steel drums, too. They remind me of the NYC subway during holiday times, where there’s always some rasta dude playin’ ’em. (Last year, a bunch of Hasidic Jews emerged from a subway car, and the steel drum player spontaneously started playing Hava Negila, which I thought was fantastic. ) But I digress. I do think Redemption Song would have been a perfect song for one of those poignant Shane MacGowan ballads, but alas, ’tis not Shane doing the vocals, and the Pogues’ cheesy reggae-fication of the song irritated me, like an eyelash trapped under a contact lens. I’m goin’ with Bob Lyons.

  3. Pete Black says:

    Bob Lyon’s version: I was in the elevator Of The Holiday Inn In Montego Bay. I met a man who told me he had something extracted from an exotic fish that would get me higher than Jerry Garcia’s blood. I asked him about scoring some of Jerry’s blood, but you won’t believe what that costs. Neither version captures the essence of this great song. I love Joe Strummer’s version and the one with Johnny Cash and Strummer.

  4. RDubbs says:

    The Pogues are probably one of my top five favorite bands. But they’ve taken a beaten lately on CMI and I cannot reasonably defend them given their recent lackluster efforts. As Arnie pointed out, Redemption Song should have been right in The Pogues’ wheelhouse, perfectly setup for MacGowan to deliver a walkoff, two-run scoring double in the gap. But, alas, Shane did not even make it to the park that day, having overslept and then still a bit too bleary-eyed and “off” by the 7:00 pm start time (damn those early games!). This one goes to Bob Lyons by default.

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