“The Free Slave”


"I stand as a free man beside the northern banks Of old Erie, the freshwater sea, And it cheers my very soul to behold the billows roll And to think, like the waves, I am free." The slave recalls the abuse he suffered, but he is safe under British laws


This may be a version of "O Freedom"; at least, Ed Trickett sings a version of "O Freedom" with many of the same words. But this text is highly detailed, whereas "O Freedom" is usually rather vague. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1793 - Sale of slaves outlawed in Canada
  • 1833 - Slavery abolished in the British Empire

Cross references


  • E. R. Nance Singers [or Traphill Twins], "Sweet Freedom" (Brunswick 565/Supertone S-2813, 1931)


  1. Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 96-98, "The Free Slave" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #4520
  3. BI, FMB


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1931 (recording, E. R. Nance Singers)
Keywords: slavery freedom
Found in: Canada