Freedom’s just another word

Janis Joplin “Me and Bobby McGee”

To call Janis Joplin a legend is not an exaggeration. So many musicians and singers have named her as their role model. Sadly, her moment in the sun was only fleeting but she left a legacy that still echos today.
Janis was born in Port


Arthur Texas in 1943. She first big break was in 1967 when she fronted Big Brother and the Holding Company at the Monterey Pop Festival and then as a solo artist in 1969 at the now legendary Woodstock Festival.
Her hits included this week’s track and “Piece of my Heart”, “Mercedes Benz” and Summertime”. She had a raw earthy blues voice and I picked “Me and Bobby McGee” written by Kris Kristofferson as a wonderful example of her work. Sadly, she died in October 1970 of a heroin overdose at the age of 27.
The song tells the story of two young people hitch hiking across America and contains this amazing line, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose”. It struck me the first time I heard it and I have thought about it a lot over the years.
I was never that freewheeling spirit, travelling where the mood took me. I left school at 16 and started work straight away. Since then, I have been tied to things like my family, my kids, work and the truth is, I like that. To be truly free as an individual can mean being without all the things that have been important to me.
There is a more positive and beneficial side to freedom and that is our collective freedoms. In our country we do have many political freedoms such as the right to vote, the right to the protection of the law and to live in peace without the fear of violence and discrimination. Sadly, today I feel that these rights are under threat and we need to stand together to protect them.


Freedom’s just another word

A ship needs a harbour
A boat needs a dock
Trousers need a belt
Shoes need a sock

Sentences need words
You need tyres on a truck
A bathtub needs a plug
Lollies need a suck

A kiss needs lips
Nudists need the sun
Ducks need a puddle
Joggers need to run

Freedom needs limits
Floating voters need to float
Socialism needs planning
Democracy needs a vote

Children need a parent
Northern summers need heating
Problems need a solution
The Tories need defeating

Teresa May needs a backbone
Boris Johnson needs a gag
Jeremy needs our backing
He’s the only hope we have

© Jeff Price April 2018

There is an adult version of this poem Freedom’s just another word (adult version) if you would like to read it click the link

Je Regrette Beaucoup

Edith Piaf  “Non, je ne regrette rien”

The story of Edith Piaf’s life is a remarkable one. Her life amongst the poor of Paris, her rise to fame and the way men ruthlessly exploited her. The film “La Vie en Rose” which tells her life story is well worth a watch. You can watch the trailer for the movie by clicking here.

You can not help as you get older thinking of the things you might have done differently edith_piaf_8294or the things you did and regretted later.  To say that you regret nothing is to say that you have learnt nothing from life and that would be the biggest mistake of all. 

This week’s poem is a look at the things I regret from the past seventy years. Feel free to add your own regrets to the comment section of the blog.

Je Regrette Beaucoup

Missing the Beatles first gig in Newcastle in 1963

Getting married to the first Mrs Price in 1967

Going to see Van Morrison at the City Hall in 1983


Not continuing to learn French after I left school

Not having the courage to take up a job in London when I was 19

Starting smoking, giving up was easy, I did it hundreds of times


Not going to University until I was 52, I realised what I had missed

Platform shoes, a dodgy moustache, bell bottom hipster jeans and my red leather tie

Playing card games on the computer when I should be writing


Believing that all hippies were honest and wouldn’t rip you off

Not telling my Father that I loved him when I had the chance

Not writing a better poem than this for this week’s blog


©Jeff Price March 2018