The Story Of How Ajax Amsterdam Immortalized Bob Marley With “Three Little Birds”

The Story Of How Ajax Amsterdam Immortalized Bob Marley With “Three Little Birds”

On a cold and wet night in Cardiff, Wales in 2008, in a pre-season game between European giants Ajax Amsterdam and Cardiff City, a moment of everlasting consequences and one that would sow unbridled hope throughout the football world would contrive to occur after the final whistle was blown.

The game that night ended 0–0 but the travelling Ajax fans were asked to remain inside the stadium at the away end after the game was over.

Cardiff’s then-in-stadium announcer Ali Yassine was asked to entertain the Ajax fans huddled up in the away stand by playing some music. After some deliberation, and rather impulsively, he decided to play Bob Marley’s iconic song “Three Little Birds”.

The song itself was a massive hit from Bob Marley’s 1977 album ‘Exodus’, but that night as the song blared through the speakers in Cardiff, something unexpected and beautiful happened.

The Ajax fans inside the stadium immediately recognised the song and were so moved by it that they began shouting and singing the lyrics at the top of their voices clapping and singing along long after the final whistle.

Such was the impact and pervading feeling and vibe in the stadium that night while the song was played on the speaker system in Cardiff, that the Ajax fans back home in the Netherlands decided to go one step further by adopting the song as their official club anthem.

Ajax fans have stated that they were always looking for a club anthem and were searching for one for many years but after that game in Cardiff, they decided to make “Three Little Birds” their own.

Since then, at Ajax’s home stadium, the Johan Cruyff Arena, the 50,000 or more Ajax fans in attendance sing the song “Three Little Birds” word for word during every game.

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