Perhaps, the most lyrically inspiring bands in the American roots-reggae genre is John Brown’s Body.
With over twenty-years of experience, John Brown’s Body has seen the peaks and valleys as professional musicians. The band has also experienced life and death of band members, as well as somewhat of a reincarnation of the quintessential John Brown’s Body sound.
Through it all, John Brown’s Body has produced some of the most inspirational songs and lyrics within each track, standing up against any other band or artist in the genre. Touching on peace, love, politics and self evolution, John Brown’s Body should be a go-to band for any listener seeking musical inspiration.
The song, “Give Yourself Over” dives deep into soul-searching, a person’s inner mentality, a look towards a brighter future. The live version (view below), displays the passion and intensity that the band performs with at their respective shows, along with depicting those inspirational lyrics with a purity and vigor that only bands of the upper-echelon exude.
If there is one particular band in this genre that symbolizes the metaphorical rough sea, and a desire for a strong wind to blow u back to shore, John Brow’s Body is just that band. Overcoming a death in the band and many comings and goings throughout their lineup, John Brown’s Body is poised to celebrate their 20th anniversary with a new album, Fireflies, set for release on September 9th.
No matter where you are or at what state of life you reside, begin your week with Lyrics to Live By.
John Brown’s Body – “Give Yourself Over”
Give yourself over listen the soul
Help us on over the distant shore
We can move far with the wind that blows
Pray you make our heart and our defenses hold
Wanted to be free from all the politicking that we see
This boy has traveled so long
But can’t resign to defeat
So let it go and pass unseen through the silent water
Where currents flow to be near you
Have you forgotten so soon?
Help yourself out of the hole you lie
Give yourself soul that you’ve been denied
We can move further through bending tides
Pray that we go quick or we sleep in fire
With our defense, it prevent sickness
We hold out ground and let nobody test us
Whatever offends us, we keepin’ it conscious
We moving to the riddim that reveal a new concept
And through this harvest, a musical request
Reveal itself in a manner they can never contest
We carry no unrest, we seek only reason
For the search we go sleepless for the truth is the deepest
We persist, we meditate so our minds don’t regress
And if we start again, we renew our purpose
Practice to increase fitness
We focus on quickness for the mind can fool the eyes of the weak
The ground will grow it, the seed we sow won’t sink into the sea
Let the lyrics of my mouth come out and better the policy
It’s a gift that we can live this far and still
receive, so give it over
Cannot lay down and let the time slip, come sneak up on me
This boy has blessings to see, to reach you have to go deep
Cannot give up on all the signs I have fought to follow
For all these pieces made me
Have we forgotten so soon?
Video: John Brown’s Body – “Give Yourself Over” (Live in Denver, CO)