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City of Banjul
Saturday, May 8, 2021

Be Free, My Brothers

By John Michaels

Penned like cattle, as if chattel,

cages rattle, sounds of brattle,

no more tattle, keen for battle.

Be free, my brothers!

The cause is great,

our rights innate,

not fuelled by hate,

we’ll change our fate,

we won’t be freight,

not long to wait.

Be free, my brothers!

Marched out on deck,

end of the trek,

each one they check,

from toes to neck,

the merest speck, is cause for heck.

Be free, my brothers!

As we make land, I rub my brand,

the time’s at hand, to make a stand,

with me my band,

just as we planned.

Be free, my brothers!

No longer sane, we share the strain,

endure the pain, it’s not in vain,

it’s all to gain, I break the chain.

Be free, my brothers!

Accursed whip, my clothes do rip,

he splits my lip, I smash his hip,

he’s lost his grip,

knocked off the ship.

Be free, my brothers!

We’re in the dirt,

the words are curt,

I wield the quirt,

then shred his shirt,

his blood does spurt,

he’s badly hurt.

Be free, my brothers!

The dock we shun,

just feel that sun,

we’re on the run, but not yet won,

all said and done, it’s just begun.

Be free, my brothers!

Free of the snare, the wear and tear,

the vacant stare, the matted hair,

because we dare, to breathe the air.

Be free, my brothers!

So they give chase,

don’t see the face,

our fall from grace, because of race,

their motives base, traded for lace.

Be free, my brothers!

More men appear,

they mock and jeer,

the end draws near,

that much is clear,

we hold life dear, so fight your fear.

Be free, my brothers!

At last we’re caught,

not been for nought,

got what we sought,

for what we fought,

to them we’ve taught,

will not be bought.

Be free, my brothers!

Out in the field,

wounds far from healed,

blood not congealed,

our fates are sealed,

their guns they wield,

we will not yield.

Die free, my brothers!

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