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Friday, September 19, 2014

Peter Tosh - Equal Rights & Justice (Examples & Lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases two videos of Peter Tosh's song "Equal Rights & Justice".

This post is presented for cultural, inspirational, and aesthetic purposes.

Thanks to Peter Tosh for his musical legacy. Thanks also to all who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these examples on YouTube.

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INFORMATION ABOUT PETER TOSH'S SONG "EQUAL RIGHTS AND JUSTICE"
From http://thequietus.com/articles/08468-peter-tosh-equal-rights
..."In 1977 Peter Tosh released Equal Rights, a rallying cry ... his declaration of rage against the injustices he had seen all around him.

It was his finest studio album, cementing his position as one of the most outspoken artists of the 70s. And although he’d suffered at the hands of the ‘shitstem’ many times before, the album notably called not for revenge but for justice. Revenge is personal, justice is political.

Setting out his stall with a version of 'Get Up, Stand Up', Tosh makes it clear that equal rights will not come without a fight. He follows this call to arms with 'Downpressor Man', a warning to any and all oppressors of him and his brethren. “You can run but you can’t hide” Tosh sings, ominously...

He sings on the title track of the album that he doesn’t want peace, but that he needs “equal rights and justice”. It’s here that he asserts his message most powerfully. By dismissing peace so easily, he maintains that what’s needed won’t come without a fight...

But as much as the album is informed by Tosh’s struggle for justice, it is influenced equally by his faith. Tosh had been exposed to the teachings and way of life of the Rastafari as far back as 1963, and by the time he released Equal Rights he was a convert. Both 'African' and 'Jah Guide' make music of his beliefs. Dealing with identity in the former track, Tosh makes clear that to be black is be African; one of Marcus Garvey’s key teachings. In 'Jah Guide' Tosh delivers a rousing justification for the upcoming fight for equal rights: “Jah guide I through this valley.” His path was righteous.

Every form of victimisation is universal, not only in Jamaica.
-Peter Tosh

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FEATURED EXAMPLES
These examples are presented in chronological order based on their publishing date on YouTube, with the oldest example given first.

Example #1: Peter Tosh - Equal Rights



Xraymusicdotcodotuk, Uploaded on May 25, 2007

Audio available on the "Equal Rights" LP/CD
-snip-
LYRICS FOR "EQUAL RIGHTS"
(Peter Tosh)

Everyone is crying out for peace, yes
None is crying out for justice
Everyone is crying out for peace, yes
None is crying out for justice

I don't want no peace
I need equal rights and justice
I need equal rights and justice
I need equal rights and justice
Got to get it, equal rights and justice

Everybody want to go to heaven
But nobody want to die, Father of the Jesus
Everybody want to go up to heaven
But none of them, none of them want to die

I don't want no peace
I man need equal rights and justice
I got to get it, equal rights and justice
I really need it, equal rights and justice
Just give me my share, equal rights and justice

What is due to Caesar
You better give it all to Caesar, yeah, yeah, yeah
And what belong to I and I
You better, you better give it up to I

'Cause I don't want no peace
I need equal rights and justice
I need equal rights and justice
I have got to get it, equal rights and justice
I'm a fighting for it, equal rights and justice

Everyone is heading for the top
But tell me how far is it from the bottom
Nobody knows but everyone fighting for the top
How far is it from the bottom

I don't want no peace
I need equal rights and justice
I need equal rights and justice
I have got to get it, equal rights and justice
I really need it, equal rights and justice

Everyone is talking about crime
Tell me who are the criminals
I said everyone is talking about crime, crime
Tell me who, who are the criminals
I really don't see them

I don't want no peace
I need equal rights and justice
We got to get equal rights and justice
And there will be no crime, equal rights and justice
There will be no criminals, equal rights and justice

Everyone is fighting for equal rights and justice
Palestinians are fighting for equal rights and justice
Down in Angola, equal rights and justice
Down in Botswana, equal rights and justice
Down in Zimbabwe, equal rights and justice
Down in Rhodesia, equal rights and justice

Source: http://www.metrolyrics.com/equal-rights-lyrics-peter-tosh.html

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Examples #2: Peter Tosh - Equal Rights & Justice for Haiti



Welcome2 Haiti, Published on Jul 7, 2012
-snip-
The lyrics that are provided with this video are the standard lyrice for this song. Those lyrics are given after thee videeo given above as Example #1. However, in this performance of "Equal Rights", Peter Tosh combines that song with his song "Downpressor Man". The lyrics to that song begin at 2:44 in the video.

Here's my transcription of that song as sung in that video: (Additions and corrections welcome.)

Everyone is cryin' out for peace (Yes)
None is cryin' out for justice
Everyone is cryin' out for peace
None is cryin' out for Justice
I don't want no peace
I need equal rights and Justice (3x)
Got to get it
Equal rights and lustice

Everybody wants to go to heaven
Nobody wants to die (background singers: "for the rest of Jesus")
Everybody want to go up to heaven but none of them, none of them want to die
I don't want no peace
I want equal rights and justice
Yeah, gotta get equal rights and justice
Oh, we need equal rights and justice
We need equal rights, equal rights and justice

Downpressor* man, where you gonna run to
Tell me
Downpressor, man where you gonna run to
Downpressor man, where you gonna run to
All on that day

You gonna run to the rocks
They gonna be melting
You gonna run to the rocks
The rocks will be melting, man
All on that day

And when you run to the sea,
The sea will be boiling
When you run to the sea,
the sea will be boiling
You run to the sea
The sea will be boiling
I say all on that day.

So tell me, downpressor man
Where you gonna run
Tell me downpressor man
Where you gonna run to
Downpressor man
Where you gonna run to
All on that day

I wouldn't like to be a flea under your collar man
I wouldn't like to be a flea underneath your collar man
I wouldn't like to be a flea underneath your collar man
All on that day

You can run but you can’t hide
You can run but you can’t hide
You can run but you can’t hide,
All on that day

Tell me downpressor man
Tell me downpressor man
Down, down downpressor man
I said downpressor man
I don’t know where you gonna run
All on that day

I said downpressorman
I said downpressorman
I don’t know where you gonna run
All on that day
-snip-
*downpressor is Rastafarian vernacular for "oppressor". A "downpressor" is someone who is pressing you down (with injustices).

The verses in that song that begin with the "downpressor man" reference to the end of that song (except for the "flea under the collar verse) are lifted from the African American Spiritual "Oh Sinner Man". Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/07/nina-simone-sinnerman-with-lyrics.html for a pancocojams post about that song as sung by Nina Simone.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-wailers-downpressor-man-and-peter.html for a pancocojams post about this song as sung by the Wailers and as sung by Peter Tosh.

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