Redemption Song (Lorna Goodison)
I am always drawn to stories in human history in which someone is redeemed. Instances where a debt owed is cancelled, when some good soul comes forward and pays off the bond price that sets the indebted free. As I have not found many such stories of Redemption in the history of my own people, Redemption has become my key-word, and I am hoping that in time others will join me on the redemption train, which ideally leaves from Redemption Ground Market in the city of Kingston. Once a cholera cemetery that became a market by day and a nocturnal meeting place for faith-keepers of African spirituality and foundation builders of the Rastafarian religion such as Leonard Howell and Joseph Nathaniel Hibbert. There were women who were gathered there too, women whose names were not recorded but they were there and engaged in the active redemption of their people through the uncompromising rejection of mental slavery. Many of these men and women had been followers of Alexander Bedward, the charismatic preacher who had galvanized many thousands of followers with his anti-colonial rhetoric and his promise to fly away home taking his followers with him. A redemptive move, up and away from the misery and desolation of life in post-slavery Jamaica. We will never know if he could have made good on this promise, because his career was cut short by the authorities and he ended his life in a mental institution. But these men and women, his followers, kept on, and there on Redemption Ground they fashioned a religion with a God who looked like them, and one day one of its followers, who was born out of the meeting of Europe and Africa, wrote a song inspired by the words of one of the world's great freedom fighters, Marcus Garvey. The song is called Redemption Song, and it has become an anthem for people all over the world. Implied in the words is the plea for us all to help to sing, to write Redemption Songs; songs and stories, for the rest of my life, this is what I hope to be doing.
Pour citer cette ressource :
Lorna Goodison, "Redemption Song (Lorna Goodison)", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), juin 2014. Consulté le 10/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/litterature/entretiens-et-textes-inedits/redemption-song-lorna-goodison-