Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Richie Havens and the Freedom Song
When I lived in the McGill Student Ghetto, I was told that Richie Havens once lived in the building next door.
Either shortly before or after Woodstock, when he fell in love with a woman who worked at Eaton's. Or so the legend went.
And when I sat on my small rickety wooden balcony, on a hot summer's night, and played my guitar, I would think of him. Because he was amazing.
And his song Freedom transfixed me when I watched the movie, and inspires me to this day. Like it has so many others.
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child Sometimes I feel like a motherless child Sometimes I feel like a motherless child A long way from my home
Sometimes I feel like I’m almost gone Sometimes I feel like I’m almost gone Sometimes I feel like I’m almost gone A long, long, long, way, way from my home
I loved the way he improvised that song, and never stopped taking chances.
“I started singing ‘freedom’ because I said to myself, ‘This is the freedom my generation has been looking for – and this is it. This is the beginning of the world.’ ”
Just like he did that day at Woodstock. When hope (and dope) was in the air. And everything seemed possible.
And if I had to think of one song to help carry me through the darkness of Harperland, to pick me up and keep me fighting against all those who would hurt or oppress others, I couldn't think of a better one.
Brothers and sisters, let's hear it for the great Richie Havens.
Who is home at last.
Freedom, Freedom, Freedom...
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