Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Willie Peacock - Calypso Freedom (Freedom's Comin & It Won't Be Long) lyrics, sound file

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics and a video of the civil rights song "Calypso Freedom" (also known as "Freedom's Comin & It Won't") as sung by Willie Peacock and group.,p> Note: Another version of this song was recorded by Sweet Honey And The Rock. Click http://www.songsforteaching.com/calypsofreedom.htm for the lyrics to that version.

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LYRICS: CALYPSO FREEDOM (as sung by Willie Peacock and group)

[Introduction]
Freedom, give us freedom
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.
Hey!
Freedom, Freedom
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.
Freedom. Freedom
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.

Verse: Well, come Mr. Kennedy take me out of my misery.
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.
Well, can’t you see what segregation’s doin to me.
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.

Chorus 2x
Everybody, Freedom comin and it won’t be long
Well, can’t you see what segregation’s doin to me.
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.

Verse:
Well, come Jackie Kennedy* take me out of my misery
Freedom comin and it won’t be long
Well, JF Kennedy ain’t doin so much for me.
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.

Chorus 1x

Verse:
Hey, I took a little trip on a Greyhound bus**
Yeah!
Freedom comin and it won’t be long.
Well, To fight segregation this we must.
Yeah, Freedom comin and it won’t be long.

Chorus [1x]
Verses [follow the above pattern]
Well, the Jordan river is ah chilly and cold
Well, it chills the body, ah but not the soul be long.

Well, the Jordan river is ah chilly and ah wide
I’m gonna get my freedom on this here side.

Well I ain’t been to heaven but I think I’m right
Well, the people in heaven are neither black or white

Well I ain’t been to heaven but I’ve been told
Well ah up in heaven is no Jim Crow***

Well, you can hinder me here. You can hinder me there.
Well I’ll go right down on my knees in prayer.

Well I never been to heaven but I know I’m right.
Well the folks in heaven they do not fight.

Come Jackie Kennedy* take me out of my misery.
Well JF Kennedy ain’t doin so much for me.

Well Mr. Kennedy take me out of my misery.
Can’t you see what segregation is doing for me.

Took a little trip on the Greyhound bus.
To end segregation this we must.
I want my freedom and I want it now.
Not gonna just stand here and pull the plow. [I'm not sure about my transcription of this line.]


-snip-
Transcription from the recording by Azizi Powell. Additions and corrections are weclome.

For what it's worth, I recall hearing and singing some version of the verses of this song, and its chorus during the 1960s. The purpose of this uptempo Calypso sounding protest song was to help energize and boost the courage and morale of the freedom fighters who are singing that song. This song combines extemporaneously composed two line rhyming verses with floating verses from African American Spirituals, interjections such as "Well!", "Hey!", and "Yeah!", and the adapted refrain from the Jamaican Mento "Banana Boat Song" (also known as "Daylight Comin And I Wanna Go Home".) Notice that one man in this recording mistakenly sings the "and I wanna go home" refrain from the "Banana Boat" song instead of the revised words "and I want it now".

*"Jackie Kennedy" was the wife of then President John F. Kennedy (JFK). Other renditions of this song may have sung "Come Bobby Kennedy". Robert F. Kennedy, widely known as Bobby Kennedy, was the U.S. Attorney General from 1961 to 1964, who served under his older brother, President John F. Kennedy (and after JFK's assasination, also served as Attorney General under JFK's his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson). And Bobby Kennedy was considered to be a more vocal advocate for civil rights than his brother, JFK.

**As a way of challenging and seeking to change the laws in the South that legalized segregation in public transit, Black people and White people from the Northern region of the United States faced jail, injury, and death by renting Greyhound buses and sitting in an integrated manner on those buses while riding into the Southern states (i.e. a Black person seated next to a White person in the front of the bus and throughout the bus.) These men and women were known as "freedom riders".

*** Jim Crow laws - laws that legalized segregation of White and non-White people (People of Color).

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FEATURED YOUTUBE EXAMPLE

Calypso Freedom - Willie Peacock

Timmy Smith, Published on Apr 3, 2014

Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966

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