Last weekend our cultural canal started like every year a series during the summer of themes in music. This year it is called Summer of Freedom. I expected nothing but some sentimental moments that will me bring back in history. Sadly it started later in the evening and argued that I will stay in front of television until late after midnight. And I have to say it was worth to watch this documentaries. There were many songs you can describe to a period of self-expression or liberation and you probably remember the times when this songs were great and the artists made statements with these songs. Jimi Hendrix played Star Spangled Banner on Woodstock against the war in Vietnam, Aretha Franklin sung Respect for women's liberation and Billy Bragg did it for the miners in the early 80's. I agree that songs seldom could change something (except Special AKA) but in my history there were always songs that were very close to historical incidents and personal events. So here are a few songs that are worth to be named in this context.
Serge Gainsbourg was an artist that was always controversial in the way he made music. He left the mainstream to make his own kind of music. In 1979 he moved to Jamaica to make a reggae album with Sly and Robbie. To make an album like this was radical in these days for a French artist but the greatest thing he did was tho record the French national anthem in a reggae version. The adaption of La Marseillaise in a reggae style brought him hatred from the ultra-right wing parties in France. But this song and especially this version is a statement for freedom and the will to stand for it. At the latest when some terrorist bombed the football game between France and Germany a few years ago. And what makes me still shiver was when France played a few days ago in London the whole British crowd started to sing La Marseillaise in the stadium.
Serge Gainsbourg - Aux Armes Et Caetera
Another song that stands for freedom is a hymn of the queer scene. Gloria Gaynor made a song that lyrics all of those people which was afraid to stand to their personal preferences to make it easier to stand for them. It is still an anthem of these movement and I can remember the first outings that confused me but now it is nothing more or less than simply normal.
A song that moved masses and finally was successful was The Special AKA's song by Jerry Dammers to make the world aware what happened to Nelson Mandela and that he was put in prison in South Africa for more than 20 years. At least he was released from his torture three years later.
You can tell the story of important songs for freedom until now. As a good example it is the story of Pussy Riot in the Soviet Union a few years ago.