MUSIC THAT CHANGED HISTORY Featuring “Donny Hathaway”

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“SOMEDAY WE’LL ALL BE FREE”

Released‎: ‎1973
Recorded‎: ‎1971-1973
Genre‎: ‎Soul

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv1B0ejhFVE

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Someday We’ll All Be Free” is a 1973 song by Donny Hathaway from the album Extension of a Man. The song was released as the flipside to the single “Love, Love, Love”. Though the song was only released as an uncharted A-side, it is considered an R&B standard, having been covered by many artists over the years.

The lyrics were written by Edward Howard, for and about the mental pain that Donny Hathaway was experiencing at the time. Edward Howard said:

“What was going through my mind at the time was Donny, because Donny was a very troubled person. I hoped that at some point he would be released from all that he was going through. There was nothing I could do but write something that might be encouraging for him.”

Years later, the song began to be interpreted as being written about black rights, primarily due to Spike Lee featuring it at the end of his biographical film Malcolm X. However, as Howard said:

“A lot of black people have taken the song for some sort of anthem. That’s fine. I didn’t write it for that, though. It doesn’t have that significance for me. I take it with a grain of salt. I’m glad it has some significance.”

donny-hathaway

Donny Hathaway himself particularly loved the song and as Eulalah Hathaway stated:

“He loved that song. Donny literally sat in the studio and cried when he heard the playback of his final mix. It’s pretty special when an artist can create something that wipes them out.”

Although the song did not chart, the B-side of the single, “Love, Love Love” peaked at #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #16 on the R&B charts

Six years later, Hathaway’s life ended when was found lifeless on the sidewalk below the window of his 15th-floor room in New York’s Essex House hotel. It was reported that he had jumped from his balcony. The glass had been neatly removed from the window and there were no signs of struggle, leading investigators to rule that Hathaway’s death was a suicide. A Brilliant Life that we honor to this day. Donny, yes-It is true, “Someday we’ll all be free.”

 

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