The song is a tribute to the black American actor, singer and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson....
Where are you now?
Broken up or still around?
The CIA says you're a guilty man
Will we see the likes of you again?

Can anyone make a difference anymore?
Can anyone write a protest song?
Pinky lefty revolutionary
Burnt at the stake for

A voice so pure, a vision so clear
I've got to learn to live like you
Learn to sing like you

Went to Cuba to meet Castro
Never got past sleepy Moscow
A giant man with a heavenly voice
MK Ultra turned you paranoid

No passport 'til 1958
McCarthy poisoned through with hate
Liberty lost still buried today
Beneath the lie of the USA

Say what you want
Say what you want

A voice so pure, a vision so clear
I've got to learn to live like you
Learn to sing like you

"Now let the Freedom Train come zooming down the track
Gleaming in the sunlight for white and black
Not stopping at no stations marked coloured nor white
Just stopping in the fields in the broad daylight

Stopping in the country in the wide open air
Where there never was a Jim Crow sign nowhere
And no lilly-white committees, politicians of note
Nor poll tax layer through which coloured can't vote

And there won't be no kinda colour lines
The Freedom Train will be yours
And mine"

A voice so pure, a vision so clear
I've got to learn to live like you
Learn to sing like you

Sing it loud, sing it proud
I will be here, I will be found
Sing it loud, sing it proud
I will be here, I will be found


Lyrics submitted by angelgarbage

"Let Robeson Sing" as written by Nicholas Jones James Bradfield

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Let Robeson Sing song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI assumed the line about Cuba was a reference to the Manics' visit to Cuba a few years back. Don't quite understand the part about Moscow, though, I don't know if it's supposed to be figurative rather than literal (Moscow, obviously, representing Russian Communism - or Stalinism, to be precise).
    Good song, particularly the snipe at McCarthyism and 'the lie of the USA.'
    richeyeon April 23, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe 'went to cuba to meet castro, never got past sleepy moscow' is a reference to the left in general. When you say revolution, you think russian revolution, then communism. So before you go to meet castro, you go to moscow. Then when you think moscow, you think stalin and think 'actually, it aint that good'
    countcube69on July 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about Paul Robeson internationally, famous actor and singer. he was a political activist on behalf of oppressed peoples for nearly fifty years. But the 'Went to Cuba to meet Castro' has nothing to do with robeson
    Thom Webbeon April 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Sing it loud, sing it proud
    I will be heard, I will be found
    Sing it loud, sing it proud
    I will be heard, I will be found"

    Those lines send shivers down my spine, especially when hearing this song live. Absolutely fantastic.

    It's sad, if it wasn't for this song I probably wouldn't have heard about Paul Robeson. He has such an amazing story!
    cherry_blossomon April 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGod, I LOVE this song, its beautiful.
    DoopTheDestroyeron July 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"But the 'Went to Cuba to meet Castro' has nothing to do with robeson"

    Went to Cuba to meet Castro, never got past sleepy Moscow. Did he intend to go to Cuba, at some point?. I always assumed that was the link?
    Dr Strangeloveon December 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPaul Robeson had planned a trip to Cuba in 1961. Before then, however, he attemped suicide in a Moscow hotel room. His son contends that his father was victim of the CIA's MKULTRA experiments, and had been given a drug called BZ while there.

    This is obviously a controversial topic, so confirming or debunking these statements I'll leave to those still interested.
    tikbalangon June 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is about aparthied and also socialist aspirations. One day our day will come. Burn all racists (this is metaphorical of course wouldn't want any scumbag, I mean human, to be burnt lol).
    TheDarkSide10on September 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRobeson spent years in Moscow as a guest of the Communist party. He even recorded a version of the Soviet national anthem. He remarked that Moscow was the one place he felt comfortable as a black man amongst a largely white population feeling that Soviet citizens didn't see his race before seeing him as a comrade if that makes sense. The 'sleepy moscow' line may be a reference to the fact that under Stalin; and even more so under Kruschev and those that followed, the revolutionary spirit of Lenin had largely been lost in consolidation and beurocracy, whereas Cuba and South America had become the great hope of socialism with truly people powered revolutions that had not (at that time) yet fallen into dogmatism or counterrevolution. Basically Moscow wasn't making things happen anymore and so was sleepy whereas Cuba was at the forefront of the struggle against imperialism. The MK Ultra thing has never been proved, but Robeson spent time in a uk sanitarium and was by all accounts never the same afterwards. He was black listed during the McCarthy witch hunts and denied foreign travel after he fell under suspicion. Afterwards he chose to exile himself from the US first in living for a time in the UK and also I n the Soviet Union. Incidentally whilst in the uk he spoke at the National Eisteddfod of Wales - a Welsh folk festival where he was extremely well received and perhaps gives a link to the Manics Welsh Roots. He returned to the US later in life as a broken man (perhaps due to attempted mind control attempts by the CIA and MI5) and shunned publicity til his death in 1976.
    Cheap Tarnished Glitteron August 21, 2017   Link

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