The Specials "Nelson Mandela" Tribute

Open Music & Creativity

The Specials "Nelson Mandela"

Musical Tribute to a Legend 

“It always seems impossible until it's done.”― Nelson Mandela This amazing song is a tribute to Nelson Mandela and the cause of freedom in the early 1980s, "This made us feel we were part of something much bigger than the sum of its parts" the Specials.  "Free Nelson Mandela" is a song written by Jerry Dammers, and performed by band The Special A.K.A.  released on the single 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. In December 2013, following the news of Nelson Mandela's death, the single re-entered at number ninety six on the UK Singles Chart. Watch now The Special performing Nelson Mandela song. 

"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 as a protest against the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela by the apartheid South African government. 

 Dammers told the Radio Times: "I knew very little about Mandela until I went to an anti-apartheid concert in London in 1983, which gave me the idea for 'Nelson Mandela'. I never knew how much impact the song would have; it was a hit around the world, and it got back into South Africa and was played at sporting events and ANC rallies-it became an anthem."

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. The song peaked at number nine on the UK Singles Chart and was immensely popular in Africa.

 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa's first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.

Lyrics to Nelson Mandela

Free Nelson Mandela
Free free
Free free free Nelson Mandela

Free Nelson Mandela

21 years in captivity
Shoes too small to fit his feet
His body abused, but his mind is still free
You're so blind that you cannot see

Free Nelson Mandela

Visited the causes at the AMC
Only one man in a large army
You're so blind that you cannot see
You're so deaf that you cannot hear him

Free Nelson Mandela

21 tears in captivity
You're so blind that you cannot see
You're so deaf that you cannot hear him
You're so dumb that you cannot speak

Free Nelson Mandela

Single by The Special A.K.A.

from the album In the Studio
B-side    "Break Down The Door!"
Released    5 March 1984
Format    7", 12"
Genre    Ska
Length    4:12
Label    2 Tone CHS TT26
Songwriter(s)    Jerry Dammers
Producer(s)    Elvis Costello

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