Freedom

Album: Back In The U.S. (2001)
Charted: 97
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Songfacts®:

  • McCartney wrote this for the Concert For New York, a benefit he organized for victims of the September 11 attacks. This was the last song performed at the show.
  • McCartney was in a plane waiting to take off at a New York airport when the World Trade Center was hit on September 11.
  • At the 2002 Super Bowl, McCartney performed this with a choir of 500 kids from all 180 countries where the game was broadcast.
  • On the album, McCartney listed The Beatles songs as being written "By Paul McCartney and John Lennon." This angered Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, who felt they should be credited to "Lennon/McCartney," which is how they always have. When Lennon and McCartney started writing together, they agreed to that method of crediting their songs, and they stuck to it throughout the life of The Beatles, even though many of their later songs were written mostly or entirely by one or the other. When The Beatles Anthology was released, McCartney asked that some of his songs, like "Yesterday," be reversed and credited to "McCartney/Lennon," but Yoko refused.
  • In an interview published in The Daily Telegraph May 25, 2010, McCartney explained why he doesn't sing this song any more. "I think it got hijacked a bit, and [turned into something] a bit militaristic. Mine was in the spirit of 'We Shall Overcome,' you know, 'fight for your rights,' in the Civil Rights sense, doesn't mean 'Go out and hit people.' It was a pity: it kind of stopped me doing it, actually."

Comments: 21

  • Kieran from Brisbane, AustraliaI know Macca wrote this tune with good intentions but it is truly awful. How could the greatest living songwriter of our time who created the likes of Sgt Pepper etc come up with this abomination? This is the kinda thing you'd expect from Justin Bieber. As Comic book guy from The Simpsons might say, worst Paul Mccartney song ever! Lol
  • Eric from Bend, OrI don't know why so many people are slamming this song. I think it should just be taken for what it is, an inspirational post-9/11 song. I for one appreciate McCartney's effort in writing a song to help cheer people up. It's hard to slam someone for that.
  • Juan from El Paso, TxNot Paul's best work but you can easily hear the honesty and sincerity about the appreciation he has for this country. Sometimes the simplest lyrics come out strongest. Makes me proud to be an American.
  • Hannah Willen from Northport, NyI LOVE PAUL MCCARTNEY!!!!!!Let it be is my favorite song of all times. I love him and wish the beatles were still all alive.
  • Mark from Austin, TxI love Paul. No question there. I own all of his albums (even Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway, two of the worst albums released by a major artist) and know just about all of his songs by heart. I absolutely believe that Paul was, at one time, one of the greatest songwriters to ever lived. He's had flashes of brilliance since the 60s (the whole Band On The Run album, most of Tug Of War, most of his latest albums, including the one this was released on), but he's put out some real dreck, too.
    "Freedom," for all of its good intentions, which I totally respect, sounds like it was written by a 5th grader. There are, like, two lines and they're the most trite lines ever written about the 9/11 attacks and freedom itself.
    Thanks, Paul, for trying. But leave it to people who are better at writing political/protest type songs.
    Unfortunately, the only other people writing stuff like that at the time were people like Toby Keith. Blech.
  • Kent from Sweden, SwedenThe first songs Beatles recorded had McCartney/Lennon listed as composers
  • Lauren from Bensalem, PaOkay, okay, I could think of songs that are worse then that. He got his point across what more do you want.
  • Nick from Boston , MaThis is a great song sung by a legend in the business. It united us all as a country.
  • Sam from Shanghai, ChinaJerry from UT, you're absolutely wrong. This song comes across as extremely restrained and positive, especially when compared to some of the flagrantly xenophobic trash being written by some Americans at the time. Still, it's an awful song, and if anyone but Paul McCartney had sung it, it would make me gag.
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhI'd normally slam this song for being so uncreative and stupid, but I like Paul, so I'll let it slide.
  • Jerry from West Valley, UtI personally love this song. The meaning is simplistic enough to catch on. Also, you have to take the time when it was written. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks we were all in this frame of mind. It's called rage militaire, people. And all of us red blooded americans, or american converts like Sir Paul, went through it.
  • Jonathan from Oklahoma City, OkYall are just haters.. One cool song, very good!!
  • Caroline from Naples, FlI thank Paul for writing it he made thousands of people at the concert happy if just for a little while. Think of Let It Be the lyrics are just as simple, and yet get the meaning comes across strongly. Paul wrote the song to unite people in singing including those who weren't fans and chose to make them simple so people at the concert ect. could catch on easily. He could have sat on his arse but instead chose to try cheer people up a little and you know what it worked. Thank you Paul.
  • Peter from Carmel, InHey, it's Paul f---ing Mccartney! He can write whatever he damn well pleases and it will still be good! Lay off!
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeYou know for a guy who wrote "Elanor Rigby" and "Let It Be" it's so hard to believe cranked out such crappy and simple lyrics. It's all well and good that he'd advocating freedom, but at least do it in a meaningful way!
  • Matthew from New York, Ny...and the words are terrible! If Lennon was alive today, oh the names he would call McCartney. Now, Paul was never the greatest lyricist, and as anyone who has listen to Wings will tell you, his songwriting skills have steadily eroded as he has grown older. But who would have thought we'd get this right-wing nationalistic masterpiece from a man who is credited with writing "Give Peace a Chance" (though he never wrote a note or penned a word--it was really a John Lennon song)?
  • Greg from Little River, ScHow is this song the worst ever. Its the words that matter
  • Conrad from Los Angeles, CaWorst. Song. EVAR.
  • Dan from Fort Collins, CoFunny how people change, isn't it? From "the love you take is equal to the love you make" to "I will fight for my right to live in freedom" in just 31 short years.
  • Stykman from Little River, ScHEY! It's talking about FREEDOM!!
  • Marvin from East Brady, PaYou don't seem to mention that this song was panned by just about everybody and declared to be "the worst song ever written" by some.
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