Courtney Marie Andrews and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy have shared their cover of ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’ as part of the “Our First 100 Days” project.
“‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’ is an amazing gospel tune that the incomparable Nina Simone covered and it became an important song for the civil rights movement in the ‘60s. A lot of these issues are still relevant today and I wanted to sing a song that had a palpable voice for those issues. I’ll never know what it was like to walk the rocky path that Nina did, but her power and unyielding strength was and is something to aspire to,” says Andrews, who’ll be playing Bush Hall on 4 September.
“We figured to make a song that would keep folks’ minds, tongues, and fingers in motion,” added Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.
The song marks day 67 of the Our First 100 Days campaign, which has already raised over $80 000 for organisations supporting causes currently under threat by the Trump administration. For a minimum contribution of $30, subscribers receive one song per day across the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency.
Andrews released her latest album, ‘Honest Life’, in January and describes it as her most personal yet.
“While in Belgium for four months, I was going through a major heartbreak. I started growing homesick for America and the comfort of family and friends. That’s where I wrote the first songs for ‘Honest Life’,” she remembers.
“It was a giant hurdle in my life, my first true growing pains as a woman. That’s why I feel this record is a coming of age album. A common thread that runs through the songs is a great desire to fit somewhere, when nowhere fits – and wanting to get back home to the people I know and love.
“Once I got back to the USA I started to work at a small town bar. At the bar I felt I could truly empathise with the stories and lives of the people there. I wrote the other half of the songs about coming home and feeling a sense of belonging again. A lot of the stories at that bar definitely ran parallel with my own, even though our lives were so different. I was the ‘musician girl’. They were farmers, construction workers, plumbers, waitresses, and cashiers. But, no matter how different, I felt we were all trying to live our most honest life.”