Redemption Song chords by Bob Marley


Video blocked due to privacy settings

Change privacy settings


Redemption Song chords and lyrics

Verse 1

| G | Em | C G/B | Am |
Old pirates yes they rob I, sold I to the merchant ships.
| G | Em | C G/B | Am |
Minutes after they took I, from the bottomless pit.
| G | Em | C G/B | Am |
But my hand was made strong, by the hand of the almighty.
| G | Em | C | D |
We forward in this generation, triumphantly.

Chorus 1

| D | G5 | C D5 | G5 |
Won’t you help to sing, these songs of freedom.
| C D5 | Em | C D5 | G5 | C D5 | G5 | C D |
‘Cause all I ever have, redemption songs, redemption songs.

Verse 2

| G5 | Em | C G/B | Am |
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.
| G | Em | C G/B | D |
Have no fear for atomic energy, ’cause none of them can stop the time.
| G5 | Em | C G/B | Am |
How long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look?
| G | Em | C G/B | D |
Ooh, some say it’s just a part of it, we’ve got to fulfill the book.

Chorus 2

| D | G5 | C D5 | G5 |
Won’t you help to sing, these songs of freedom.
| C D5 | Em | C D5 | G5 | C D5 | G5 | C D | G | C D |
‘Cause all I ever have, redemption songs, redemption songs, redemption songs.

Guitar break

||: Em | C D5 :|| x4

Verse 3

| G5 | Em | C G/B | Am |
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.
| G | Em | C G/B | D |
Have no fear for atomic energy, ’cause none of them can stop the time.
| G5 | Em | C G/B | Am |
How long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look?
| G | Em | C G/B | D |
Ooh, some say it’s just a part of it, we’ve got to fulfill the book.

Chorus 3

| D | G5 | C D5 | G |
Won’t you help to sing, these songs of freedom.
| C D | Em | C D | G5 |
‘Cause all I ever had, redemption songs.
| C D5 | Em | C D5 | Em |
All I ever had, redemption songs.
| C D5 | G | C D | G | C G/B | Am | Am | Am6 | Am6 |
These songs of freedom, songs of freedom.


You can learn how to play Redemption Song!

Played on just one guitar, Redemption Song is one of the most politically loaded and widespread songs the world has ever heard.

Perhaps the ultimate campfire song, it uses only open-position chords from the key of G. This makes Redemption Song one of the best songs for a beginner to learn.

In the video above, you’ll see how you can play Redemption Song on just one acoustic guitar, including the famous intro and all the chords.

Below, you’ll find guitar lessons from my beginner acoustic guitar course, enjoy!


Video blocked due to privacy settings

Change privacy settings


Redemption Song individual parts, chords, and strumming

Let’s start working on how to play Redemption Song.

To learn it, we break it down into six sections, practice these to the TAB loops in the playlist above and you will soon be able to play this song.

Here’s example 1, it’s the intro.


Next up is example 2, the first verse.


Let’s take a look at the chorus, or as I like to call it, example 3.


Example 4 is what we play during verses 2 & 3.


The guitar break is in this lesson dubbed example 5.


Finally, the end section, example 6.

Practice all six examples using the TAB loops in the playlist above before you move on and attempt the complete song below.


Video blocked due to privacy settings

Change privacy settings


Redemption Song complete song chords, strumming, and TAB

Let’s play the complete song with a singer.

Simply play along with us and you will be able to play this song on your own on just one acoustic guitar, kind of like Bob did.

Remember to vary the way you play the strumming pattern, not rhythmically, but if you play the first beat as a strum or just as a bass note.

Here’s a TAB/strumming chart to help you along.


Redemption Song TAB/Rhythm slashes


Redemption Song TAB and rhythm slashes – Guitar 1

In the course, we next start to build 2nd guitar parts. If you want to get better at playing the guitar this is a great way to improve.

Instead of just moving on and learning a new song, dig deeper by adding a capo, changing the key, and inventing a new guitar part that works with what you just learned.

In the course, we actually learn two 2nd guitar parts, preparing you to play Redemption Song with other musicians, starting off with me and the singer!

For the complete experience, sign up here.

When Marley wrote Redemption Song he was terminally ill

Redemption Song is a song by Bob Marley from the album Uprising.

The original and most famous recording of Redemption Song was performed on just one acoustic guitar. However, there are other versions, both live and in the studio, with and without a band. When Uprising was re-released in ’01, the full band version was featured as well as the original acoustic take.

When he wrote Redemption Song in ’79, he already knew about his cancer and was dealing with his mortality. How much this affected the meaning of the song might be dangerous water to explore but there is usually a strong connection between timeless songs and great loss.

The lyrics have a connection with a speech by Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr, an African journalist, black nationalist, and a main figure in the Rastafarian movement. Garvey and Marley shared an interest in fighting issues such as slavery, colonialism, and racism.

Pan-Africanism has hundreds of years of oppression behind it. Redemption Song speaks about this.

Seen as one of the ultimate campfire songs, Redemption Song can only be compared to other acoustic guitar masterpieces such as Wish You Were Here and Blowin’ In The Wind.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked Redemption Song #66 on their list of 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.


Redemption Song | Related pages


Redemption Song – 8 Guitar Lessons

To learn how to play Redemption Song by Bob Marley, we first study the individual parts using play-along loops, including how to play the intro note for note.

Once you learned how to play the complete song, we develop a 2nd and even a 3rd part so we can play Redemption Song together.

Go to Redemption Song – 8 Guitar Lessons.


Bob Marley

Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, guitarist, and activist.

Marley is the most widely known performer of reggae music and is regarded by many as a prophet of the Rastafarian religion. Few artists have had such widespread recognition as Bob Marley.

Go to Bob Marley.


Beginner Acoustic Songs

Beginner acoustic guitar songs

This collection of songs will teach you how to arrange a song to play on your own, as well as how to create a supporting part.

Playing songs will help you with switching between open-position chords and give you the context you need in order to understand how music works theoretically.

Go to Beginner Acoustic Songs.


Song Book

As a guitarist, a repertoire is the greatest asset you can acquire. It is your ticket to playing with other musicians.

To help you on this journey, I’ve gathered tunes I play with acoustic duos, Jazz trios, Indie/Rock/Party bands as well as large Soul/Motown ensembles.

Go to Song Book.


Copyright + Comments

Studying great songs is the best way for a musician to develop, we believe displaying chords and lyrics falls under “fair use in education”.

If you are the copyright holder and do not wish to be represented in this way, or want to comment on anything in these lessons, do reach out.

Go to Contact.