This is the least-known of our 4th of July songs today. And it's actually not about Independence Day at all, but the title, "Freedom," fits well-enough, though it's more related to the Civil War. It comes from the musical, Shenandoah, that was based on the movie with Jimmy Stewart.
The show was a big hit after opening in 1975, running 1,050 performances, about 2-1/2 years. It had music by Gary Geld, with lyrics by Peter Udell, and oddly was a bigger hit than the previous show the two men had done which they're best-known for, Purlie.
Shenandoah starred John Cullum, who won a Tony Award for his performance as Best Lead Actor in a Musical. Three years later, he won his second Best Lead Actor Tony for On the Twentieth Century. (Among his many stage appearances and Tony nominations, he also appeared in a small role in the original production of Camelot), But for all his stage work, Cullum is probably best-known for playing 'Holling Vincoeur' in the TV series, Northern Exposure.
This song features two other cast members, Donna Theodore and Chip Ford. And it's one I've always especially liked from the show -- in part because it's a fun song, but also I happen to love counter-point and harmony, and this has a lot of the latter.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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