World music
Swedish folkmusic

6-stämmig kanon, ATB ostinato
SATB + descant
SATB + Soprano solo
SATB + Tenor solo
SATB+ solo
SATB+ Treble
SSATB + S-solo
S-solo + SATB
S-solo + SATB + Treble

English, Zulu
Xhosa, English
Zulu, English
Zulu, Swedish

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Name: Freedom is coming


Price: 17

VAT-Price: 21,25

PDF: POM8901.1Freedom is coming copy - Full Score.pdf

Setting: SATB

Language: English

Theme: Freedom

This product currently belongs to the following genres:

  • World music

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Oh Freedom, 
Oh Freedom, 
Oh Freedom,
Freedom is coming, oh yes I know!

Oh Jesus, 
Oh Jesus,
Oh Jesus,
Jesus is coming, oh yes I know!

Oh Freedom, 
Oh Freedom, 
Oh Freedom,
Freedom is coming, oh yes it's now!

Lyrics: Trad. South Africa / Anders Nyberg


This little song is one of the big one’s in my life.

Not because it has been given wings and spread all over, but because it carries with it a big promise that always will be fulfilled – Oh, yes I know! At the same time, the freedom it's promised is never fully realized here, except maybe for when I sing it... 

Always there, never there…

Regardless of the oppression, squalor or chaos that surrounds us, when we sing it we not only taste its promise of freedom, we live it, we are free! 

I heard it the first time in Kimberley, South Africa. It was one of the favourites with the Lutheran Youth there in the early 80’s. But then, of course, we all sang “Jesus is coming, Oh Yes I know.”

I still remember so clearly the surprised faces when I suggested we sing “Freedom is coming” at a youth rally in Kimberley in 1981. At that time it was still regarded as too political, too hot to handle for a church context. Only a few years later, when the oppression had taken a few more turns for the worse, and the inevitable resolve of the resistance had gotten even stronger could songs like this be heard in and around the churches.

But well back home in Sweden it worked - and both ways. In the churches we sang “Freedom is coming”, helping to bring awareness of the political context and a realization that politically motivated thought and action was imperative. Faith as if politics mattered. And at the political meetings we slipped in, maybe not always as boldly but still, a “Jesus is coming”. Politics as if eschatology mattered. 

But man, did we ever sing this one… Every single concert we ended with it, often dancing down church aisles singing the people out through the portals. My memory is that I often did not stop until the church-warden stood there in a dark church, key in hand, wanting to go home.

From the beginning it was all about the liberation of South-Africa. But seeing all these happy Swedes dancing away to the music I realized this was liberation music for the North as well. And that gave new fuel to the furnace. Until I finally realized, by the time Mandela strode out of jail, fist in the air, that no, this song was primarily neither for them nor us, it was for me…  I had sung for my own liberation all the time, without knowing it. And the joy of the miraculous liberation of South-Africa became one with a joy of the liberation of self... 

But I have not been able to sing this song since. It has not felt relevant any longer. Until we had our Mandela Tribute Concert in Storkyrkan, Stockholm in december 2014 after his death. Then the lyrics rose again, imbued with yet a new meaning. And as the song now lifts our concerts and inspires our gatherings again, a new addition to the words have been made; "Freedom is coming, Oh yes it's now!"

Freedom, always to strive for and grow in, never to be fully reached. But we cannot have freedom tomorrow or yesterday. What time but now could freedom be realized? 

And just as the pursuit of freedom will always stay with us, so will this song.

In it, we feel it.

Order the score from here (SWE):
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Listen to a recording here;

There are lots of recordings of "Freedom is coming" on Youtube. Of all kinds, and I like most of them. But I got a bit disturbed when there was a persistent version occurring with a jerky soprano rhythm in the first phrase, until I discovered - with a blush - that they are actually singing the way I notated it... I have however made amends in the notation above...
Well, I guess it goes to show what I always said; don't take the scores to literary, listen rather to the recording or better still, to your heart. And obviously most choirs and songgroups have done that.
Here's a group that definitely has done that, and I like it:

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