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Old 25 September 2014, 04:06 PM
wirev wirev is offline
Join Date: 24 September 2014
Location: Wisconsin, USA
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Default Bob Marley love quote falsely attributed

A quote attributed to Bob Marley has been making the rounds on the internet lately. It is a quite lengthy quote, but it begins with these words:

Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more.
This quote can be found on multiple quotations sites (for example, here), and wedding planning sites are suggesting it as a ceremony reading (for example, here).

There are three qualities of this quote which indicate that it is falsely attributed to Bob Marley.
1) A source is never cited.
2) It seems to have not been circulating before 2008.
3) The language, tone, and references do not fit Marley's persona.
4) It contains an anachronistic word: soulmate.

Point 1) A source is never cited. I have perused dozens of sites that cite this quotation, and a source is never given. If this quote were legitimately attributed to Bob Marley, one would expect a citation to a song, interview, autobiography, etc.

Point 2) It seems to have not been circulating before 2008. Sorting Google results by date indicates that the use of this quote drops significantly in 2007. There are some that Google lists as having been published before 2008, but these appear to be pages that were created before 2008 and then revised at a later point.

Point 3) The language, tone, and references do not fit Marley's persona. The language of the quote tends to sound more like a sentimental American rather than a Jamaican concerned very much with radical politics and Rastafari. This interview demonstrates that the language and tone of Marley is highly dissimilar from the language and tone of this quote. Additionally, this quote sounds like it was written by someone with experience at a desk job, who experiences long days at work but has access to a telephone:
A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face.
Finally, one might wonder whether this extolling of singular love is consistent with a man who was known to be romantically involved with many women.

Point 4) This quote contains an anachronism. Specifically, it uses the term "soul mate":
You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end.
While this term has been in use since the 1800's, it does not seem to have been widely used until 1981, at least in the literature caught by Google books. Bob Marley died in early 1981, and it is therefore highly unlikely that he used this term. It is therefore an anachronistic term which would indicate that this quote was written after Marley's death.

Based upon these four points, it is reasonable to conclude that Bob Marley did not write the quote in question.

Which leads me to cite my favorite Bob Marley saying of all: "Stop making fake quotes."
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