The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Courtney Marie Andrews collaborate for charity project Our First 100 Days

The duo have recorded their own version of the gospel song popularised by Nina Simone

Will Oldham aka Bonnie ‛Prince’ Billy and Courtney Marie Andrews have collaborated on a cover version of “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” for the Our First 100 Days initiative, which aims to raise funds for organisations supporting causes that are currently under threat by the Trump administration.

Andrews describes the song as “an amazing gospel tune that became an important song for the civil rights movement in the 60s. A lot of these issues are still relevant today and I wanted to sing a song that had a palpable voice for those issues. I'll never know what it was like to walk the rocky path that Nina did, but her power and unyielding strength were and are something to aspire to.”

“We figured to make a song that would keep folks’ minds, tongues and fingers in motion,” adds Oldham. "James Baldwin [said] ‛This is not the land of the free. It is only very unwillingly and sporadically the home of the brave’.”

Listen to the track at the Bandcamp page

Our First 100 Days was started in conjunction with Secretly Group and 30 Days, 30 Songs. Sold in a subscription format for a minimum contribution of $30, fans will receive one song per day across the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. Powered by RPM, all profits from Our First 100 Days will benefit organisations that stand in opposition to a Trump presidency: All Above All, Cosecha, Hoosier Action, People’s Climate Movement, and Southerners On New Ground.