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The Free Software Song

by Richard Stallman

You can read the story of the writing of the song, too.

The lyrics of the “Free Software Song” are sung to the melody of the Bulgarian folk song “Sadi moma bela loza

Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.
Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.

Hoarders can get piles of money,
That is true, hackers, that is true.
But they cannot help their neighbors;
That's not good, hackers, that's not good.

When we have enough free software
At our call, hackers, at our call,
We'll kick out those dirty licenses
Ever more, hackers, ever more.

Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.
Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.

This song is in a rhythm of 7/8; those unaccustomed to odd rhythms often take the unevenness to be a mistake. The meter can be analyzed into three subgroups as slow-quick-quick or 3-2-2. Such meters in Bulgarian music can often be stretched, and some musicians analyze this song as 3-2-3 instead; however, Yves Moreau, who collected and taught the dance, endorses the rhythm of 7.

Downloads

Performances

Alternate versions

You can get a typeset score of the song made with GNU LilyPond. The LilyPond source for the typeset score is also available.

“Sadi moma bela loza”

Here is a description of the tune of “Sadi moma bela loza,” a Bulgarian dance tune, in an ad-hoc form of notation using letters for notes. A dash means the previous note continues. There are seven beats per measure, thus seven characters in each group.

    D-CB-A- B-CBAG- G--A--B C--B-BD A--A--- D-CB---
    D-CB-A- B-CBAG- G--A--B C--B-BD A--A--- A------

It is also available as an ABC file.

Licensing

Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation claim no copyright on this song.

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