“I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” is a jazz song written by Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas in the 1960s. Jazz is a style of music which emerged in America around the turn of the 20th century. The music can be characterised by improvisations, syncopations and swing rhythms.
Billy Taylor (1921 – 2010) was an American jazz pianist, composer, broadcaster and educator. He was passionate about jazz and spent much of his career as a jazz activist, successfully introducing a much wider audience to the jazz genre. He appeared on hundreds of albums and composed more than 300 songs during his career, which spanned over six decades. Today’s song is his most famous and achieved popularity with the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
The trio is one of the common choice of line ups by jazz performers. It consists of the:
There are many different recordings of this song, the most famous perhaps being that of Nina Simone’s cover version from her 1967 album Silk & Soul.