Tune of the Day: Die Gedanken sind frei
This German song is about freedom of thought, and boasts a lively, catchy tune. The melody first appeared in print at the beginning of the 19th century, but is probably older; the lyrics certainly are, having occurred on leaflets about 1780.
Since the Age of Metternich (early 19th century), “Die Gedanken sind frei” was a popular protest song against political repression and censorship. In Nazi Germany, the song was even proscribed. One night in 1942 Sophie Scholl played the song on her flute outside the walls of Ulm prison where her father Robert had been detained for calling Adolf Hitler a “Scourge of God”.
Pete Seeger recorded the song in 1966 on his Dangerous Songs!? album.