Excerpt: Road to Freedom

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I’m not much of a songwriter, but I enjoy writing lyrics for my stories. In the Divine Warriors series, that means the prayers to the gods used by the temples and our heroes, and also the pop songs that Amena sings. The prayers are often based on ancient hymns like from Greek Hellenismos and Sanskrit in the Vedas. But pop songs are more fun!

What’s a concert without some music? Also, Amena’s lyrics have hidden meanings behind them. One of the most important songs is “Road to Freedom.” She originally wrote it as an anthem for the rebellion. When she wanted to perform it at a pop concert, she had to change the words so they were less controversial. I’ll compare the two versions today.

Here’s the chorus from “Road to Freedom (original)”:

I’m watching the empire crumble around us
We each walk on our own road
What if destiny isn’t written in the stars?
This is what I chose
The road to freedom
Fighting for a better future
Don’t lose your way

Now, Amena can’t talk about destroying the empire or fighting for a better future when she’s on a public stage. So she had to make some changes. Here’s the altered chorus:

Truthfully, I’m crying inside
I’m watching the sky crumble around us
I must leave you on this road
Your fate was decided by the stars
But I chose another path
Soaring into the future
I won’t hesitate…

But of course, both versions still have these lines:

In Freedom I was born, in Freedom I will live.
This road is lonely, but I’ll keep on running.

That part takes inspiration from a song written for the American Revolution. Luckily, the empire doesn’t know about real world history, so they don’t recognize it. Imperial citizens think they’re already free. Convincing people that there’s a problem with the government is one issue that the rebellion faces, and it will take more than song for Amena to do that.

You’ll have to keep reading if you want to know how Amena (and the rest of the rebellion) will change people’s minds.


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