Survival in ‘Survival’: A Multimodal Analysis of Bob Marley’s Lyrics

Cosmas Rai Amenorvi


This paper presents a multimodal analysis of the theme of survival in Bob Marley’s 1979 ‘Survival’ album. The paper employs a multimodal analytical approach where attention is given to how the cover design of the album, literary devices and other aesthetic ways by which the theme of survival is projected in the ‘Survival’ album. Findings show that the cover design of the album speaks volumes and is loaded with meaning in projecting the theme of survival. Besides, Bob Marley employs repetition, allusion and metaphor in projecting the theme of survival in the ‘Survival’ album. Finally, the name of the album as well as those of the songs and their order of arrangement all contribute tremendously to building the theme of survival right from the first to the last song of the ‘Survival’ album.


Bob Marley, survival, multimodal analysis, lyrics

Full Text:



, M. (1994). Positive vibration?: Capitalist textual hegemony and Bob Marley. Caribbean Studies, 224-241.

• Author. (2018). Lexical Cohesion and Literariness in Malcolm X's "The Ballot or the Bullet". The Journal of Applied Linguistics and Applied Literature: Dynamics and Advances, 6(1), 27-37.

• Arbain, A. (2016). Critical Discourse Analysis of Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie Part II”. Script Journal: Journal of Linguistic and English Teaching, 1(1), 1-10.

• Bible, L. A., & Version, K. J. (2009). Grand Rapids. Mi: Zondervan.

• Bordowitz, H. (Ed.). (2004). Every little thing gonna be alright: the Bob Marley reader. Da Capo Press.

• Dawes, K. (2012). Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius. Bobcat Books.

• Dupriez, B. M. (1991). A Dictionary of Literary Devices: Gradus, AZ. University of Toronto Press.

• Flack, M., Wiese, K., Jordan, O., & Kleiner, A. (1933). The story about Ping. New York, NY: Viking Press.

• Frith, S., Straw, W., & Street, J. (Eds.). (2001). The Cambridge companion to pop and rock. Cambridge University Press.

• Garvey, M. (1986). The philosophy and opinions of Marcus Garvey, or, Africa for the Africans (Vol. 1). The Majority Press.

• Grimal, N. C., & Shaw, I. (1992). A history of ancient Egypt. Oxford: Blackwell.

• Halliday, M. A. K., & Hasan, R. (1976). Cohesion in English. England: Longman House.

• King, S., & Jensen, R. J. (1995). Bob Marley's “Redemption Song”: The Rhetoric of Reggae and Rastafari. The Journal of Popular Culture, 29(3), 17-36.

• Kubi, B. (2017). Celebration of love: An aspect of Ga women’s discourse on love in adaawe song-texts. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies (ISSN: 2321–2799), 5(01).

• Kubi, B. (2017). Celebration of love: An aspect of Ga women’s discourse on love in adaawe song-texts. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies (ISSN: 2321–2799), 5(01).

• LeVine, P., & Scollon, R. (Eds.). (2004). Discourse and technology: Multimodal discourse analysis. Georgetown University Press.

• Mahboob, A., & Paltridge, B. (2012). Critical discourse analysis and critical applied linguistics. The encyclopedia of applied linguistics.

• Risdianto, F. (2016). Discourse Analysis of a Song Lyric Entitled" We Will Not Go Down”. Register Journal, 9(1), 90-105.

• Singhi, A., & Brown, D. G. (2014). Are poetry and lyrics all that different?. In ISMIR (pp. 471-476).

• Stephens, G. (1999). On Racial Frontiers: The New Culture of Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, and Bob Marley. Cambridge University Press.

• Stephens, M. A. (1998). Babylon's'natural mystic': The North American music industry, the Legend of Bob Marley, and the incorporation of transnationalism. Cultural Studies, 12(2), 139-167

• White, T. (2006). Catch a fire: the life of Bob Marley. Macmillan.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.