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Freedom’s Just Another Word….

josh_fattal--sarah_shourd--shane_bauer.jpg“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.”

The line from Janis Joplin’s 1960s hit Me and Bobby Mcgee (written by Kris Kristofferson), was the first thing that sprung to mind when I read @farah_way’s dm asking if I would write something about freedom for the Free The Hikers blog.

I went to YouTube (where else?), and searched the tune to see what I could find.

Lo and behold, I discovered a treasure – a version dubbed a “rare 1st studio recording. In a word: awesome. I’d like to dedicate it to everyone around the world who strives to be free.

The rendition stirred something in my core, and the lyrics caused me to reflect on youth, travel, adventure, love, loss, life, and what it means to be free.

Almost a year ago, Josh, Shane and Sarah, three Americans in their late 20s, unintentionally strayed across a border.

Since then, they’ve been interred in Evin prison by the Government of Iran, just as many equally-innocent Iranians are held, tortured, and often executed at the whim of a cruel regime that seems bent on suppressing the will of its own people.

The supreme irony of the plight of these three young hikers is that they had been on a mission of mercy – they volunteered to help refugees, the poor, and those less privileged than themselves to achieve freedom from want, persecution, and insecurity.

Now they themselves are entrapped, detained, and confined. So what of their own freedom?

A short time before Josh, Shane and Sarah went on their ill-fated hike, I blogged about the death of Neda Agha Soltan in a street in Tehran. I wrote:

The image of her blood-covered face, that of a fallen angel, will be embedded in the minds of thousands, maybe even millions, who will bear witness to her oh-so-public passing when they watch it on the Internet.



I wonder how she felt about freedom, this one young woman who died in a Tehran street? Whatever her views were, it’s unlikely that she would have known when she awoke yesterday that her destiny was to become immortal in the name of it.

One young woman went into the street in Tehran on a June morning, maybe to go to the shop, or to her music lesson; maybe to fight for her country, her beliefs, and her values.



If she was demonstrating for freedom, in a twisted way, she got what she wanted, but surely not in the way she might have imagined.

Whatever her intention, she’s become a martyr of sorts, an unexpected icon, a symbol for all that needs changing in a world from which she is now forever free.

It strikes me that, like Neda, Josh, Shane and Sarah are caught up in something much bigger than themselves.

As for freedom, I believe it has more to do with the heart, mind and soul, than walls, boxes and iron bars.  We all have prisons from which we wish to escape. Some are physical, some emotional, others mental.

I have complete faith that Josh, Shane and Sarah will one day be physically free. In the meantime, I pray for the freedom of their minds and spirits.

I hope they won’t allow their current adverse circumstances to crush their freedom to choose love, compassion and peace over bitterness, hatred and despair. I hope they will be steadfast in their intent to make the world a better place.

They, like us, have nothing left to lose….    

Related links:
Free The Hikers
More About Iran on AWR

Me & Bobby McGee Lyrics

 by Kris Kristofferson

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train

And I’m feeling nearly as faded as my jeans.
Bobby thumbed a diesel down just before it rained,
It rode us all the way to New Orleans.


I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandanna,

I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues.
Windshield wipers slapping time, I was holding Bobby’s hand in mine,

We sang every song that driver knew.


Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free, now now.

And feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,

You know feeling good was good enough for me,

Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.
From the Kentucky coal mines to the California sun,

Hey, Bobby shared the secrets of my soul.

Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done,

Hey Bobby baby? kept me from the cold.


One day up near Salinas, I let him slip away,
He’s looking for that home and I hope he finds it,

But I’d trade all of my tomorrows for just one yesterday
To be holding Bobby’s body next to mine.


Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,

Nothing, that’s all that Bobby left me, yeah,
But feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
Hey, feeling good was good enough for me, hmm hmm,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

La la la, la la la la, la la la, la la la la
La la la la la
Bobby McGee.
La la la la la, la la la la la
La la la la la,
Bobby McGee, la.

La La la, la la la la la la,
La La la la la la la la la, ain`t no bumb on my bobby McGee yeah.
Na na na na na na na na, na na na na na na na na na na na

Hey now Bobby now, Bobby McGee, yeah.


Lord, I’m calling my lover, calling my man,
I said I’m calling my lover just the best I can,
C’mon, hey now Bobby yeah, hey now Bobby McGee, yeah,
Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lord

Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee, Lord!

Yeah! Whew!

Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lord
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee.

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