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Justice Jukebox: Peter Gabriel, “Biko”

September 13, 2007

As noted in my previous posts on Stephen Biko, his death became an international cause célèbre, building pressure against the South African apartheid regime. Biko’s fame increased still further when Peter Gabriel first recorded this song in 1980, and he became an even more powerful symbol of South African aspirations to freedom and to the fate of political prisoners everywhere. The live version I’ve linked to here was used in the soundtrack to Richard Attenborough’s 1987 film Cry Freedom, which told the story of Biko through the eyes of his friend, the white journalist Donald Woods. The video incorporates scenes from the film. Here are the lyrics. Enjoy!

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