By Jesse P. Karlsberg

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Now I Was Free.

A C major ode in 4/4 time. Composed 2005-9.

Text from Harriet Tubman, 1849.

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I wrote "Now I Was Free," a setting of Harriet Tumban's description of her joy the moment she obtained her freedom from enslavement, in 2005. I rearranged the song in 2009 and made a small number of additional changes while preparing the ode for publication in 2012. The editors of The Trumpet included the song in vol. 2, no. 2 of the periodical (May 2012).


I looked at my hand to see if I was the same person now I was free,
There was such glory over everything,
The sun came like gold through the trees,
And over the fields,
And I felt like I was in heav'n.