When I hear “Free at last!” in the rousing speech by Martin Luther King, I admit I don’t think only of that inspiring pastor and the human rights movement.
I also think of my daughter Aimee’s 3rd birthday.
Our church was less than a mile away from home in our tiny town of South Bend, Washington. But if on the way home a song we liked was blaring out our speakers, my husband would drive up and around hills and through neighborhoods as we all loudly sang along.
This also involved a lot of posturing and what I called “finger and head dancing”. (There is only so much you can do when strapped into a car seat.)
Our favorite song was Free at Last. It had a humorous off-key opening (which can most likely be heard in any small church congregation) and the “free at last” passage from Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech. Most of the song was upbeat Christian rap, featuring the singer known now as TobyMac. Our car rides were so much fun (we also danced crazily with the kids in our living room) that the song Free at Last became a family favorite.
So of course when we realized that at that age Aimee counted this way—one, two, free, four—I couldn’t resist putting up the sign (see image above) on her birthday, when she was finally “free at last!”
The only thing missing from this video is better sound quality, and the car-dancing Sargent family: