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I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free
1954 Billy Taylor, Richard Lamb
Written by jazz pianist Billy Taylor in 1954, and performed by the Billy Taylor Trio, was recorded in 1967 by Nina Simone and subsequently by Solomon Burke and The Ray Charles Singers.
The holograph manuscript score of this song is at the Library of Congress.

Recording sessions
1967 June 13-29: New York RCA Studios
I wish I knew how it would feel to be free
I wish I could break all the chains holding me
I wish I could say all the things that I should say
Say 'em loud say 'em clear for the whole round world to hear

I wish I could share all the love that's in my heart
Remove all the bars that keep us apart
I wish you could know what it means to be me
Then you'd see and agree that every man should be free

I wish I could give all I'm longing to give
I wish I could live like I'm longing to live
I wish I could do all the things that I can do
Though I'm way overdue I'd be starting anew

Well I wish I could be like a bird in the sky
How sweet it would be if I found out I could fly
I'd soar up to the sun and look down at the sea
Then I'd sing cos I know yeah then I'd sing

Cos I know yeah then I'd sing cos I know
I'd know how it feels I'd know how it feels to be free
Yeah yeah I'd know how it feels yes I know I'd know
How it feels how it feels to be free Lord Lord Lord

(Lyrics transcription by Roger Nupie)
 
 
1968 June 16: Montreux (CH) 2nd Jazz Festival second encore
2015 LP 2-6 Nina Simone 1968 MJF LP002 (CH)
 
 
1969 April: Paris (FR) Olympia
Segment 1
 
 
1976 July 3: Montreux (CH) 10th Jazz Festival
 
 
1981 July 19: Montreux (CH) 15th Jazz Festival
 
Unknown recording session
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