Thoughts On Music: “Simple Song of Freedom” by Tim Hardin, Woodstock 50

This past Saturday I woke up late; I spent Friday night designing my mini-podcast logo and revamping my website. I put on a Woodstock playlist to internally and personally celebrate the 50th anniversary on the weekend it occurred.

Throughout my existence, I’ve felt so close to Woodstock, even though I’ve never experienced it. The closest I’ve ever been to experiencing the event was documentary footage, and then a 40th anniversary feature article I wrote for my college paper, which included interviews from professors who were there in real time soaking in music around the clock, stripping down after the rain, and sharing their watermelon with others.

Going back to the playlist. “Simple Song of Freedom” recorded by Tim Hardin (written by Bobby Darin) came up on shuffle, and it stopped me in my tracks. The lyrics chilled me. Something written in 1969 touching on similar issues now in 2019!

The words. This one particular line gave me so many feels:

Hey, there, mister black man, can you hear me? 
I don't want your diamonds or your game
I just want to be someone known to you as me
And I will bet my life you want the same.

We all just want to be known as who we are! We’re all people with names and stories; much more than the color of our skin and what country we’re from.

Connect with someone and get to know them. So many people in this country and the world are afraid to ask people about themselves! I bet our perspectives and actions would change knowing more than what’s on the surface.

 Seven hundred million are ya list'nin'?
Most of what you read is made of lies
But, speakin' one to one ain't it everybody's sun
To wake to in the mornin' when we rise?
Come and sing a simple song of freedom
Sing it like you've never sung before
Let it fill the air
Tell the people everywhere
We, the people here, don't want a war.

And this part of the song further iterates getting to know people one-to-one. Fake news is lies. Both CNN and Fox News are presenting click-bait news, and twisting the truth. Mainstream journalism is a doesn’t matter what side you’re on!

If you’re in it for humanity, you won’t take offense to any of this. Tim’s singing this for “we, the people here.” Fifty years later, we’re living 1969 in 2019. Sit back. Where do you stand?

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