From the recording Free At Last--6:24
On the surface, this song is a tribute to Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln. But if one looks a little deeper, it becomes apparent that we’re talking about freedom from what could be called our lower nature, or ego. So, like the two Titans of freedom mentioned in the song, our mission is to be “Free At Last”.
The writing on this one was sweet and easy, especially the bridge. However, the vocal arrangement, (sung so powerfully by Cecily “C.C.” Johnson and her daughter Devonnye Allison) took awhile to reveal itself. I listened to Delene’s performances on the chorus and bridge over and over again before I could hear the background vocals in my inner ear. I believe it was worth the wait! For me, their singing of the arrangement was hands down the most fun part of the entire session!
It started out as just a dream
Could we find freedom, the life-giving stream?
Like a man in a cave, when the stone’s rolled away from the past, Oh…
Free at last, free at last
Thank God Almighty I’m free at last!
I threw off my chains, and I’m through with that game
Thank God Almighty I’m free, at last!
And then one day it came to me
The light in the tunnel to follow, to be
Now everywhere I look, is like an open book, so vast. Oh…(Chorus)
What was I thinkin’? (What was I thinkin’?)
Livin’ in a world, I could not feel (Could not feel, was not real)
Dr. King and Mr. Lincoln (Tell me)
Woulda told me look into your heart
Woulda told me open up your mind
Woulda told me search your soul to find what’s real
And so it goes in little ways
A thousand mile journey, a step every day
Every one a new start, put a song in your heart, make it last (Chorus)
Barry Cahill: Lead & Background Vocals, Organ, Tenor Sax
Delene St. Clair: Lead & Background Vocals
Cecily Johnson & Devonnye Allison: Background Vocals
Dave Blackburn: Drums
Dave Curtis: Bass
Barnaby Finch: Piano