Cedella Marley, Bob Marley's oldest child, brings her father's well-liked song, One Love, to life for a new generation. In Cedella's adaptation, a determined little girl shows her family, friends, and neighbors how love and teamwork make a community a better place. Vanessa Brantley-Newton's colorful illustrations nicely extend the story and almost pop from the page.
I was curious about Cedella's process for adapting her father's beloved song. Thankfully, she's here today to explain her process. Thank you, Cedella!
One Love has one of the songs of my father’s that children love to sing. The chorus is so catchy and happy, and children naturally respond to the message of One Love – they see the world as a place to love and are surrounded by people who love them.
But, the song’s original lyrics have some words and themes that children might not understand, so I wanted to create a version just for them, that keeps true to the spirit of the song, but that is fun to sing and at their level of understanding.
I worked through the lyrics line by line and thought about all of the ways that children feel and show love. They see love in nature, “what the flower gives the bee;” in their homes “what my family gives to me.” And the last line, “when your hand reaches out for mine” because there’s something so reassuring to a child to have their hand held, and knowing when they reach out there will be someone that will hold onto them.
Of course I had to keep the chorus the same, “One Love, one Heart, let’s get together and feel alright,” not only because it’s beloved by so many, but because it’s the truth of the song. None of us are alone, and we can “feel alright” when we reach out to others and work together.
I’m thrilled that many children – many hearts – will now not only be singing “one love,” but reading it too.(less)