I WAS chatting to my good  Buddhi Joby Fox, our very own local music hero, about the early reggae days that kept us going through the war times. For me it was Bob Marley’s early seventies track called 'Get up Stand Up For Your Rights'.

Joby was blessed with being able to play with Lucky Gordon who was a wonderful rasta musician and Bob Marley’s very own cook. Joby was telling me that he played with  Lucky at the Hackney Empire back in the eighties. Music was the mood and at times it was the heartbeat of our determination.

This was also the mood music of our flying visit from the leader of the free world President Joe Biden, who echoed the need for dignity, respect and rights. 'Get Up, Stand Up' has become a rallying cry for social justice and human rights movements around the world. Its powerful message encourages people to take action and stand up against oppression and inequality.

The lyrics inspire individuals to be courageous and fight for their beliefs, even in the face of adversity. Similarly, President Biden's speech in Belfast about dignity, respect and the Good Friday Agreement echoes this message of standing up for what is right. The Good Friday Agreement, signed in 1998, was a historic moment for the North of Ireland, bringing an end to decades of conflict and paving the way for a more peaceful future.

Biden's speech emphasised the importance of respecting the Agreement and continuing to work towards reconciliation and progress. Just as Bob Marley's message of standing up for one's rights has transcended generations, President Biden's message of respect and dignity is timeless and universal. It is a call to action for people everywhere to treat one another with kindness, empathy and, above all, compassion, regardless of their differences.

In his speech, President Biden acknowledged the struggles and pain of the past, but also emphasised the need to move forward and build a better future. He encouraged the people of the North of Ireland to continue working towards peace and reconciliation, even in the face of challenges and setbacks. His message was one of hope and perseverance, reminding listeners that progress takes time, but it is worth the effort

Bob Marley's 'Get Up, Stand Up' and President Biden's speech in Belfast both highlight the importance of taking action and standing up for what is right. They remind us that change is possible, but it requires bravery and determination. Whether it is fighting for human rights or working towards peace and reconciliation, we all have a role to play in creating a better world

The messages of Bob Marley and President Joe Biden are powerful and inspiring. They remind us that we all have the power to make a difference, no matter how big or small. By standing up for our beliefs and treating others with respect and dignity, we can build a more just and peaceful world for all

I don't know about you, but change is in the air and I believe it's for the better. So let's get together and make it happen. In the words of Bobby Sands MP, we all have our part to play, no matter how small or how large.