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Buffalo Soldier
Bob Marley & The Wailers Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta
There was a Buffalo Soldier
In the heart of America
Stolen from Africa, brought to America
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival

I mean it, when I analyze the stench
To me, it makes a lot of sense
How the dreadlock Rasta was the Buffalo Soldier
And he was taken from Africa, brought to America
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival

Said he was a Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta
Buffalo Soldier, in the heart of America

If you know your history
Then you would know where you coming from
Then you wouldn't have to ask me
Who the heck do I think I am

I'm just a Buffalo Soldier
In the heart of America
Stolen from Africa, brought to America
Said he was fighting on arrival
Fighting for survival
Said he was a Buffalo Soldier
Win the war for America

Said he, woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy
Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo

Woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy
Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo

Buffalo Soldier, troddin' through the land woah
Said he wanna ran, then you wanna hand
Troddin' through the land, yeah, yeah

Said he was a Buffalo Soldier
Win the war for America
Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival
Driven from the mainland
To the heart of the Caribbean

Singing, woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy
Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo

Woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy
Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo

Troddin' through San Juan
In the arms of America
Troddin' through Jamaica, a Buffalo Soldier
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival
Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta

Woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy
Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo

Woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy
Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo

Overall Meaning

The song "Buffalo Soldier" by Bob Marley & The Wailers sheds light on the story of the Buffalo Soldiers, a group of African American soldiers who fought during the Indian Wars in the late 1800s. According to the lyrics, the Buffalo Soldier was a dreadlock Rasta taken from Africa and brought to America to fight for survival. The stench mentioned in the lyrics refers to the smell of death on the battlefield, and to the senseless prejudice that led to the suffering of so many people in history. The song is a powerful reminder of the legacy of oppression and slavery that still affects many people to this day.


The chorus "woe yoy yoy" is a traditional Rastafarian chant often used in reggae music, which serves to unite people in a feeling of solidarity. The lyrics show an awareness and appreciation for history, suggesting that if people knew their history, they would understand where they are coming from and be more grounded in their own identity. The Buffalo Soldier in the song represents the struggle and resilience of the African American people, who fought against oppression and racism to survive and thrive in America.


Line by Line Meaning

Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta
The song is about a Buffalo Soldier, or a black American soldier in the late 1800s to early 1900s, who also happens to be a Rastafarian with dreadlocks.


There was a Buffalo Soldier
The song focuses on the life of a single Buffalo Soldier.


In the heart of America
The Buffalo Soldier lived in America.


Stolen from Africa, brought to America
The Buffalo Soldier's ancestors were taken from Africa and brought to America as slaves.


Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival
The Buffalo Soldier had to fight to survive, both in America and during wars.


I mean it, when I analyze the stench To me, it makes a lot of sense
The singer is saying that even though the history of the Buffalo Soldier and its origins is not pleasant, it is important to understand it.


How the dreadlock Rasta was the Buffalo Soldier And he was taken from Africa, brought to America Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival
The singer repeats the earlier lines to emphasize them.


Said he was a Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta Buffalo Soldier, in the heart of America
The artist repeats the earlier lines to emphasize them again.


If you know your history Then you would know where you coming from Then you wouldn't have to ask me Who the heck do I think I am
If people knew their history, they would understand where they come from and wouldn't need to ask others what their identity is.


I'm just a Buffalo Soldier In the heart of America Stolen from Africa, brought to America Said he was fighting on arrival Fighting for survival Said he was a Buffalo Soldier Win the war for America
The artist identifies himself as a Buffalo Soldier, just like the one he sang about earlier, who fought to win wars for America even though he once was a slave.


Said he, woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo
This is a Rastafarian chant that expresses emotions of sorrow, grief or exaltation.


Buffalo Soldier, troddin' through the land woah Said he wanna ran, then you wanna hand Troddin' through the land, yeah, yeah
The Buffalo Soldier navigates through hostile territories while trying to find comfort in the hands of others.


Driven from the mainland To the heart of the Caribbean
The Buffalo Soldier was forced from his homeland into a new region.


Troddin' through San Juan In the arms of America Troddin' through Jamaica, a Buffalo Soldier Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta
The Buffalo Soldier traveled to different parts of the world including San Juan and Jamaica, but no matter where he went, he still was a fighter.


Woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy Woe yoy yoy yo, yoy yoy yoy yo
The Rastafarian chant is repeated again to emphasize the emotions expressed earlier in the song.




Lyrics © MUSIC SALES CORPORATION, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Bob Marley, Noel Williams

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Abate Kidus

good

Comments from YouTube:

@daveystriper3739

Please like if you are here in 2024,
R.I.P Bob ❤

@burkhardraum1956

Yeah, he was the best 😊🇩🇪🎉🍷

@user-jo9kp4rs1k

U have the biggest 5 head

@Thiago_felipe_ofc

Sempre 🙏 até onde deus quiser

@ermiasassefa3012

Here

@gekyume..

here

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@al-nur999

A message to future generations, don't let this song die, don't let Bob Marley's legacy be forgotten. Jahlove.

@Fizzyapplewater

We already ignore the dark side of his legacy

@allensmithee632

Never gone as long as we keep the love in our hearts.

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