They’ll Call Me Freedom, Just Like a Wavin’ Flag

Okay, so I'm usually not much for soccer chants, but this one grabbed me. With so many people working hard during the World Cup to raise awareness around the slave trade at large sporting events, I was leery about championing a song heralding just such an event.

But then I read the lyrics.

Really read them.

Soccer be thrashed (gasp! heresy!), this song is about freedom! This song is singing the song rising from the underground… from slave victims… from emancipated slaves… from abolitionists…

Then some young Canadian artists came together to raise money for Haiti after the eartquake. K'naan's song was the theme. Again, like soccer chants, not a fan of all the artists indvidually, but when they came together and sang these words — more about freedom than about sport — a chord was again struck in me.

To all the wavin' flags out there, unseen but not unsung, unknown but not unheard, you are our wavin' flags. Without you, we wouldn't know to listen to the songs risin' from the underground. We wouldn't know the hope and joy and laughter amidst poverty and violence. We wouldn't know the wonderful, immeasurable lives who make us all who are. Without your voices, we would cease to be.

You have not waited until you're older to sing out; you have not waited to be stronger before speaking out; you are our lights and our graces; you are our beauty in the mess and the wonder; you're out laughter when the dark is too much.

Your song brings a smiling hope. Yeah, you! Woohoo! 

So, readers, I hope you wake up in the morning (like I did today), with the refrain in your heads: "When I get older, I will be stronger; they'll call me freedom just like a wavin' flag…"

 Wavin' Flag – Artists for Haiti Version
(music video at the bottom)
Songwriters: Lawrence, Phillip; Mars, Bruno; Warsame, Keinan;

Young Artists For Haiti – Wavin’ Flag Lyrics

When I get older
I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom
Just like a wavin flag

Born from a throne
Older than Rome
But violent prone
Poor people zone

[Nelly Furtado]
But it’s my home
All I have known

[Sam Roberts]
Where I got grown
but now its gone

[Avril Lavigne]
Out of the darkness
in came the carnage
threatening my very survival

[Pierre Bouvier of Simple Plan]
Fractured my streets
and broke all my dreams

[Tyler Connolly of Theory of a Deadman]
Feels like defeat to wretched retreat

So we strugglin’

[Kardinal Offishall]
Fighting to eat

And we wonderin’

[Kardinal Offishall]
If we’ll be free

[Jully Black]
We cannot wait for some faithful day
it’s too far away so right I’ll say

[All – Chorus]
When I get older
I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom
Just like a waving flag
(And then it goes back x3)

Ahhho ahhho ahhho

So many wars, settling scores
[Deryck Whibley of Sum 41]
All that we’ve been through
and now there is more
[Serena Ryder]
I hear them say love is the way
[Jacob Hoggard of Hedley]
Love is the answer that’s what they say
[Emily Haines]
But were not just dreamers
of broken down grievers
[Hawksley Workman]
A hand will reach us
And will not forsake us
This can’t control us
no it can’t hold us down
[Chin Injeti]
We gon pick it up even though we still struggling
[Pierre Lapointe]
Au nom de la survie (In the name of survival)
and we wondering
[Pierre Lapointe]
Battant pour nos vie (Fighting for our lives)

We patiently wait
for some other day
[Fefe Dobson and Esthero]
thats too far away so right now we say

[All – Chorus]

[Drake – Rapping]
Uhh – well alright
How come when the media stops covering
and there’s a little help from the government
we forget about the people still struggling
and assume that its really all love again, nahh
see we don’t have to wait for things to break apart
if you weren’t involved before it’s never too late to start
you probably think that it’s too far to even have to care
well take a look at where you live what if it happened there?
you have to know the urge to make a change lies within
and we can be the reason that they see their flag rise again

[Nikki Yanofsky & Drake]
When I get older
I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom
Just like a wavin’ flag

[Matt Mays]
and then it goes back
[Justin Nozuka]
and then it goes back
[Nikki Yanofsky]
Then it goes back

[Chorus – All]

[Justin Bieber]
When I get older
When I get older
I will be stronger
just like a waving flag.


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