The word “freedom” has many different connotations attached to it. Some might only think of the type of freedom associated with living in certain parts of the world, where you are more or less allowed to do as you wish (within reason, of course).
However, it can be expanded to encompass so much more. Think about breaking free from the demons that run around inside your head, holding you back from truly achieving the life you want. It can also mean freedom from those who don’t treat you as they should. Whatever the case might be, freedom is a good thing.
Here are 20 songs that celebrate it, in its many different forms.
20. Freedom (Pharrell Williams)
This is a fast-paced, reassuring song that celebrates everything about being able to make your own decisions. As a matter of fact, the song mainly centers around having free will. With it comes the ability to decide what each person wants out of life and how they go about achieving that.
19. Get Free (Lana Del Rey)
Sooner or later, every person needs to have a little encouragement when it seems like the world around them has all but turned their backs on them. That’s exactly what the song is about. It’s about having the strength to go after your dreams, even when virtually everyone around you is telling you that it’s utter nonsense. The song celebrates being true to oneself and in that, finding the type of freedom that you need to find to do what works for you instead of bending to the wishes of others.
18. Birthplace (Kris Kelly)
The lyrics in this song celebrate the true, deep kind of freedom that comes with being in a place where absolutely no one knows you. That means they also don’t know anything about your story. In that, you can find freedom as you break from the chains that have held you back as a direct result of your past.
Anything that hasn’t served you well in the past can be discarded more easily because there’s no need to hold on to those patterns. By the same token, things that do serve you well can become your new routine.
17. Weightless (Natasha Bedingfield)
Every person has something that sort of weighs them down. This song celebrates the type of freedom that can only be found by getting rid of those things and breaking the mental and emotional chains that go with them. Once you no longer allow yourself to be weighed down by emotions, attachments or past choices, the sky’s the limit.
16. I Want to Break Free (Queen)
You probably already guessed that there was at least one good relationship song on this list, and here it is. This is an iconic song from the group and it’s one that talks about desperately wanting to get free of a particular relationship.
Ultimately, the storyteller in the song feels like the only way to do that is to break off the relationship entirely and start fresh. This can be both exhilarating and extremely painful. It’s also something that almost everyone can identify with through at least one past relationship.
15. Redemption Song (Bob Marley and the Wailers)
There are a couple of different things associated with this particular song. The first involves a type of freedom that comes with developing a strong belief in a higher power, as that gives individuals a sense of purpose.
With this development comes an end to the type of mental slavery that so many people put themselves through, the kind where they seem to be going through life like a blindfolded sheep. The ability to think for oneself as opposed to simply following the masses is some of the best freedom that you’re ever likely to find.
14. Human (The Killers)
This is another song that asks whether or not people are truly in control of their own lives or if they’re merely reacting to everything going on around them. In short, are you the one controlling your life so that it goes the way you want it to go, or are you basically just a puppet that’s being controlled by people and circumstances around you? Anyone that can’t definitively answer this question doesn’t have true freedom and probably isn’t very happy, either.
13. Freedom (Rage Against the Machine)
This is a song that deals with freedom in the more traditional sense as opposed to the existential freedom that has been heavily discussed so far. More specifically, it talks about the freedoms that were taken away from the Native Americans by people that came to and colonized the United States. I
t’s always been rather controversial because it doesn’t paint a very good picture of colonial America (or Americans from that point on, for that matter). Perhaps the reason it hits such a sore spot is because it has an enormous amount of truth to it.
12. Chimes of Freedom (Bob Dylan)
This particular song deals with the lack of freedom that is often experienced by individuals living in poverty. The lyrics discuss how these individuals often have no real choices in the way they live their lives because they don’t have the same resources as other people who are considered well off.
In that sense, it’s quite bleak. However, it also celebrates the small amount of progress that has been made in learning to treat people as human beings instead of seeing them as dollar signs.
11. Freedom (Wham!)
This song talks about the expense that sometimes comes with demanding complete and total freedom of one’s choices. It talks a lot less about the financial type of expense, choosing instead to focus on the cost to loved ones when a person makes a particular choice.
It also explores the decision that someone makes when they truly love another individual, often choosing to do things in their best interest, even if that takes away from their own personal freedom.
