Special AKA - FREE NELSON MANDELA

First performance: 26/01/2014


Coverinfo

Bruce covered the song 3 times, always in South Africa
 
Opening night of the High Hopes Tour and Springsteen's first show in South Africa. The Specials' "Free Nelson Mandela" opens the 27-song set.
 
 
 
2014-01-28 - BELLVILLE VELODROME, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA 
 
2014-02-01 - FNB STADIUM, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
 
 
 

Songinfo

"Nelson Mandela" (known in some versions as "Free Nelson Mandela") is a song written by British musician Jerry Dammers, and performed by band The Special A.K.A. – with lead vocal by Stan Campbell – released on the single "Nelson Mandela"/"Break Down The Door" in 1984. It was a protest against the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela by the apartheid South African government, and is considered a notable anti apartheid song. The backing vocals were performed by Molly and Polly Jackson, two girls the band's drummer John Bradbury had "met in a bar in Camden", while the chorus was performed by session singers including Claudia Fontaine and Caron Wheeler, who later went on to appear with Soul II Soul. Unlike most protest songs, the track is upbeat and celebratory, drawing on musical influences from South Africa. 
 
 
  

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist

Lyrics

Free Nelson Mandela
Free, Free, Free, Nelson Mandela
Free Nelson Mandela
Twenty-one years in captivity
His shoes too small to fit his feet
His body abused but his mind is still free
Are you so blind that you cannot see
I say Free Nelson Mandela
I'm begging you
Free Nelson Mandela
He pleaded the causes of the ANC
Only one man in a large army
Are you so blind that you cannot see
Are you so deaf that you cannot hear his plea
Free Nelson Mandela
I'm begging you Free Nelson Mandela
Twenty-one years in captivity
Are you so blind that you cannot see
Are you so deaf that you cannot hear
Are you so dumb that you cannot speak
I say Free Nelson Mandela
I'm begging you
Oh free Nelson Mandela, free
Nelson Mandela I'm begging you
begging you Please free Nelson Mandela
free Nelson Mandela
I'm telling you, you've got to free Nelson Mandela