People Need No Freedom 人民不需要自由

People Need No Freedom is a reggae song written and performed by indie musician Li Zhi 李志. Under the delightful rhythm, the chorus gently repeats: "People need no freedom, this is the best era." Ironically (but not surprisingly), this song and Li Zhi both got banned in China soon after.

This video is Li Zhi performing People Need No Freedom at his 2012 New Year concert. Watch it till the end, you'll understand the feeling that every young Chinese person harbors.

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Translated Lyrics:

一个兄弟来看我,带着银子和故事,他微笑着对我说,人民不需要自由
A brother came to see me, brought money and stories, he smiled and said, people need no freedom
人民不需要自由,这是最好的年代,人民不需要自由,这是最好的年代
People need no freedom, this is the best era, people need no freedom, this is the best era

有人沉默著观望,有人怀疑着生活,听见他们在歌唱,人民不需要自由
Some watch in silence, some question life, hear them sing, people need no freedom
人民不需要自由,这是最好的年代,人民不需要自由,这是最好的年代
People need no freedom, this is the best era, people need no freedom, this is the best era

兄弟喝多了在哭,爱人迷失了太久,这时我总会想起,人民不需要自由
My brother got drunk and tearful, my lover had been lost for too long, times like this remind me, people need no freedom
人民不需要自由,这是最好的年代,人民不需要自由,这是最好的年代
People need no freedom, this is the best era, people need no freedom, this is the best era

父亲留下了一切,除了袋子和被子,他一直想告诉我,人民不需要自由
My father left everything behind, except his baggage and cover, he been wanting to tell me, people need no freedom
人民不需要自由,这是最好的年代,人民不需要自由,这是最好的年代
People need no freedom, this is the best era, people need no freedom, this is the best era

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Not often one hears a reggae song in Chinese, but reggae's history certainly makes it the perfect choice for this song. Reggae music blossomed in the early 1970s under the influence of Rastafarian philosophy, this genre played a major role in transforming Jamaica's national identity from one British post-colony to a “conscious” Black nation with a proud African heritage. Notable songs like Bob Marley & The Wailer's "Get Up Stand Up" became the anthem for protests.