FREE
(Music by Rick Springfield & Bob Marlette / Words by Rick Springfield)

So this is the cage that I built
Why I built it I don't know
It's bars made of anger and guilt
No lock but somehow it just wouldn't let me go
All hail the messenger of love
I got your message loud and clear
Now I'm hungry to be healed
And you can't, you can't keep me away

I'm free
When we are one
I am complete
I'm free
And I'm undone
And I will be healed in your eyes

I had to close a door in my life
For another one to open
So I, I could go through
Though I had no guiding light
And no signs somehow it still led me to you

I learned a lesson here in love
And it's ringing loud and clear
Now I'm ready to reveal
All the things that before I could never say

I'm free
When we are one
I am complete
I'm free
And I'm undone
And I will be healed in your eyes

All hail the messenger of love
I got your message loud and clear
Now I'm hungry to reveal
And you can't, you can't keep me away

When we are one
I am complete
And I'm undone
And I will be healed in your eyes

I'm free
When we are one
I am complete
I'm free
And I'm undone
And I will be healed in your eyes

I'm free
When we are one
I am complete
I'm free
And I'm undone
And I will be healed in your eyes

I'm free
I'm free
I'm free...

(total playing time 4:33)

Rick says:
A spiritual message from a boy (4 years old) in my neighborhood who drowned on a family trip in Tahoe. It's one of the 2 songs I've written that I felt actually came 'through' me from someplace else directly. The other being 'My Fathers Chair'. My favorite song on the album.
When I finished the song I new I had to get Richard Page to sing the "I'm Free" line. I've always loved his voice. It has a great spiritual quality to it. - melodicrock.com

Rick also says:  a song I wrote ... A little kid across from us ... A neighbor died in a swimming accident ... Four years-old ... It was a big deal here ... 
And, his Dad's a headmaster at the school, so every time I go outside I would see him, it's like a nightmare ... for anyone who has a kid ... And then, the song is not specifically about him ... but there was something going on - I was thinking about him the whole time I was writing it. It's almost like a message ... he's free now, you know? 
And, my opinions are in there somewhere, ya know. But it was really a strange writing session ... I was home alone for like three days ... Family gone away ... San Diego ... and - 
Yeah, so, it's about being free of your s**t ... ya know? - eiozine.com

Song Facts: This can be found on Karma.

According to US

 The first time I heard this song, it was not on the Karma CD. I was one of the lucky fans to hear Rick sing this at the Fan Club Luncheon in Tucson, AZ in 1998. Being a part of that was like a religious experience for me. I don't know if it was because I was already on a *high* that Rick Springfield was in the same room as me, and I had already met him earlier that day for the first time...but every time I hear this song now I am taken back to that day.

Rick asked us if we wanted to hear a new song, the crowd squealed in glee..of course we did! He pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket, all folded up and scribbled on. He explained that he had just finished up the lyrics and was in the process of recording this one. He then stated that he had a story to tell us before he performed it. Tears started welling up in his eyes, and his voice got a choked sound to it. He started telling us about this little boy who lived across the street from him and how cute and precious he was and that their whole neighborhood loved him. He and his family went on vacation, and while they were there the little boy fell in the lake and drowned. Rick said that he wrote Free a few nights later, up late one night when he noticed that there was still a light on at his parent's house across the way. Rick stated that although the song is about himself (Rick) he felt that he was receiving a message from this boy while he was writing it. He didn't understand what the message was yet, but hoped to someday.

After he finished singing it, and the last note on the guitar faded away, you could almost hear a pin drop in the place. Rick quietly sobbed for a moment, then looked up at us and pointed at his mother and told us we could blame her for him being so mushy. He then wiped his tears with his page of notes...and promptly put that piece of paper up for auction! (Hey, it was a charity event!)

The first time I heard this song at a live show after that, was after 9/11/01. Rick spoke of Marni O'Daugherty and of the tragedy of the WTC. The whole crowd hushed as if in tribute to all of our fellow Americans. At the chorus, with the whole crowd singing "I'm Free" Rick would just beam with pride. I still find it a very moving experience when Rick performs this one live. Heck, I still cry when I hear this one live. 

Who am I kidding? I heard this song come over the speakers in the grocery store while I was shopping once, and after my initial spasmodic gasp and freak out (ohmigod they're playing Rick in my grocery store and it's NOT Jessie's Girl!) I had tears in my eyes. My kids thought there was something wrong with me. So now I can't wait for the day that I'm in an elevator and suddenly recognize the song playing as Rick's "Free". It'll be hard to determine whether I'm crying because of the song, or because I'm hearing Rick's music in an elevator. - Michelle P.


This is definitely one of my all-time favorite songs that Rick wrote. It definitely showcases his songwriting abilities. It is one of those songs that makes you stop and think outside the box. To me,
it has a very deep spiritual meaning. I consider myself a very religious person, but I'm at a place in my life where I am very frustrated with "organized" religion. So, I always have a feeling
of a very heavy weight being lifted when I hear this song. If I could ask Rick to play one song live just for me...this would be the one! - Char P.


