Dreaming of freedom from the shackles of lockdown? Aren’t we all. These songs might just move you closer to that state – in mind if not body.

Hands up who else has lost count of what week we’re currently in of studiously sequestering ourselves away from friends, families and colleagues? Yet slowly – very slowly – things are changing. The parks are being repopulated with dogwalkers and sunbathers, while cyclists and joggers are reclaiming the streets once more. As the clement weather continues unabated and lockdown rules are loosened somewhat, people are beginning to reclaim some aspects of their former lives. In recognition, this week’s songs are all about freedom.

Freedom, of course, means many different things to many different people in diverse situations. It can, therefore, take a myriad of forms, a few of which we’ve tried to acknowledge here. Whether it’s Bruce Springsteen trying desperately to escape a two-horse town, Freddie Mercury dying to break free or Bob Marley singing about emancipation, some of music’s greatest heroes have all encapsulated the basic human desire not to be held in cages or prisons, but instead to be allowed to roam free once again, unshackled by chains or strictures.

Of course there are no guarantees when it comes to an end in sight for lockdown, but listen to these glorious and beautiful songs, and we promise that your soul will be elevated to the levels of Tim Robbins at the end of The Shawshank Redemption. Even if your body remains resolutely and unavoidably sofa-bound.

Listen to the playlist on Spotify.

By Nancy Alsop
May 2020


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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.