By “The Idea”
Co-author of “Frederick’s Song (Freedom)”
Every generation needs to be acquainted with our country’s hard fought struggle for our freedom. Dedicated men and women through history, who perhaps did not see eye to eye on very much, have been united in their belief and admiration of our founding ideals of freedom for all.
An example of this was in the when 1960’s Coretta Scott King declared – ‘Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won; you earn it and win it in every generation’, And Ronald Reagan cautioned the nation that ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.‘
So much has been lost; so much has been gained in the struggle to ensure that the dream in the Declaration of Independence reaches all Americans not just selected groups. Ours is a history of heroics and hypocrisy, brutality and mercy. There is no better teacher, role model, warrior to advance this dream than America’s greatest freedom fighter Frederick Douglass.
The love of freedom, admiration of Douglass and shared commitment to freedom is what brought these unlikely collaborators to make this song. This song’s mission is an attempt to excite people to take the time to understand FD and his incredible story. A life of brutal slavery, escape, fugitive, and a self-taught leader of the abolitionist movement, warrior for women rights, universal education and much more. Unyielding adherence to the truth, despite the danger; He came to understand, that that all of our freedoms depend on each of our freedoms. That freedom is not granted – it never was and never will be, it must be fought for in a relentless struggle against those who seek control of others to advance their agendas.
The careful listener, will hear in his own words, Douglass’s sadness and anger at a monstrous system of slavery, where slave owners provided alcohol to their slaves during little down time so they would not think about escape and freedom. He explained why the slave owners worked to keep the slaves from learning to read – threatening the death penalty for such teachers. The progression of the choruses reflects the evolution of his life and thinking. SayReal’s artistic interpretation is only an introduction to the power and passion of Douglass.
Ultimately, this song, at its essence, captures the powerful message that Douglass championed: That none of us are truly free if all of us are not free.
The unlikely collaborators:
Frederick Douglass – Nineteenth century freedom fighter whose inspiration, words and ideas make up the actual words of the songs, with paraphrasing in some areas to convert prose to lyrics. (link to autobiography)
SayReal – the young talented band converting FD’s words to lyrics, and music and video – with their artistic interpretation. A band whose character and works reflects FD’s message of the universality of freedom.
“The Idea” – a lifelong freedom advocate and admirer of FD. An old time educator exploring new ways to reach the next generation with the wisdom and experience of past generations.