Meaning of “Get Up, Stand Up” by Bob Marley

Get Up, Stand Up is a famous song by Bob Marley and the Wailers. Lyrically Get Up, Stand Up inspires listeners to stand up and fight for their rights. According to filmmaker and actress Esther Anderson, who was a former girlfriend of Marley, Marley wrote this song while in Haiti. According to Anderson, Marley was so touched by the severe poverty the average Haitian was going through on a daily basis, and that inspired him to write the song. It is worth noting that Marley never confirmed this.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Bob Marley's Get Up, Stand Up at

Get Up, Stand Up lyrics

Facts about “Get Up, Stand Up”

  • The song was written by legendary Jamaican reggae musician Peter Tosh and Marley.
  • The song was recorded and released in 1973 as a single from the 1973 album titled Burnin’ by The Wailers.
  • Marley often performed Get Up, Stand Up as the song during his shows.
  • On 23rd September, 1980, during Marley’s last show which took place at the Benedum Center (formerly known as the Stanley Theater) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, the song was the last song Marley performed as a professional musician before his shocking death in 1981.
  • At the Amnesty Concert for Human Rights in 1998, the song was performed live by a number of famous singers, including Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel.
  • According to American singer-songwriter Ben Harper, as a child, he once attended Marley’s concert in 1978, during which he joined Marley on stage and to the surprise of the audience, took the mic from Marley while he was performing this song and sung the song’s last verse. According to him, at the end of his singing, the gathered audience gave him a wild applause for a brilliant job done.
  • Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones fame is reported to have once referred to this song as his favorite song from the reggae music genre.

3 Responses

  1. Claudine Murphy says:

    Thanks for the Update, in such Crisis, COVID-19 Pandemic, while Races influx for common grounds on the many Rudiest Awakenings while we come together. Our Justice is not to be a defeat considering the Good health overall received from already great morals and values set, and still setting. Bob Marley Songs will forever Reign. Claudine M.

  2. Anonymous says:

    super j’ai adoré!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I strongly believe that Get up stand up was written by Bob Marley. Peter Tosh seized the opportunity because Bob gave him a verse to sing. Please note the song Stepping Razor and Burial were written by Joe Higgs(The Wailers Tutor) and Bunny Wailer respectively, but Peter Tosh took the credit. Peter’s version of Get Up Stand Up, why did he changed some of the words of the third verse if he wrote the said verse. Because he knew originally the song was written by Bob Marley.

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