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Bob Marley, one of the most celebrated artists of the last century, released his iconic song “Lively Up Yourself” in 1974. This energetic reggae classic, included on Bob Marley & The Wailers’ 1974 album, Natty Dread!, has transcended generations and cultures. But what exactly are the lyrics saying?

In this article, we’ll dive into the meaning behind Bob Marley’s iconic words, exploring the themes of joy, unity, and the irresistible power of reggae music. So crank up the volume, and let’s prepare to “lively up ourselves”!

Lively Up Yourself” Lyrics

You’re gonna lively up yourself
And don’t be no drag
You lively up yourself cause reggae is another bag
You lively up yourself and don’t say no
You’re gonna lively up yourself cause I said so

(Hear what you gonna do)
You rock so you rock so like you never did before
You dip so you dip so, dip thru my door
You come so you come so oh yeah
You skank so you skank so be alive today

You’re gonna lively up yourself and don’t say no
You lively up yourself big daddy says so
You lively up yourself and don’t be no drag
You lively up yourself cause reggae is another bag

What you got that I don’t know
I’m a trying to wonder why you act so
(Hey, do you hear what the man seh)
Lively up your woman in the morning time you’all
Keep a lively up your woman when the evening come
And take her take ya

You rock so you rock so you dip so you dip so
You skank so you skank so and don’t be no drag
You come so you come so for reggae is another bag

Get what you got in that bag
What have you got in the other bag
You got hanging there
What you say you got
I don’t believe you!

Bob Marley – “Lively Up Yourself”


Songwriters: Bob Marley

Lively Up Yourself lyrics © Bob Marley’s Estate

Bob Marley’s “Lively Up Yourself“: The Lyrics Meaning

The song’s opening line, “Lively up yourself and don’t be no drag,” is an energetic call to action, urging listeners to embrace life enthusiastically. This phrase implies the importance of projecting an upbeat attitude when interacting with others. Being negative or downcast can repel people, while positivity attracts them.

Throughout the lyrics, Bob Marley emphasizes the importance of authenticity and self-expression. Bob Marley encourages individuals to shed their worries and embrace their true selves, fostering a sense of liberation and joy.

Despite acknowledging life’s challenges, Bob Marley advocates for resilience and determination. He inspires listeners to stand firm in the face of adversity, maintaining inner strength and positivity.

The song’s chorus fosters a sense of communal celebration and unity, encouraging individuals to unite, uplift one another, and find strength in solidarity.

Bob Marley’s 10 Best Songs According to Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone’s list of Bob Marley’s 10 best songs showcases the breadth and depth of his musical legacy. From the lively rhythms of “Lively Up Yourself” to the soul-stirring anthem “Redemption Song,” each track reflects Marley’s unparalleled ability to blend reggae with profound lyrical messages.

“Concrete Jungle” and “Trench Town Rock” capture the struggles and resilience of urban life, while “No Woman, No Cry” and “Exodus” evoke sentiments of love, hope, and liberation. Marley’s commitment to social justice shines through in “War/No More Trouble,” echoing calls for peace and equality.

“Roots, Rock, Reggae” celebrates the essence of Jamaican music, while “Get Up, Stand Up” serves as a rallying cry for activism and empowerment.

Together, these songs represent the essence of Bob Marley’s musical genius and enduring influence on generations worldwide.

Rolling Stone’s list of Bob Marley’s 10 best songs:
  1. “Lively Up Yourself”
  2. “Concrete Jungle”
  3. “Roots, Rock, Reggae”
  4. “Small Axe”
  5. “Trench Town Rock”
  6. “Redemption Song”
  7. “War/No More Trouble”
  8. “No Woman, No Cry”
  9. “Exodus”
  10. “Get Up, Stand Up”

Lively Up Yourself” Video

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Bob Marley performing Lively Up Yourself (Live At The Rainbow 4th June 1977)
Is just a guy who got tired of bothering his friends talking about music, and decided to create a blog to write about what he loves the most.
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