Nina Simone – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free

Since long it is one of my favorite songs, and these days I feel it more and more. Originally written by Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas in around ’63, the version of Nina Simone, released in 1967, is (probably) the best rendition of this song. Apparently it was used – and rightly so – by the civil-rights movement in America in the 1960s.

Looking around me, near and far, timely and geographically, too many things make be feel to cry out, burst out. Freedom is more than just the freeness to switch TV channels, the freeness to select the next shopping center. Freeness implies involvement, action, activity to preserve this freedom. Even if we haven’t achieved the freedom we are longing for, we already need to defend the small part we have achieved against the scrupulous political and economic pressure.

Lyrics

I wish I knew how
It would feel to be free
I wish I could break
All the chains holding me
I wish I could say
All the things that I should say
Say ’em loud say ’em clear
For the whole round world to hear
I wish I could share
All the love that’s in my heart
Remove all the bars
That keep us apart
I wish you could know
What it means to be me
Then you’d see and agree
That every man should be free

I wish I could give
All I’m longin’ to give
I wish I could live
Like I’m longin’ to live
I wish I could do
All the things that I can do
And though I’m way over due
I’d be starting a new

Well I wish I could be
Like a bird in the sky
How sweet it would be
If I found I could fly
Oh I’d soar to the sun
And look down at the sea
Than I’d sing cos I know – yea
Then I’d sing cos I know – yea
Then I’d sing cos I know
I’d know how it feels
Oh I’d know how it feels to be free
Yea Yea! Oh, I know how it feels
Yes I know
Oh, I know
How it feels
How it feels
To be free

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