The House that Bob Built
"In a vision
Deep divine inspiration
Pillars of rasta
Erected on solid foundation
It was the house that Bob Built
With reggae music and prophecy
He told of humanity's destiny
Stone by stone, his house built so strong
Mystical music was the mortar mixed in every song
Talking about the house that Bob Built
By Jah's own all he decreed
He built a house to stand a test of time eternally
Pretenders may come
Imitator's may go
Bob Marley remain the star of the show
He built a house of recognition
For all to see
Every walk of life
Know his work universally
It was the house that Bob Built
He turned suffering into an ideology
Made Rastafari his philosophy
He turned alienation into an independent spiritual nation
One Love, One Love
The ultimate of creation
Long, long after babylon has fallen down
The house Bob Built will remain on solid ground
We'll sing his songs and dance with glee
Give praise to Jah
Bob Build the house for you and me
Talking about the house that Bob built
People, don't you know I'm talking about the house that Bob Built
Reggae music and mystic life
Rasta in a concrete jungle enduring misery and strife
Wherever you go
Wherever you roam
The house Bob built will welcome you home
One Love, One heart, One Destiny, One House
Jah Rastafari, Jah Rastafari, Jah Rastafari
- Cedella Marley Booker
Bob's mother, Cedella, was born to Omeriah Malcolm and Alberta Willoughby in a rural parish of St. Ann in Jamaica. From a young age, she worked for her father tending to his land. Her father held a prominent presence in the area, known as a community leader as well as herbalist and "Myalman".
Cedella was only 19 when Robert Nesta Marley was born. His father, Captain Norval Sinclair Marley, was an older man who married Cedella after news of the pregnancy. He left the area afterwards, leaving Bob primarily in the care of young Cedella and her family.
After going into labor Sunday night, she went to the home of her father where she gave birth the following morning. Her son weighed six and a half pounds.
Cedella and Bob remained with Omeriah for the early years of Bob's life.
When Bob was a school age, Cedella received word from her estranged husband that he would like to see Bob more formally educated. It was decided Bob would move to Kingston.
This plan nearly immediately failed, and Cedella had to retrieve her son when Captian Norval failed to properly care for their child.
Their return to Nine Miles was not long however, as later, with the encouragement Toddy Livingston, father of Bob's friend Bunny, Cedella decided to move to Kingston. In 1952 she left the country to move to Trenchtown, leaving Bob in the care of her father.
In Kingston, Cedella worked various jobs as cook, housekeeper and laundress. She worked hard, and saved as much as she could, so Bob was soon able to join her. The two shared a home with Toddy and Bunny Livingston. Toddy fathered her second child, Pearl.
Norval Marley played no further role in their lives, he died of a heart attack in 1955.
In 1962, after many years or trying to move out of Trnechtown, Cedella took a trip to Wilmington, Delaware where she had some family. After this visit, she was able to arrange relocating to the states where she stayed with her sister, Ivy Brown.
She would live many years in Wilmington. In 1963, she married a man named Edward Booker. They had two sons, Anthony and Richard.
In 1966 Bob moved to Wilmington and stayed with her for a year or so, before he returned to Jamaica. Mrs. Rita Marley spent time there as well, and over the years, Cedella would host a steady stream of family and guests, extending her care to many.
The Independent described her "Mother B" presence:
"Cedella Marley Booker, Bob's mother, was a central figure in the convoluted Marley family tree, which she took great delight in untangling and explaining to interviewers who called at her homes in Miami and Jamaica. A fiercely independent woman with a warm smile and a generous disposition, she overcame the hardships of bringing up Bob as a single parent and was very close to her son, later declaring: "I didn't know he was going to be a reggae king, but I knew he was a king from birth.""
Mother B embraced the rastafarian philosophy and remained a constant positive force in promoting the music and ideals of her son. She wrote two books and released two albums. She founded the charitable organization, "Movement of Jah People".
Of reggae music, she said she hopes to it "grow on and on and spread wider stringer and bigger. I'm hoping and praying that reggae will reach many hearts because reggae music, the message that Bob has brought to the world, has changed so many people."
- Bob Marley: My Son
- Bob Marley: An Intimimate Portrait by His Mother
- Smilin' Island of Song
- Woman Divine