This “free thought” anthem called “Die Gedanken Sind Frei” has a history that is many centuries long. There are lots of resources here so that your local group of friends and colleagues can start singing this stirring song, and keep the spirit building! [updated June 2011.]

Historians know the idea of this song about free thought was around since the 12th century.

Cover of music to Die Gedanken Sind FreiSince the 16th century, peasants and rebels have sung a song about the power of a free mind, free thought, free speech.

Nazis tried to ban this song unsuccessfully!

You will often find this ancient song sung at MindFreedom and other Mad Pride events!

Learn how your group can join in the fun!



The title is “Die Gedanken Sind Frei” in German, and it roughly translates to mean “Our Thoughts Are Free” or “All Thoughts Are Free.”

You may read a version of the lyrics in English that MindFreedom uses on this web site by clicking here.

You may download a PDF version of the one-page lyric sheet by clicking here.

Or you may download an MS Word version of the one-page lyric sheet by clicking here.

Want the chords? Here’s a link to the music, chords and lyrics:


Here’s another version of the English lyrics here:


For a quick history see the wiki page:



For more historic background you can google the title and set the advanced search to English.

To hear the tune on the Internet there are several places to go.

You can read both the original German and English, plus download a midi of the tune here:


Or you can hear the tune here:


On iTunes you can get a few versions of the song. There’s a short version by Pete Seeger. 

Also, the Brazillian Girls have made up their own modern tune with fun percussion to sing the lyrics. You can view a video on YouTube of this group performing the song live in New York City’s Anamorphic by clicking here.

No matter what, the song is still provoking discussion, as one can see in this online chat here:


With the above resources, you can help any group sing this song. For special occasions, you may want to print out ENORMOUS song sheets. MindFreedom has PDF’s of the lyrics in 30 inch high by 42 inch wide version (seven sheets). To download those PDF’s so you can e-mail them to your local photocopier to print, click here. 


Document Actions