Words & music traditional; translated from the German by Arthur Kevess

Die Gendanken sind frei, my thoughts freely flower
Die Gendanken sind frei, my thoughts give me power
No scholar can map them, no hunter can trap them
No one can deny, die gendanken sind frei

I think as I please & this gives me pleasure
My conscience decrees, this right I must treasure
My thoughts will not cater to duke or dictator
No one can deny, die gendanken sing frei

And should tyrants take me & throw me in prison
My thoughts will burst free like blossoms in season
Foundations will crumble & structures will tumble
And free folk will cry "Die Gendanken sind frei"

This translation was published in 1950 by Peoples' Artists, Inc. See the site for Sing Out! magazine. These lyrics can be found on numerous web sites, including Resource Center for Nonviolence, Sacramento Freethought, and sites related to either of these.

I first heard of this song via the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Their recording of the song can be heard from the site Goodness without Godness!, from which you can click on "Music for Dan Barker" (or click here if you want to go directly to the sound file) which plays Barker's whole repertoire beginning with this song.

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Uploaded 15 March 2004

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