I Shall Be Free

The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library

I Shall Be Free

I have loved this song by Kid Beyond for years, and one day when it popped up in my iTunes shuffle I realized how fantastic it would be to hear a full chorus live version of the song. I arranged it in two parts with soloists taking the first three verses (it’s wordy!) and the full chorus singing on the 4th verse.¬† It has a funky, gospel-like feel and potent message.

In connecting with Kid Beyond for permission to record and perform the song, I learned that a) he is an all-around fantastic guy and b) he wrote this at the end of his first 10-day Vipassana¬† silent meditation retreat. He not only offered his warm blessing for us to sing and share the song, but he’ll be doing beatboxing live at our Wholehearted Chorus concerts and provided the beats for the recorded tracks here.

Composer & Copyright

Original song by Kid Beyond, arrangement by Lisa G. Littlebird.



SOLO: One day I went walking down a lonesome road
and I came upon a stranger in some funky clothes
He said he was a soldier, I said, “where’s your gun?”
He said, “I don’t got no weapon and I don’t need one”
“I don’t need no weapon cause I don’t fight no war”
I said well then Mr. Soldier, what you fighting for?
Well he didn’t say nothing, he just smiled at me
And then I heard him whisper, “You shall be free.”

Chorus: Oooh—–

SOLO: Well excuse me mister, are you saying I ain’t free?
Well I don’t see no shackles or no chains on me
He said we’re chained to our hatred and shackled by greed
Too blind to see the wonder and mystery
We got to love one another. Give our love so strong
Love your brother man deeper when he treats you wrong
When you love without limits, unconditionally
When you love without fear, then you shall be free


SOLO: So I pried my heart open as wide as the sea
And the strangest sensations came over me
I could see the clouds dancing, felt a raindrop sting
I could hear the tiny beating of a butterfly wing
And as I sat in the middle, I felt this love unfold
A love too big for this body to hold
That day I became a warrior with no enemy
Now I am that funky soldier and I shall be free


Now I ain’t afraid of living and I ain’t scared to die
Cause I feel this vibration that I can’t deny
I can feel it singing through me like a symphony
And it tastes so sweet, like destiny
It’s in everything I touch, everything I see
It’s in every single fiber of my body
Every star, every creature, every leaf on every tree
is a lesson and a blessing and we shall be free


I shall, I shall, be free (repeated)

Teaching Notes

Coming soon!


Level of teaching speed/ difficulty (1 = very easy, 10 = very challenging)

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