This is such a beautiful song, and knowing how much it means to Rick and knowing what his inspiration was, makes it so much more special. Along with My Father's Chair, this song can still choke him up in concert (and us, too). This song can just have so many meanings, being Free of so many things, letting go, being at peace.
The cage can represent so many different things, how we build our own prisons and we are the only ones standing in our own way. - rlh


 I also can't hear this song and not think of the performance I saw of it in Tucson, in 1998. There was something amazingly powerful about hearing a brand new song back then. It's always special, but since it had been so long since we had new material to chew on, and not to mention Rick was NOT touring at that point, hearing him sing something new was just an amazing occurrence in and of itself. 

The power of this tune to me always traces back to that first emotional performance of it. He chokingly told us the story of it, and then he began to sing, seated, wearing blue jeans, all by himself in front of all of us, acoustically, all alone. The aching tone of his voice coupled with the amazing lyrics and chorus (it was recorded just about the same as he performed it that day, except obviously with more instruments) were so powerful and so strong, there wasn't a dry eye it seemed in the room. 

"So this is the cage that I built
Why I built it I don't know
It's bars made of anger and guilt
No lock but somehow it just wouldn't let me go"


To me this means that sometimes you lock yourself inside a place where you're bound by what you think you should do, what you think people think of you, and you continue to act in ways that speak of those boundaries you've created around yourself. Sometimes you do this out of anger, out of guilt, out of depression or low self esteem, but you seem caught by those bars, unable to make decisions.


"I had to close a door in my life
For another one to open so I could go through..."


Sometimes, you have to let go of things, and that is a difficult process, but it sometimes opens the doors to new opportunities that you wouldn't have realized at the time. It means, sometimes, doing things that break you out of those self created boundaries that you set for yourself. That is the door closing, but in the end, it may be a positive, even though it feels so difficult at the time.

This song says to me that when you're able to finally let go (be it spiritually, physically or emotionally), that is when you achieve true freedom and peace. You can finally be healed when you let go of the bars that you've allowed to enclose your life for so long. This song came from the story of a young child who let go of his life...and taught Rick about how to live in the process. It's always been a favorite of mine, and a mantra that I need to repeat often.  - Amy SP


I love this song. I would have to say it is my favorite song of Rick's. The music and the way he sings it are just so beautiful. The part where he sings, "When we are one, I am complete", his voice gives the feeling that he was released from a prison of his own making. When I first heard this song I made such a connection to it because I had just gone through a period of spiritual searching in my own life. So I really identified with the "cage", which I think we all have to a certain extent, kind of like a place where you can be and no one else can come there, psychologically speaking ,but also a place full of repressed pain and regret and longing for things that can never be. I also connected strongly with "I had to close a door in my life" because sometimes you just have to let go of things that just aren't good for you anymore. I remember the first time I played it for my daughter, she said,"It sounds like Christian music." I don't know about that, but it is definitely a very spiritual song. God bless the little boy who inspired it. Well, I hope this hasn't been too depressing ,but this song is very personal for me. If I had to make a list of what I thought were the best songs Rick has written, this song would be at the top of the list. - Elizabeth S.


I have NEVER heard this song live, ever. I own Karma, but it was not in my cd player often, and I think it is because I could not handle it, I was not ready for it. I preferred to listen to SDAA, the hard edgy stuff, the angry stuff. It was not until I began to work on letting some of my own anger go that I listened to Karma again, and developed a new appreciation for it, and especially for the song 'Free'. 

"So this is the cage that I built
Why I built it I don't know
It's bars made of anger and guilt
No lock but sometimes it just wont let me go"


Now how fitting that this be the first verse I hear. My cage was my emotional and physical world. I built an emotional cage to protect me from being hurt, without realizing I was keeping myself captive. Physically, how many of us these days have security systems and metal bars installed in our homes and cars. It distorts the view from your window. We all have our cages, cages crowded with emotional baggage. No wonder I am claustrophobic. 

The messenger that Rick speaks of for this song, that sweet little boy who had not lived long enough on earth to learn to hate, discriminate, become a skeptic, a pessimist. A little boy who knew nothing but love, and trust and kindness. 
"All hail the messenger of love
I got your message loud and clear
Now I'm hungry to be healed"


The little boy was born free what can corrode us, and even after his passing, he remains free in spirit. If everyone could get the message this little boy sent, the world would be a much better place. We could see each other in a different light. 
"When we are one
I am am complete
I'm free
And I'm undone
And I will be healed in your eyes"


It is not a complicated song, but it is a deep song, a mantra, a mission statement, a way of life. I cant help but wonder if my life would be any different if I would start each day by listening to this song. Sure, the theory behind this song sounds simple and easy...but out of sight, out of mind...and then then the cage starts to fill up again with the baggage, so much so that I cant seem to find where I left this song on my emotional shelf. It has been a crazy year for many people. I hope that while Rick is on his holiday break, that he takes the time to listen to this song again. I am starting to see metal bars in his life. - Kat M.