This song was originally connected with peasant rebellions in Germany from 1525. It was one of the earliest songs Geri would have known and sung. Learnt from his father and his father's friends in Vienna it was a song banned by the Nazis who imprisoned Geri's father for a time. I sang it at Geri's funeral and some years later at the memorial of his friend and comrade Reg Taylor. I include it here because even though I was writing political songs before I met Geri, it was his experience and assistance that gave my work better form and fruition. So it begins the 'Crimson Chat' selection as a tribute to Geri and the band of social activists who threaded through history and through our lives.
Die Gedanken sind frei, my thoughts freely flower.
Die Gedanken sind frei, my thoughts give me power,
No scholar can map them, no hunter can trap them,
No man can deny, Die Gedanken sind frei.
I think as I please, and this gives me pleasure.
My conscience decrees, this right I must treasure,
My thoughts will not cater to duke or dictator,
No man can deny Die Gedanken sind frei.
And if tyrants take me and throw me in prison,
My thoughts will burst free, like blossoms in season.
Foundations will crumble, the structure will tumble,
And free men will cry 'Die Gedanken sind frei'.
Neither trouble or pain will stop me from thinking,
I will not escape by pleasure or drinking,
Within myself still I can think as I will,
I laugh, and I cry: Die Gedanken sind frei.