My son was playing a new piece of piano music following his lesson yesterday that really caught my attention. I didn’t recognise the title, ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free’, but if you’re a TV viewer in the UK of a certain age, you’ll certainly recognise the tune.
It reminds me little of the South Bank Show theme tune — wonderful music we’d hear each week that I didn’t fully appreciate had a life outside that TV programme.
It was written in 1963 by Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas and served as an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement in America in the 1960s. Here it is performed by the Billy Taylor Trio, after a wonderfully laid back intro.
Billy Taylor Trio – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
But if it’s a recording with soul you’re after, here’s the irrepressible Nina Simone. This just builds and builds.
Nina Simone – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free (Audio)
And here’s an amazing live performance from Montreux 1976.
Nina Simone – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (Montreux 1976)