Freedom Lyrics – Robert Wyatt

I have posted before song lyrics that in my opinion take on a literary significance because of what they say and how they say it, though this is clearly open to debate, not least the kind aroused by Bob Dylan’s recent award of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Continuing with this, in the lead-up to National Poetry Day on the 28th September and this year’s theme of Freedom, I am going to post a selection of song lyrics that address the theme and which do so with thoughtfulness for both meaning and expression – no baby baby baby songwriting magic 3s in any of these!

 

Free Will and Testament

Given free will but within certain limitations,
I cannot will myself to limitless mutations,
I cannot know what I would be if I were not me,
I can only guess me.

So when I say that I know me, how can I know that?
What kind of spider understands arachnophobia?
I have my senses and my sense of having senses.
Do I guide them? Or they me?

The weight of dust exceeds the weight of settled objects.
What can it mean, such gravity without a centre?
Is there freedom to un-be?
Is there freedom from will-to-be?

Sheer momentum makes us act this way or that way.
We just invent or just assume a motivation.
I would disperse, be disconnected. Is this possible?
What are soldiers without a foe?

Be in the air, but not be air, be in the no air.
Be on the loose, neither compacted nor suspended.
Neither born nor left to die.

Had I been free, I could have chosen not to be me.
Demented forces push me madly round a treadmill.
Demented forces push me madly round a treadmill.
Let me off please, I am so tired.
Let me off please, I am so very tired.

© Robert Wyatt

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