Music > Songs

Oh Freedom!

<a href="http://balladofamerica.bandcamp.com/track/oh-freedom">Oh Freedom! by Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band</a>

About Oh Freedom!

Even after the Emancipation Proclamation and the Union's victory in the Civil War ended slavery in the 1860s, African Americans did not have the freedoms enjoyed by other Americans. Especially in the southern states, they were victims of prejudice, violence, and laws designed to keep them segregated from white America and restrict their right to vote. Not until Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was there a national law that prohibited discrimination against African Americans and other minorities in all the most important activities of American life.

The spiritual Oh Freedom! probably came into being soon after the end of slavery. Like many African American spirituals, the song has more than one meaning. Not only does it refer to freedom in the world to come after death, as many slave spirituals do, but it celebrates their new freedom in the here and now. In the 1950s and 1960s, the song was commonly sung as part of the Civil Rights Movement.

Lyrics to Oh Freedom!

Oh Freedom!

Oh, freedom!
Oh, freedom!
Oh, freedom over me!
And before I'd be a slave
I'll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

No more moanin'
No more moanin’
No more moanin’ over me
And before I’d be a slave
I’ll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

There'll be singin'
There’ll be singin’
There’ll be singin’ over me
And before I’d be a slave
I’ll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

There'll be shoutin'
There’ll be shoutin’
There’ll be shoutin’ over me
And before I’d be a slave
I’ll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

Oh, freedom!
Oh, freedom!
Oh, freedom over me!
And before I'd be a slave
I'll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

Download Oh Freedom!

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<a href="http://balladofamerica.bandcamp.com/track/oh-freedom">Oh Freedom! by Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band</a>

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Video of Oh Freedom!

(none presently available at this site)

Compact Disc with Oh Freedom!

This song is available on the compact disc:
Ballad of America Volume 1: Over a Wide and Fruitful Land
Oh Freedom! is on the CD Ballad of America Volume 1: Over a Wide and Fruitful Land

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