25 of the Best Songs About Freedom and Liberty

Songs about Freedom and Liberty
Songs about Freedom and Liberty

Powerful Songs About Freedom

Freedom and Liberty are universal concepts that have inspired countless number musicians and artists throughout history. 

From civil rights activists to musicians, poets, and writers, the theme of freedom has significantly shaped our culture and society. Music is a perfect medium for artists to express their views on the value of liberty and independence.

Today we’re unpacking 25 of the very best songs about freedom, including both songs with a message around freedom and songs with freedom in the title. This list includes artists such as Bob Marley, George Michael, John Lennon, Queen, and many more. 

These songs about freedom have passed the test of time and are loved by audiences of all ages and backgrounds. So sit back, relax, and allow the power of music to inspire you to make use of your freedom.

1. “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley

“Redemption Song” is one of Bob Marley’s iconic songs. This song about freedom is known for its poignant lyrics and simple yet powerful acoustic melody, one of the last songs Marley recorded before his death.

The song’s lyrics speak to the desire for freedom while struggling against oppression and injustice.

The song’s opening line, “Old pirates, yes, they rob I,” refers to the history of colonialism and slavery in Jamaica, where Marley grew up. 

2. “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke

“A Change Is Gonna Come” is a soulful track by the legendary singer and songwriter Sam Cooke. The song, released in 1964, was an important cultural contribution to the Civil Rights Movement, and it has since become a classic of the genre.

The lyrics of the song explore individual freedom, social equality, and justice, in addition to the issues faced by America’s African American community. 

Cooke drew inspiration for the song from his experiences with racism, discrimination, and other black Americans’ struggles during the Civil Rights Movement.

3. “Born Free” by Kid Rock

“Born Free” is an upbeat and catchy song by the American rock musician Kid Rock. Released in 2010,  quickly became one of his most famous and beloved songs. The song’s driving beat and catchy chorus make it a favorite of rock fans worldwide.

The lyrics express the desire for freedom, self-determination, and individuality. With the chorus “I was born free/ I was born free,” the lyric commemorates the human soul as well as the eagerness to be who you are.

4. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor

“I Will Survive” is a disco classic by the American singer Gloria Gaynor. The song released in 1978 became an anthem for the ones who face adversity and challenges in their lives. The song’s upbeat rhythm, catchy melody, and Gaynor’s powerful vocals make it a timeless classic.

The song’s famous chorus, “I will survive/Oh as long as I know how to love/I know I’ll stay alive,” is a message of hope and determination that resonates with everyone who knows struggle in their life.

5. “Get Up, Stand Up” by Bob Marley

In 1973, Bob Marley released a song titled “Get Up, Stand Up”. The song stood for liberty and immediately resonated with its listeners at the time. Fast forward 50 years later, and the song would still be an anthem for those fighting for social justice and equality worldwide. 

The song’s infectious rhythm, powerful lyrics, and Marley’s soulful voice make it a timeless classic.

6. “Freedom!” by George Michael

“Freedom” is a song by the British singer George Michael. It was released in 1990 as the lead single from his second solo album, “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1”.

The song was a a change of sound for Michael, who was heavily influenced by pop and dance music. 

The song’s lyrics express a desire for personal freedom and self-expression, expressed through broader social issues like poverty and discrimination. Michael was a vocal supporter of inclusive causes throughout his career, and the song “Freedom” is his most powerful statement on social justice.

7. “Imagine” by John Lennon

“Imagine”, released in 1971, is one of modern music’s most iconic and recognizable songs. It has become an anthem for peace, love, and unity worldwide.

The song’s simple but powerful melody matched with John Lennon’s heartfelt lyrics has made it an inspirational song for generations of listeners. The lyrics speak to John’s desire for a world free from war, conflict, and division.

8. “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten 

Rachel Platten struggled to try to launch her musical career. One day, she wrote “Fight Song” to encourage herself, no matter the challenge, to never give up.

