Album: Rage Against The Machine (1992)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • The video for this song is focused on Leonard Peltier, the American Indian Movement leader who was framed by the FBI and has rotted in a jail cell for the past 20 years. The general theme of this song is how the US government, media, and corporations are able to convince Americans they have their "freedom" while secretly blinding them to any other reality, which makes the freedom seem so much more of a reality. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Tim - Pittsburgh, PA
  • While performing this song live, Zach de la Rocha changes the lyrics towards the end to say "Freedom...for Mumia..." This is a reference to the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former death row inmate with a case similar to Leonard Peltier. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kyle - Seattle, WA
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 24

  • Alex from Barcelona, SpainMumia Abu Jamal DID NOT kill Daniel Faulkner, Mumia Abu Jamal was a very important person when it came to the political party Black Panthers, who made public all the racism and cop violence on Philadelphia, the US goverment wanted to silence this small political party and they acused them of crimes that they did not commit to send them to jail and silence their voices. They killed a lot of members of the Black Panthers, i recommend to watch:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRGFZ1eLJO4&feature=related
    It's about the story of Mumia and the Black Panthers.
    Mumia DID NOT kill police officer Daniel Faulkner:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQyWqm1l4KM&list=WLCD6097C6D2E83A3E&index=20&feature=plpp_video
    The US goverment is afraid to set FREE Mumia Abu Jamal because thek know his voice is strong and they are afraid to say they "commited a mistake", why do you think that Leonard Peltier is in jail to?!?
  • Chamaco from ..., NcYes the Sendero Luminoso is a terrorist guerilla organization, but let's make this clear. Not all guerillas are terrorists and cowards. They are killers, murderers, and butchers, but they are not cowards. They are not cowards because they no longer support(ed) the injustice and corruption in their countries. Like in the American Revolution, July 26 Movement, Mexican Revolution of 1810 (Grito de Dolores), Latin American Revolution led by Bolivar, Don de San Jose, Jose Paez, Tupac Amaru, and more. All the guerillas in those revolutions, the men, women, and children sacrificed they lives to liberate and change their country from the right-wing, conservative, and foreign politician corruption and cruelty.

    Lo siento lo que paso a tus amigos Frank en Peru, adios.
  • Frank from Lima, PeruSendero Luminoso is a Terrorist Group who killed thousand of people in Peru in Lima and a lot of poor people inside the country. friends of mine died for the bombs they put on the streets, they are not a rebel group they are killers and cowards.
  • Brendan from Glen Rock, NjThe end of every Rage song off the debut album sends chills up my spine.
  • Raven from San Antonio, TxExactly why I love rage. Very few bands will take the time to write a song about an innocent, let alone produce the truth from the heart... you can feel the anger in his voice.
  • Mike from Redlands, AzFreedom is about the indian leader leonard pelteir who has been in jail for the last 20 years voice of the voiceless is about mumia abu-jamal oh his website http://www.raisethefist.com/ freedom is sbout the shining pat and their leader and how the CIA went on a manhunt to find him
  • Paul from Greenbrier, Arcopied this off of wikipedia...a lot of evidence both ways but i think this will show why people consider mumia abu-jamal as a big issue

    Abu-Jamal did not testify in his own defense. Regarding this he has explained:[52]

    "At my trial I was denied the right to defend myself. I had no confidence in my court-appointed attorney, who never even asked me what happened the night I was shot and the police officer was killed; and I was excluded from at least half the trial?Since I was denied all my rights at my trial I did not testify. I would not be used to make it look like I had a fair trial."

    He did not state his version of events for the initial police investigation, nor for almost another 20 years afterwards, until the 1999 confession of Arnold Beverly, who claimed that, "wearing a green (camouflage) army jacket", he had run across the street and shot a fallen Daniel Faulkner in the face as part of a contract killing connected with a desire to keep Faulkner from interfering with graft and payoff to corrupt police.[53] Abu-Jamal's sworn statement avers that he had been sitting in his cab across the street when he first heard shouting, then saw a police vehicle, then heard the sound of gunshots. It asserts that, upon seeing his brother appearing disoriented across the street, he ran to him and was shot by a uniformed police officer. He claims to have no memory of the events between being shot by Faulkner and the arrival of officers at the scene and to have been abused by the police while he was still in need of medical assistance for his wound. It concludes with his claim of innocence: "I never said I shot the policeman. I did not shoot the policeman?I never said I hoped he died. I would never say something like that."[52]

  • Michael from Morris County, NjWhat i don't understand is why people want Mumia. he killed a cop and should face the death penalty for that.
  • Logan from Saskatoon, CanadaIt isnt about either, song is the fact of the Whole blindsiding of a Nation 'Freedom' is nothing but a lie.

