This week’s Music Monday song list celebrates freedom which I thought was well-suited for July when countries such as Algeria, The Bahamas, Cape Verde, Liberia, Malawi, Peru, South Sudan, and the United States celebrate independence days. The artists on this list speak to independence, censorship, and what it means to be free in their songs.

The songs from the list make me think about a quote from the Spider-man movie when Peter Parker’s grandfather tells him, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

[ Photo from blog: Walls of Tunisia. Photo by: Ali Garboussi ]

Declare Independence by Bjork – Bjork performed this song in Shanghai in 2008. At the end of the song she repeatedly yelled “Tibet, Tibet! Raise your flag!” in protest to China’s violent occupation of Tibet. A commendable gesture given the Chinese government’s complete paranoia and suppression of all things pro-Tibet. Safe to say that was Bjork’s last time performing in the PRC. ~ Ryan

Freedom by Richie Havens – If it’s a freedom song we’re looking for, this flashback from Woodstock does the trick. ~ Michael

Hasta siempre Comandante by Soledad Bravo – Written in 1965, “Hasta Siempre, comandante” is a song by the Cuban composer Carlos Puebla. It was composed when Che Guevara declared his departure with his farewell letter to Castro. The lyrics are just beautiful. The song reminds me of all the great heroes who refused to bow down to imperialism (Lumumba, Augusto César Sandino, Sankara, etc). ~ Sulafa

We Shall Overcome by Pete Seger – This song is considered one of the anthems of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s in the US. Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the signing into law of the Civil Rights Act. ~ Matisse

Talking About Revolution by Tracy Chapman – While it isn’t about freedom of speech per se, I think it fits… This song was on one of the few tapes my Mom had in the 80s that we would listen to when riding in the car. I find this song super inspiring and sadly, still so relevant today. ~ Stacy

Signs by Five Man Electric Band – Lyrics: “Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign”  ~ MJ

Don’t Believe the Hype by Public Enemy – Originally against a Village Voice editor, the song is a rant about false media ~ Nev

Redemption Song by Bob Marley – Lyrics: “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our minds” ~ Kat

Fight the Power by Public Enemy – Lyrics: “Our freedom of speech is freedom or death / We’ve got to fight the powers that be / Lemme hear you say / Fight the power” ~ Nev

From the movie Frozen: Libre Soy by Martina Stoessel – Because we haven’t had a Frozen soundtrack song on the list yet and this one fits the theme title “I’m Free.” ~ MJ

Regulator by Bad Brains – Lyrics: “You’re the man who owns all the keys to the stores, You’re the man who always wants so much more, You’re the regulator.” ~ Nev

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