Learn English – What’s the difference between “get up” and “stand up”


I'm translating Bob Marley's song "Get up, stand up" and, consulting my dictionary, I can't understand the difference between these two verbs.

I have understood the overall meaning of this song, of course, but I'd like to understand why Bob Marley chose these two verbs.

What is the difference in nuance between "getting up" and "standing up"?

Best Answer

I think that there is a connotational difference between the terms.

  • Get up clearly denotes an action. You are lying or sitting down, now move, get up.
  • Stand up can denote the same thing with regard to physical action.

However, stand up also connotes standing firm, in a sense, a lack of motion, a resolve. This is especially so since it is followed by your rights, which completes a common slogan stand up for your rights. We shall not be moved.

Taken together, the phrases suggest Rise up and stand firm for your rights!