    In the video its about Peltier.
    At some concerts instead of saying 'Freedom...Yeah...Freedom Yeaaah Right!'
    He says 'Freedom for Mumia!'
  • Chris from Las Vegas, United StatesThe song is not about Leonard Peltier nor Mumia Abu Jamal although Zach has used both of these men as basis for using their names as a shout out based on the subject matter which in this case is Freedom or for better understanding The video used Peltier as a story backdrop for the what the song is about. The eradication of the American Indian and the absence of Freedom they have and the way history has treated the American Indian. In the part of the song that goes "Brother, did you forget your name, did you lose it on the wall playing tic tac toe, yo check the diagonal 3 million gone, c'mon cuz you know they're counting backwards to zero!" This basically tells the story of how the American Indian's numbers once were 3 million strong and have been decimated by white culture over the last few hundred years to almost nothing.
  • Spog Zallagi from Blue Hill, MeIt just goes to show how disgusting our Government is. Wait! WE'RE supposed the gov! Just like when America was founded it's "we the People" not "we the fat rich guys in suits that drive big gas guzzling SUVs." You know what I mean right?
  • John Smith from Southington, CtI love the beat at the end during the second half of Zack screeming "FREEDOM!!!!". I also like the solo. Very soft, mellow, and simple, not crazy like all the others, but still, somehow, keeps the Morello touch. I agree with Zack when he quietly says "Anger is a gift," because it is true. Without anger, there is no happiness. If you disagree with that, think about it for a minute.
  • Ian from San Diego, CaThe name of his black Tele is Sendero Luminoso. Which means Shining Path.
  • Anon. from Twin Cities, MnI don't think tom uses arm the homeless on this one...the guitar he uses for playing in drop D is "Sendero Luminoso" (Shining Path, a peruvian rebel group that is now defunct i beleive; the guitar is a black fender telecaster) i think. btw the end of this song where zach screams "FREEDOM!!!" is absolutely insane.
  • Kieran from Essex, Englandi love how it all stops then Zach whispers "anger is a gift" then it all kicks in again
  • John from Chandler, Azhe says freedom for mumia in a lot of songs and videos but this song is about leonard. download RATM on david lettermen or some other vids anf youll see hes says freedom for mumia in alot of em
    p.s. tomhas the coolest guitar "arm the homeless"
  • Shaft from Glenville, WvI think in the "Live At The Grand Olympic" version he says "Freedom, for whom here?", but I could easily be wrong.
  • Mike from East Northport, Nythis song is deffinenly about mumia he says freedom for mumia in the live version. john is right
  • Sean Hardesty from Arroyo Grande, Cai completely agree with the fact on this song above. We are blinded by media and our leaders. Democracy is no longer the "choice to vote" it is an excuse to hide us from the real truth.
  • Derek from Woodbury, NjI CANNOT stop listening to the solo. I mean CANNOT. This is why appreciate Morello's style!
  • Siffeler from Perth, Australiayes linda that is true the video does explain the song as long as u can read. wish i could say the same about killing in the name and bullet in the head but i do enjoy watching the way dances around. hes not anything like i used to imagen
  • John from Glasgow, Scotlandits kinda about both. im sure in the live version on the "live at the olympic auditorium" he sings "freedom..for mumia"...maybe not.
  • Linda from Norfolk, EnglandBilly, if you've ever seen the video, you would know that it was about Leonard Peltier...
  • Billy Ross from Hagerstown, Mdthis song isnt about Leonard Peltier, its about mumia abu jabar (how do u spell that?).
see more comments

Into The Great Wide Open: Made-up MusiciansSong Writing

Eddie (played by Johnny Depp in the video) found fame fleeting, but Chuck Berry's made-up musician fared better.

TV Theme SongsFact or Fiction

Was a Beatles song a TV theme? And who came up with those Fresh Prince and Sopranos songs?

Verdine White of Earth, Wind & FireSongwriter Interviews

The longtime bassist of Earth, Wind & Fire discusses how his band came to do a holiday album, and offers insight into some of the greatest dance/soul tunes of all-time.

Art Alexakis of EverclearSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer of Everclear, Art is also their primary songwriter.

Boy BandsFact or Fiction

From NKOTB to 1D, how well do you know your boy bands?

Muhammad Ali: His Musical Legacy and the Songs he InspiredSong Writing

Before he was the champ, Ali released an album called I Am The Greatest!, but his musical influence is best heard in the songs he inspired.