I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free

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"I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free"
Single by Nina Simone
from the album Silk & Soul
Released 1967
Genre Gospel, Jazz
Length 3:06
Label RCA Records
Songwriter(s) Billy Taylor, Richard Carroll Lamb (Dick Dallas)

"I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" is a gospel/jazz song written by Billy Taylor and "Dick Dallas", best known for the recording by Nina Simone in 1967 on her Silk & Soul album. Billy Taylor's original version (as "I Wish I Knew") was recorded on November 12, 1963, and released on his Right Here, Right Now! album (Capitol ST-2039) the following year. His 1967 instrumental take was later used as the theme music for the Film... review programme series on BBC Television.

Billy Taylor has explained: "I wrote this song, perhaps my best-known composition, for my daughter Kim. This is one of the best renditions I’ve done, because it is very spiritual."[1]

Notable cover versions[edit]

The song served as an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement in America in the 1960s.[2]

It was used as the theme for the 2004 Olympics, and as the music for Coca-Cola (2004, featuring Sharlene Hector of Basement Jaxx) and Swisscom (2012) commercials.[citation needed]

Other versions include:


  1. ^ Billy Taylor Discography
  2. ^ Anderson, Sheila E. How to Grow as a Musician: What All Musicians Must Know to Succeed, Allworth Communications, Inc. p. 67 (2005) - ISBN 1-58115-416-X
  3. ^ Steve McDonald, "Marc Shaiman: Ghosts of Mississippi", AllMusic Review.

External links[edit]