Saturday, November 29, 2014

Do You Want Your Freedom ?(Certainly Lord) civil rights song

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides lyrics for the civil rights song "Do You Want Your Freedom? (Certainly Lord)". This post also provides information about the African American Spiritual which was adapted to create this civil right song.

The content of this post is presented for cultural and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.
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LYRICS: DO YOU WANT YOUR FREEDOM (CERTAINLY LORD)
Leader - Do you want your freedom?
Group - (Certainly, Lord.)
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
All: Certainly, Certainly, Certainly Lord.

We'll march for our rights.
(Certainly, Lord.)
We'll march for our rights.
(Certainly, Lord.)
We'll march for our rights.
(Certainly, Lord.)
Certainly, Certainly, Certainly, Lord.

We'll go to jail.
(Certainly, Lord.)
We'll go to jail.
(Certainly, Lord.)
We'll go to jail.
(Certainly, Lord.)
Certainly, Certainly, Certainly, Lord.

Jail over bail.
(Certainly, Lord)
Jail over bail.
(Certainly, Lord.)
Jail over bail.
(Certainly, Lord.)
Certainly, Certainly, Certainly, Lord.

Continue in this pattern with the last verse being:
Leader - Do you want your freedom?
Group - Certainly, Lord.
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
Do you want your freedom?
(Certainly, Lord.)
All- Certainly, Certainly, Certainly Lord
Certainly, certainly, certainly Lord.
Certainly, certainly, certainly Lord
-snip-
This is just one version of this civil rights song. Like other African American civil rights songs of the 1960s, the words of this song were changed (and can still be changed) to fit the particular issue or cause being protested.

The parenthesis indicate that the song could be sung in a call & response manner, with the soloist asking the initial question, the rest the choir or congregation singing "Certainly, Lord", and the soloist and the choir/congregation singing "Certainly, certainly, certainly Lord". However, my recollection is that "Do You Want Your Freedom (Certainly, Lord") was actually sung in unison and not as a call & response song. That meant that the lyrics to the song and the order of the song was fixed (unchanging) for that group's or choir's rendition of that song.

In my experience, the civil rights version of this song has a moderately fast tempo, and that tempo is faster than any of Spiritual or Gospel versions of this song that I've heard.

* "Jail over bail" means that the person arrested chooses to remain in jail rather than have his or her bail paid and be released from jail. This strategy draws media attention to the cause being protested.

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THE RELIGIOUS SOURCE OF THIS SONG
The African American civil rights song "Do You Want Your Freedom (Certainly Lord)is based on an African American Spiritual "Have You Got Good Religion (Certainly Lord). Click this page of my pancocojams blog for a post about a Spiritual rendition of this song http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/08/rev-clay-evans-have-you-got-good.html.

Also, click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/06/certainly-lord-gospel-civil-rights.html "Certainly, Lord (Spiritual & Civil Rights Versions)" for another pancocojams post on this song.

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DO YOU KNOW OF A YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THIS CIVIL RIGHTS SONG?
I haven't found a YouTube video of the civil rights form of "Certainly Lord". If you know of such a video, please share that link in the comment section. Thanks!

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