She didn’t expect that was the song that launched her career, and served as a reminder to not only her but to a whole new audience, to always pursue their dreams.

It has also become a soundtrack for various causes, including cancer research, mental health awareness, and the women’s rights movement. The song’s message of resilience and determination resonates with people worldwide, making it a timeless and inspiring classic.

9. “Living in America” by James Brown

“Rocky IV” is a movie classic from 1985. “Living in America”, by James Brown, was written and released to serve as a soundtrack to the film.

The lyrics speak to the American Dream and the desire for freedom, success, and opportunity. This song about freedom commemorates America as a nation filled with possibilities and liberty, where hard work and determination can achieve anything.

10. “This Is Me” by Keala Settle

“The Greatest Showman” is a movie from 2017 telling the story of P.T Barnum, and how he created the Barnum & Bailey Circus.

For the movie soundtrack, they requested Keala Settle to sing “This is Me”, tasking her to deliver the encouraging message of embracing one’s individuality and standing tall in adversity. The inspiring message made the song an instant hit.

11. “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner

“Proud Mary” is a rock classic by the American singer Tina Turner. The song was released in 1970 and quickly became one of her most famous and iconic.

The song’s upbeat rhythm, catchy melody, and Turner’s powerful vocals make it a timeless classic.

The lyrics express the human desire for freedom, adventure, and independence. The song celebrates life’s journey and urges people to keep moving forward, no matter their obstacles. 

12. “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson

“Rhythm Nation” is a song by Janet Jackson from the year 1989 as the title track of her fourth studio album. The Video, directed by Dominic Sena, has become an iconic image of 80s pop culture. 

In addition to its musical success, “Rhythm Nation” also became a platform for Jackson’s social activism, focusing on the need for unity and equality as the song’s main theme.

13. “Glory” by Common and John Legend

This powerful song was written as a musical track for the movie “Selma,”. The movie tells the events of the Civil Rights Era and the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s fight for Black voting rights from the perspective of the resident’s of Selma, Alamaba county.

“Glory” reflects on the struggles and sacrifices made by the generations before us in their battle for freedom and justice. 

Common and John Legend’s moving lyrics and soulful vocals create a powerful and emotional tribute to the ongoing fight for freedom.

14. “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé

“Run the World (Girls)” is a song released by Beyoncé in 2011. The song’s catchy beat and empowering lyrics celebrate female strength and empowerment. Beyoncé’s powerful vocals and commanding presence in the song’s music video have made “Run the World (Girls)” an anthem for women worldwide. 

The song has been used as a celebration of women’s rights and anthems in women’s events, such as the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl.

Using the inspiring platform of Beyonce for female empowerment, and her contribution to pop culture, many young girls have been inspired by this song to pursue their dreams and goals.

15. “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King

“Stand By Me” was initially released in 1961 by Ben E. King, but countless artists have since covered it over the years.

The song’s message of standing by someone through thick and thin has resonated with listeners across generations. 

The Library of Congress even submitted it to the National Recording Registry in 2015, recognizing the song’s cultural, artistic, and historical significance.

16. “Formation” by Beyoncé (2016)

“Formation” is an unapologetic celebration of black culture and identity and a powerful statement of resistance against oppression. 

The song’s powerful message of self-love, empowerment, and liberation inspires many who hear the song.

17. “Uprising” by Muse

“Uprising” is a 2009 powerful rock anthem and instantly hit by British band Muse that has become a rallying cry for freedom and resistance.

Its lyrics call for people to unite and take action against oppression, with lines like “They will not force us / They will stop degrading us / They will not control us / We will be victorious.” 

“Uprising” has been used in political and social movements, from protests against government corruption to protests supporting workers’ rights. The song’s electrifying guitar riffs and driving rhythm make it a standout in Muse’s extensive catalog and a favorite of fans worldwide.

18. “Freedom” by Pharrell Williams (2021)

Pharrell Williams’ “Freedom” is a jubilant celebration of personal and collective freedom. The song’s infectious beat and catchy lyrics encourage listeners to break free from whatever holds them back and embrace their unique identities. 

