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"Simple Song Of Freedom"

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You are listen to "Simple Song Of Freedom" sung by Bobby Darin.
(See Below For IMPORTANT NOTES.)

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Sung by Lee Greenwood

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Sung By Billy Ray Cyrus

"Simple Song of Freedom"
Written & Sung By
Bobby Darin
- A RISKY SONG FOR HIM AT THE TIME* - 
Recorded live at the Desert Inn, Las Vegas
February 6, 1971


      Come and sing a simple song of freedom
      Sing it like you've never sung before
      Let it fill the air
      Tell the people everywhere
      We, the people here, don't want a war.
 
      Hey, there, mister black man, can you hear me? 
      I don't want your diamonds or your game
      I just want to be someone known to you as me
      And I will bet my life you want the same.
 
      Come and sing a simple song of freedom
      Sing it like you’ve never sung before
      Let it fill the air
      Tell the people everywhere
      We, the people here, don’t want a war.
 
      Seven hundred million are ya list'nin’?
      Most of what you read is made of lies
      But, speakin’ one to one ain't it everybody's sun
      To wake to in the mornin’ when we rise?
 
      Come and sing a simple song of freedom
      Sing it like you’ve never sung before
      Let it fill the air
      Tell the people everywhere
      We, the people here, don’t want a war.
 
      Brother Solzhenitsyn, are you busy?
      If not, won't you drop this friend a line
      Tell me if the man who is plowin' up your land
      Has got the war machine upon his mind?
 
      Come and sing a simple song of freedom
      Sing it like you’ve never sung before
      Let it fill the air
      Tell the people everywhere
      We, the people here, don’t want a war.
 
      Now, no doubt some folks enjoy doin' battle
      Like presidents, prime ministers and kings
      So, let's all build them shelves
      Where they can fight among themselves
      Leave the people be who love to sing.
 
      Come and sing a simple song of freedom
      Sing it like you’ve never sung before
      Let it fill the air
      Tell the people everywhere
      We, the people here, don’t want a war.
 
      I say … let it fill the air …
      Tellin’ people everywhere …
      We, the people here, don't want a war.
 

BOBBY DARIN
 
If you saw the movie on Bobby Darin's life, you will recognize "Simple Song of Freedom" as the closing tune on the movie soundtrack.  For visitors who did not see the movie, you should know that Bobby Darin became deeply concerned about the Vietnam War.  In fact, his personal transformation was dramatic from the late '50s and early '60s when he was singing his Solid Gold Hits, "Splish Splash," "Queen Of The Hop," "Dream Lover," "Beyond The Sea," and of course his signature song, "Mack The Knife"... to 1969 when he penned this tune.  Against the advice of his entourage, Bobby, who was now against the War, decided to sing "Simple Song Of Freedom."  (Interestingly, John Denver, also became emeshed in a cause, the environment, which caused him to drastically change, as well.)
 
Bobby Darin had a rheumatic heart condition from his youth.  He died of heart failure, on the operating table, in December 20, 1973.  He was just 37.  BUT... he did live about 12 years longer than doctors anticipated.  And, during those years, Bobby was embraced by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Dean Martin, and many others as an outstanding entertainer who provided great pleasure to this nation.  Sinatra paid him the greatest tribute when he said that of all the performing entertainers, Darin was the only one he would not like to follow onto the stage. 
 
I have placed this tune among other patriotic songs NOT AS A PROTEST, per se, against the current war, but as a reminder that the greatest gift of freedom, for which we must thank all of our warriors, is to be free to protest against any war... AND STILL BE A PATRIOT.  Patriotism is defined by a noble heart, mind, and ACTIONS for one's country.  It is not solely reserved persons of political position, military rank, news commentators, or citizens of one belief.  Utlimately, war, though necessary as a defense against aggression, is the abject failure of aggressive leadership. When so considered, one has to ask: "What's unpatriotic about being against such a failure?"  This was the case in Bobby's thinking. 
 
Also lest one forgets, it is recorded that tens of thousand colonist moved back to England after the Revolutionary War in order to remain patriotic to their Crown.  In reality, simple songs of freedom are really not simple at all: 1) The South wanted to be free and this nation fought its most bitter war over preventing that "freedom." Despite the unquestionable immorality of slavery, one must remember that it was legal at the the start of the war... and practiced by some of the Founding Fathers. 2) Even the islands of Nantucket & Martha's Vineyard, MA plus Block Island, RI once considered forming an island state for their needs, as islands, are quiet different from the mainland... plus their desire to unite had nothing to do with slavery, or anything else unconstitutional.  And yet, this desire for automony, the sovereign right to govern themselves (I believe that we'd all call this "democracy"), too, was blocked. So, in deed, come and sing a difficult song of freedom because the real nature of freedom is that it is very rarely given freely. Therefore, freedom must be taken... and that's usually through bitter struggle... then, it must be protected... and that, too, is a struggle.  
 
Whatever!  Metaphorically, what I especially like about this tune is the isolated, opening... and the collective, participatory ending.  It is like democracy, itself, where a thought can grow into a movement... because ultimately... WE THE PEOPLE OF FREEDOM, DO RULE... even if it takes more time than it should to muster our senses, anger, protests, and votes.
 
Johnny
 
 
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