STLT#156, Oh, Freedom

When I started this practice, I intended to talk about what was on my mind, what the song brought up for me. As it has evolved, I have incorporated a lot of history, literary criticism, and musicology, along with my thoughts and feelings.

My thought today is that this song, thought to be a response to the Emancipation Proclamation, must speak for itself.

Oh, freedom, oh, freedom, oh, freedom, over me;
and before I’d be a slave,
I’d be buried in my grave,
and go home to my God and be free.

No more moaning, no more moaning, no more moaning over me;
and before I’d be a slave,
I’d be buried in my grave,
and go home to my God and be free.

There’ll be singing, there’ll be singing, there’ll be singing over me;
and before I’d be a slave,
I’d be buried in my grave,
and go home to my God and be free.

A final note: while today is a general strike, A Day Without Women, I recognize that actually striking is a privileged position, and most women will not be able to completely strike, even if it’s just their work at home for family. For me, I signed up for events before the strike was announced that I cannot back out of, nor should I. Instead, I will wear red, and I will remember that at my worst I have more freedom than most, and that my work must be in part to ensure all who identify as women are free.

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