Williams’ joyful vocals and upbeat energy make “Freedom” an uplifting and inspiring anthem for anyone seeking to live on their terms.

19. “We Will Rock You” by Queen

“We Will Rock You” is a classic rock anthem by Queen that celebrates the spirit of freedom and rebellion. The song’s catchy beat and powerful vocals, specially at the beginning of the song, make it a tune that everybody who hears it the first time, remembers forever.

It was released in 1977 and became a fan favorite, with its stomping beat and catchy chorus.

“We Will Rock You” is one of the most easily recognizable songs in the world, with many covers, and appearances in numerous films, television shows, commercials, and other media.

20. “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye

“What’s Going On” is a soulful and introspective song by Marvin Gaye that addresses social justice and inequality issues.

The song was released in 1971 during a period in American history filled with uncertainty, and it spoke directly to the concerns and fears of many people at the time.

Gaye’s smooth vocals and understated instrumentation give the song a haunting quality, and its message of unity and empathy still resonates today. “

Rolling Stone magazine named “What’s Going On” is one of the greatest songs ever, and it has been covered by numerous artists over the years.

21. “Where Is The Love?” by The Black Eyed Peas

Released in 2003, “Where Is The Love?” by The Black Eyed Peas features vocals from the band’s four members: Will.I.Am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and Fergie.

The song’s lyrics touch on terrorism, war, poverty, and racism, questioning why love seems missing. 

The song topped charts around the world and became one of the most well-known and successful songs for The Black Eye Peas. Its message about love and unity resonates with audiences today, making it a timeless song about freedom.

22. “Wind of Change” by Scorpions

“Wind of Change” is a ballad by the German rock band Scorpions, released in 1990. The lyrics of the song celebrated the Cold War’s end while exploring themes of liberty, hope, and harmony.

Its melody and memorable whistling riff make it a beloved classic, and it has become one of the best-selling singles ever.

Interestingly, the song’s iconic whistling part was originally just a placeholder but was ultimately kept in the track’s final version.

23. “Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World”, released in 1960,  is a timeless classic covered by numerous artists and used in countless films and TV shows for its message on the beauty of the world and the power of love. 

The song celebrates the world’s wonders, from the beauty of the stars and the flowers to the love between people. It encourages listeners to appreciate the simple things in life and embrace the joy and happiness surrounding them.

24. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” has become a classic track. The Rolling Stones released it in 1969, and the song is still relevant today. It’s the song for those who recognize that life does not always go as planned.

The song encourages listeners to embrace life’s unpredictable nature and find joy and happiness in the small things.

The song features easy-to-remember lyrics and a catchy melody. One interesting fact about the song is that it features a choir of London children, adding a unique element to the track.

25. “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree

“You Gotta Be”, released in 1994, by Des’ree is an uplifting and inspiring song that encourages listeners to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams. The song succeeded commercially, reaching the top 10 in the UK and the US.

Des’ree’s powerful vocals and positive message have made “You Gotta Be” a beloved song in numerous films and TV shows.

The message of perseverance and determination in the song resonates strongly with audiences from different generations, making it a timeless classic and the final song on our list.

Summary: Songs about Freedom

From the civil rights era’s soulful ballads to the 1980s and beyond’s rebellious rock anthems, these songs about freedom have influenced generations of audiences to stand up to injustice, express themselves genuinely, and live their lives to the fullest.

However, the power of these songs about freedom extends beyond their capacity to motivate us. They are a constant reminder of the fight for freedom, equality, and justice. 

Let us remember the ongoing struggle for liberty and justice in our current world as we listen to these timeless songs.

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Thomas Smith
As Visionary and Chief Editor of 122BPM, Thomas is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of music pioneers. With a degree in Music and 10 years industry experience, Thomas is now shaping 122BPM as the central hub for music and audio education.
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