Writing the Free Software Song

[Colorful rounded image of the Head of a GNU] [ English ]

This is the story of the writing of the Free Software Song.

I wrote the free software song at a filksinging session at a science fiction convention. It was a "bardic circle" session, which means each person in turn around the hall had the chance to either sing or ask someone else to sing. I had just had my turn, and there were 20 or more people there, so I knew it would be a long time before I had another turn. I decided to pass the time writing a filksong. This meant I was not starting with any particular inspiration in mind. I had to look for what to write about and how.

So first I asked myself, what topic should it be about? I realized I had never written a filksong relating to free software, so I figured it was time I did.

Then I asked myself, what tune should I use? I realized I had never written a filksong using Bulgarian dance music, so I figured that would be a good thing to do for once. I chose Sadi Moma because it is not too fast or complicated, and is easy to sing.

By the time it was my turn again, the song was ready. After I sang it, someone else in the room said, "That has an anthem-like quality. You should show it to Richard Stallman." (That year was the time I was a little famous and I was a guest at the convention.)

I said, "I am Richard Stallman."

She said, "Oh, I'm sorry!"

I responded, "Don't be sorry, it's fun when that happens."

[ English ]

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Updated: $Date: 2005/05/05 19:37:13 $ $Author: novalis $