Toppa Top 10: Ten ‘Mama’ Tunes For Mother’s Day

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May 9, 2012

7. Bob Marley, “Johnny Was”


Bob Marley’s mother, Cedella Booker, was not entirely shocked when her son, Anthony Booker, was shot and killed by police in a Miami area mall in 1990. His half-brother Bob, she told a newspaper reporter, had prophesied this 14 years earlier when he wrote and sang “Johnny Was,” with its lyrics, “Woman hold her head and cry, `cause her son has been shot down in the street and died.” Despite the bleak circumstances it describes, like most everything sung by Bob, “Johnny Was” manages to feel uplifting.