Joe Jencks

I Have Seen Freedom Being Born

from The Forgotten

Would I have gone, had I not seen the newsreels
Black and white upon the screen
But I went South, to march beside those heroes
And tell the world what I had seen

For I have watched the bolls of cotton bursting
White against the early morn
The marchers stretched along the bitter highway
I have seen freedom being born

Would I have known had I not heard their stories
On shotgun porches bleached by sun
Would I believe had I not seen the troopers
Block the bridge with clubs and guns

But I have walked among the people marching
Singing, “We’ve been ‘buked and we’ve been scorned”
And I have seen the waters part before them
I have seen freedom being born

For there is patience watching from the cotton
Anger buried in the bone
Resistance waiting for the morning
Water hidden in the stone

Nothing I write can make you feel their dignity
These heroes that I knew by name
Nothing I doc an match their quiet courage
I will never be the same

For I have heard their songs lift up to heaven
Rise from faces lined and worn
And I have seen the gates swing wide to greet them
I have seen freedom being born

I have seen freedom being born
I have seen freedom being born

© Si Kahn, Joe Hill Music ASCAP

updated: 2 months ago