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The Rascals People Got to Be Free

Peole Got to Be Free by The Rascals

Blue Eyed Soul Music

The song “People Got to Be Free” was an anthem for freedom and tolerance during 1968, a very turbulent and violent year. There were the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy. The song was written by Rascals group members Felix Cavaliere (lyrics) and Eddie Brigati (music). The incident that inspired the song was a bad encounter between The Rascals and a group of people in Fort Pierce, Florida. The Rascals’ tour vehicle broke down, and the people were not helpful, to say the least. While the song is of its time, the message, as music critic Dave Marsh says, is “Dated, but NEVER out of date.” The song rose to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, Cash Box Chart, and in Canada. It went to #11 in Australia. It sold more than one million copies (actually, now more than four million) and earned an RIAA gold record. There have been covers by Dionne Warwick and The 5th Dimension.

The Rascals formed in Garfield New Jersey in 1965, and then were known as The Young Rascals.  They were Eddie Brigati (vocals), Felix Cavaliere (keyboard, vocals), Gene Cornish (guitar), and Dino Danelli (drums). Eddie and his brother David had been with Joey Dee and the Starliters, as had Cavaliere and Cornish. The group had plenty of commercial success, including the songs “A Beautiful Morning, “Groovin’,” “A Girl Like You,” and “Good Lovin’.” They had seven U.S. Top 30 hits before they became The Rascals in 1968. They then had five more Top 30 hits before they disbanded in 1972.

Here are the lyrics to “People Got to be Free” by The Rascals:

“All the world over, so easy to see
People everywhere just wanna be free
Listen, please listen, that’s the way it should be
Peace in the valley, people got to be free

You should see what a lovely, lovely world this’d be
Everyone learned to live together, ah-hah-unh
Seems to me such an itty bitty thing should be
Why can’t you and me learn to love one another?

All the world over, so easy to see
People everywhere just wanna be free
I can’t understand it, so simple to me
People everywhere just got to be free

If there’s a man who is down and needs a helpin’ hand
All it takes is you to understand and to pull him through, ah-hah-unh
Seems to me we got to solve it individually, ah-hah-unh
And I’ll do unto you what you do to me

Shout it from the mountain on out to the sea (out to the sea)
No two ways about it, people have to be free
Ask me my opinion, my opinion will be
Nat’ral situation for a man to be free

Get right on board now

[Instrumental Interlude]

Oh, what a feelin’s just come over me
Love can move a mountain, make a blind man see
Everybody sing it now come on let’s go see
Peace in the valley now, we ought to be free

See that train over there?
That’s the train of freedom
It’s about to arrive any minute, now
You know it’s been’a long, long overdue
Look out ’cause it’s a’comin’ right on through

Chug, chug…”

For more songs by The Rascals (then called The Young Rascals): “How Can I Be Sure” and “Groovin’.”

Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to chill out and listen to the featured song on the stereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 50+ free online songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’. Hope you enjoyed “People Got to Be Free” by The Rascals.

1 Comment

  1. […] another song by The Rascals: “People Got to be Free.” For songs for when they were The Young Rascals: “How Can I Be Sure,” […]

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