From the rollicking welcome of "A Festive Song" to the defiant battle cry of "Watchword of Labor," Songs of Freedom accomplishes the difficult task of making contemporary music out of old revolutionary songs. Far from the archival preservation of embalmed corpses, the inspired performance of a rocking band turns the timeless lyrics of James Connolly into timely manifestos for today's young rebels. As Connolly himself repeatedly urged, nothing can replace the power of music to raise the fighting spirit of the oppressed.
Giving expression to Connolly's internationalism, musical influences ranging from traditional Irish airs to American rhythm and blues are combined here in refreshing creativity. As for the songs themselves, nine have lyrics by Connolly, three were written about Connolly, and one, “The Red Flag,” was chosen by Connolly to be in the original Songs of Freedom songbook of 1907, subsequently becoming a classic song of Labor. The instrumentation is acoustic: guitars, uilleann pipes, whistles, fiddle, accordion, and Irish harp, as well as drums and bass.
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