The popularity gained by Three Little Birds is undisputed, after being released as a single in 1980, Bob Marley’s song quickly rose to the top of the charts making it to #17 in the UK Top 20.
Although Marley had more intellectually and politically intriguing songs from his album Exodus, Three Little Birds stood out for its simplicity and optimism. Considered to be one of the prime movers of reggae, Marley took on serious topics for his songs inspiring people with his eloquent lyrics and powerful beats. On the other hand, Three Little Birds gives a refreshing break from the somber and reflective mood of the album. It provides simple and memorable lyrics that people can easily sing along to upbeat melody they can dance to. The radio-friendly song is considered to be one of Marley’s most commercial tracks yet maintains its relevance that unites it with the rest of the tracks from the Exodus album.
Despite its simplicity, there have been speculations on what exactly Marley was referring to when he cited the “three little birds bearing the hopeful message”. Initially, one of Marley’s friends’ claimed that Marley meant literal birds as he was known to be very observant and attuned to nature. However, later on, it was claimed that the Three Little Birds were in fact the Wailers, the girl trio who sang the song with Marley. Either way, Marley’s message comes loud and clear decades after he passed away : Don’t worry, ‘bout a thing, coz every little thing is gonna be alright.