Oh Freedom!: About the Song

Song History

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

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

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