Tony Brannon’s Song “Free” Inspired By Mandela

December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela’s long incarceration sparked years of worldwide attention, and his release from prison after 27 years was broadcast around the globe, with millions tuned in including countless Bermudians.

Among them was local entertainer Tony Brannon who recalled being inspired to write a song while watching Nelson Mandela walk free.

Last night Mr Brannon said, “The world has lost a giant. As big a symbol the world has ever known for freedom, human rights and dignity”

He recalled the inspiration that lead to the song saying, “I wrote this song for Nelson Mandela with my best friend Jimmy Duncan on the day he was released from prison after 27 years of wrongful imprisonment in apartheid South Africa.

“We were sitting on a couch in his beach house in Barbados watching the news of his release. We both had guitars out, and Jimmy started strumming 3 chords and singing ‘Free Free Free’. We looked at each other and knew we had to write the verses right on the spot. ”

The song “Free”

Mr Mandela was released from the Victor Verster prison at 4.14pm on February 11, 1990, 27 years after being incarcerated by South Africa’s racist apartheid regime.

Accompanied by his wife Winnie, Mandela walked out greeting supporters with a wide smile as they thronged around him while he made his way to a waiting car that would take him to Cape Town.

Later that evening, upon arriving in the South African capital, Mandela would deliver one of his most famous lines to a huge crowd that outside of city hall, telling his supporters, “I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy, and freedom for all. I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people.”

Footage of Nelson Mandela being released from prison in 1990 at age 72:

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