“Buffalo Soldier” is a reggae song written by Bob Marley and Noel “King Sporty” Williams. It did not appear on record until the 1983 posthumous release of Confrontation, when it became one of Marley’s best-known songs. The title and lyrics refer to the black U.S. cavalry regiments, known as “Buffalo Soldiers”, that fought in the Indian Wars after 1866. Marley likened their fight to a fight for survival, and recasts it as a symbol of black resistance.[1]

The song’s bridge, with the lyrics woe! yoe! yo!, is inspired off the chorus from the Banana Splits’ “The Tra-La-La Song”, the 1968 theme from their TV show, written by Mark Barkan and Ritchie Adams. There has never been any history of litigation connected to the similarity or why Bob Marley used that melody for the chorus.

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