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FR011 | “I didn’t understand if you want me for me”

Doing a week’s work experience with Finding Rhythms this June, Rosamund wrote this wonderful write up for the charity’s 11th album, Freedom to Write.

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Our new album ‘Freedom to Write’ is here and we’re so excited to share it with you! This one was made by the young singers and musicians from HMP/YOI Swinfel Hall, who worked together to make our 11th album to date.

The album opens with a very upbeat and enlightening song, Life Is, and ends with a beautiful, heartfelt 1000 Miles Away, with 11 other songs in the middle, completing our 11th full length album.

The guest musicians Benjamin Henry Edwards, Ruth Goller, Jessica Greenfield, Sam Lewis, Jamie McCredie and David Ridley all worked with the prisoners to put their creative and at times very moving lyrics into beautiful sounding songs. The Proof, my favourite song, touches on feeling trapped and confused when in prison and feeling like life has been unfair and unjust. The frustration and anger expressed was so powerful to listen to and relatable to anyone who has felt those feelings before in their life.

Fresh Home/Just Touch Road, the 9th track on the album describes the feeling of being out of prison and all the joys that brings, but also the immense pressure to stay on the right track to insure a crime-free better life. Not all of the songs are about prison though, Hands Up (Party Interlude) describes going out on the weekend with your friends and feeling great. One of the most beautiful songs on the album, She’s Amazing describes true love in a way I’ve never heard before, with so much passion and longing going into every note sung.

It’s clear that getting to know 8 more young men who were so supportive of each other and cared so much about the music they were making was a great experience for them, and that passion can be heard in every song. Everyone was so grateful at the end of the course and proud of what they’ve created, and by the sounds of this album, they definitely should be.

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Here are some of the things that the participants said about the course*:

‘I got to work on my confidence and collaborate with some wonderful people.’ Riley

‘I can pass that experience on, not just to other people but I can use it in the future for myself.’ Connor

‘I’m not really a talker, I’m more reserved, laid back… having that outlet to actually express myself through the music has opened me up more.’ Richie

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And some of the lyrics that stood out:

‘Tryna go places I know I can’t go, got half a heart tryna act like my heart is whole’ (Hands Up [Party Interlude])

‘Wanna move forward, wanna try beat them, wanna go faster, wanna try lead them.’ (Pick Up the Pace)

‘I’m sorry for me, I didn’t understand if you want me for me’ (Message to You)

‘I went to sleep, I had the dream, I woke up in a nightmare’ (The Proof)

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Rosamund Sutton

*Names have been changed



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