Bob Marley and also the Wailers" 1973 standard "I shoot the Sheriff" seems plenty straightforward. Marley, in ~ the paper definition of the song, finds it prudent, also necessary, to shoot the sheriff. In a minute of quiet pause, however, he refuses to offer in to his baser instincts, and refrains from shooting the deputy. Together a result, reggae music ensues.

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But might "I shoot the Sheriff" have a depths meaning? can it counting itself amongst numbers prefer "London Calling" by The Clash and also Semiconic"s "Closing Time?" The musical identical to a bookcase concealing a concealed door, causing messages surprise just listed below the surface.

Not sure. Maybe. Esther Anderson sure thinks so, and she would know a point or two because she dated Marley because that a spell. She additionally went out v Marlon Brando because that a few years. Some girls have all the luck.

In any kind of case, Esther, who cases to have actually helped co-write "I shot the Sheriff," claims that there"s another layer to the song, and it"s not exactly in maintaining with the chill vibes connected with breezy reggae and murdering law enforcement officials.

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One specific section the the lyrics offers the game away, follow to Esther Anderson"s documentary Bob Marley: The make of a Legend. castle go as follows:

"Sheriff john Brown constantly hated me,

For what, ns don"t know:


Every time ns plant a seed,

He stated kill it prior to it grow"

According to Anderson, this wasn"t just vibrant lyricism. It to be Marley acquisition a shot in ~ her use of contraception. Specifics he uncovered her use of birth control pills offensive to the point of blasphemy. Per the Miami new Times: "Ms. Anderson to be on birth regulate pills, and Mr. Marley believed the pills were sacrilege. He wanted her to have his baby. He thought their love was strong and it to be sin to death his seed. The doctor who prescribed those baby-killing pills came to be the sheriff."

If this is true, it renders sense that Marley would certainly swap out a sheriff because that a doctor. "I shooting the doctor/but i did no shoot the EMT" fits the metre alright, however the as whole message can not have found an audience v Americans music fans without the quasi-Old West imagery. Also, go you understand that "One Love" is all about how there room some yes, really solid disagreements for maintaining the gender wage gap?