TDP Playlists: Freedom Friday

Happy Spirit Week, BHS! In honor of Freedom Friday-the annual day BHS comes together to celebrate the American values of freedom, unity, and acceptance – we’ve put together a playlist of songs that reflect those values.

99754f39eaf8751d717b2fcb1f34b0e5_lg“AMERICA” by Neil Diamond: This song, originally released on the Jazz Singer soundtrack in 1980, is one that lauds America as a home to wearied immigrants. It serves as a reminder of the values that have defined America since its beginning. The image of immigrants “huddl[ing] close, hang[ing] on to a dream” is iconically American, and one that is in the forefront of many Americans’ minds in the recent days of chaos, tragedy, and struggle.

bob-marley-redemption-song-101700977“REDEMPTION SONG” by Bob Marley and the Wailers: This empathetic and socially-driven song, which was the last on Marley’s final album with the Wailers (Uprising, 1980), expresses truths about both persecution and emancipation. Two of our favorite lines from the piece, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery / None but ourselves can free our mind,” which he paraphrased from a speech by Civil Rights activist Marcus Garvey, suggests that we all have the means within us to break through bonds of captivity and to progress humanity.

2012-music-topic-en-vogue“FREE YOUR MIND” by En Vogue: This song, by popular ’90s R&B/Soul girl group En Vogue,  addresses prejudice, specifically the discrimination African American women face, and proudly dismantles the social constructs and stereotypes associated with topics ranging from clothes, to music, to hair. Its chorus, “Free your mind and the rest will follow,” serves as both effective advice to those who subconsciously believe the stereotypes they outline in the song, and a battle cry for those who are subject to them.

u2-pride-in-the-name-of-love-1984-7“PRIDE (in the Name of Love)” by U2:  This song, which is a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., draws attention to the tragic loss of many who speak up and preach equality. It’s about the pride people have when they live their lives in a way that is motivated by honoring the dignity of all human life.




“FREEDOM! ’90” by George Michael: Michael’s very personal album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. I, was released to the world through this hit single. The song Gmfreedomserves as a proud re-introduction of himself to his fans, this time as an openly gay man. In the lyrics, Michael combines bravery and vulnerability to create a personal anthem full of positive messages. While he declares the truth about himself, he also pleads to his fans to maintain their support and not disregard their appreciation of his music simply because he has redefined how they view him. His words, “So please don’t give me up/Cuz I would really, really love to stick around,” echo the thoughts of many who embrace the freedom to express their authentic self.


Sharon Jones live photo credit John Carrico“THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND” by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings: This soulful cover of Woody Guthrie’s folk song reflects the sense of shared ownership and pride Americans have in their country. The lyrics reinforce the idea of unity and connection. Jones’s adaptation of the song injects a a new vitality into the language of the song.


SoupDragons_Hotwired“I’M FREE” by The Soup Dragons: This number was in seriously heavy rotation on  alternative and dance radio stations throughout the U.S. and U.K. in early 1990. The brazen statement of personal freedom, and the sing-a-long quality of the lyrics made this song hugely popular. The message and sound still stand today.


Pharrell-Williams-Freedom“FREEDOM!” by Pharrell Williams: As one of the most influential musicians of our time, Pharrell Williams has unquestionable power. He used that power for good in “Freedom,” by departing from the more lighthearted focus typical of his songs to create this political, social, and environmentally-driven piece. View the video for the song to get a sense of his intention in this contemporary anthem.


image1(1)BHS Students (from left to right) Sam Poulin, Elise Cimino, Nicole Scola, Emily Sheridan, Isabella Morgan, Caleigh Hickox, Nikki Dellemonico)

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