Biblical psalms[ edit ] The song is based on the Biblical Psalm The southern Kingdom of Judah hence the name Jewshome of the tribe of Judah and part of the Tribe of Levi, was free from foreign domination until the Babylonian conquest to which Rivers Of Babylon refers.
They carried us away in captivity requiring of us a song Now how shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land? The song also has words from Psalm In JamaicaRastafarians also use "Babylon" to refer to the police, often seen as a source of oppression because they arrest members for the use of marijuana which is sacramental for Rastafarians.
Therefore, "By the rivers of Babylon" refers to living in a repressive society and the longing for freedom, just like the Israelites in captivity. Rastafarians also identify themselves as belonging to the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The original version specifically refers to Rastafarian belief in Haile Selassieby changing references to "the Lord" in the Biblical text to "Far-I" and "King Alpha".
Like the Afro-Protestant Revival services, traditional Rastafarian worship often included psalm singing and hymn singing, and Rastas typically modified the words to fit their own spiritual conceptions; Psalm was among their sacred chants.
According to Brent Dowe, the song was initially banned by the Jamaican government because "its overt Rastafarian references 'King Alpha' and 'O Far-I' were considered subversive and potentially inflammatory".
After that, it took only three weeks to become a number one hit in the Jamaican charts. An early reggae classic, "Rivers of Babylon" was remixed in in typical Jamaican dub fashion.google-site-verification: googlee71deehtml.
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