10. Dancing With Myself (Generation X)
Everyone feels self-conscious at one time or another. This is a song that celebrates throwing all of that to the wind and doing whatever is true to yourself, regardless of what anyone else thinks about it. It talks about the immense amount of freedom that is felt when you stop living for the sole purpose of pleasing others and start living a life that is pleasing to you.
9. Break My Stride (Matthew Wilder)
This is definitely one of the more upbeat songs on this list. It talks about staying true to yourself and doing what works for you, no matter what gets thrown at you. Everyone knows that life has a tendency to throw more than its fair share of curveballs at you, often when you least expect it. This is a song that celebrates doing what you need to do to remain true to yourself and not letting those curveballs trip you up.
8. Bells of Freedom (Bon Jovi)
This is definitely one of the more emotional songs the band has ever performed. Its lyrics talk about breaking free from anything and everything that controls you. That can be a relationship that isn’t good for you, getting stuck in some kind of rut that’s not serving you well, or anything else that tends to bog you down and prevent you from being the person you were truly meant to be.
The song also deals with having enough faith to break free from these things as opposed to allowing yourself to become a slave to them. Let’s face it, striking out and doing something that’s completely new isn’t always the easiest thing to do. In fact, it can often be quite frightening.
That’s why a lot of people continue to do things that aren’t particularly good for them, even when they know that they’d be better off doing something else. This song celebrates having the courage to do exactly that. At its core, it celebrates the freedom that’s waiting for you on the other side of all those things that are holding you back.
7. Deacon Blues (Steely Dan)
No song list to be truly complete without a good jazz tune and this is one of the best. It also perfectly fits into this particular topic, as the entire song talks about refusing to bow to the whims of the powers-that-be. In this particular case, it deals with refusing to become part of the rat race by holding some menial job that doesn’t pay enough money or give any personal fulfillment in lieu of something that allows you to have true personal freedom.
6. Shout (Tears for Fears)
This particular song talks about how difficult it is to live a life that is truly full of freedom. Why is it so hard? People have a tendency to want to hold you down, preferring instead that you do what they expect of you as opposed to doing what you need to do to be free.
In fact, the whole system all over the world is set up for individuals to more or less become a servant to others in one capacity or another. This song talks about the difficulties involved in truly becoming free and remaining that way.
5. Guitar Man (Bread)
No one would ever argue that the life of a musician can be exceedingly difficult. You’re in a different city every night and it can be hard to hold on to interpersonal relationships when you’re away so much. However, it can also bring about a great deal of freedom when it’s done correctly. This is a song that celebrates that fact.
4. Wind of Change (Scorpions)
Sadly, some people have a strong desire to control others, even to the point of entire countries choosing to occupy neighboring nations, often for the sole purpose of getting off on the ego trip that comes with telling other people what they can and cannot do.
This is a song that brings this ugly truth to light. The band was actually living and working in East Germany when the country was occupied by the Soviet Union, so they definitely know what they’re talking about. The events caused them to write a song about the lack of freedom (and the desire for it) that existed at that time. Sadly, it’s a song that still resonates in many parts of the world today.
3. I’m Set Free (The Velvet Underground)
This is a song about personal freedom. It’s something that everyone wants and to a certain extent, it’s also something that no one has, at least not in its entirety. Even those who are bound and determined to have the utmost level of personal freedom have certain obligations that they probably would rather not have.
You might say that this is a song about finding balance between the things that one must do in life and finding a way to have at least a reasonable amount of personal freedom, even in the face of a societal structure that would often prefer for the exact opposite to exist.
2. I Am a Rock (Simon & Garfunkel)
Here, you have a song about being resilient in maintaining a level of personal freedom, even when all the cards seem to be stacked against you. It’s also a great song about learning to believe in yourself so that you don’t rely on what others tell you. If you’re looking for a solid dose of personal freedom yourself (and you need a bit of a confidence-booster), this should be a go-to song on your playlist.
1. It’s My Life (Bon Jovi)
This is like the anthem for personal freedom. In fact, the entire song centers around doing what you need to do to live your best life and not caring what anyone else thinks about it. There will always be someone telling you that you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing or that you’re making a mistake.
This is a song that basically turns its nose up to the naysayers and encourages you to live your own life as you see fit, whether anyone else likes it or not.
You can also read:
- 10 Awesome Songs About Champions
- 10 Awesome Songs about Insecurity
- 10 Awesome Songs About Going Home
- 20 Awesome Songs about Time
- 20 Awesome Songs about Family