Curtis Mayfield – “Freddie’s Dead”

Curtis Mayfield was a gifted and talented American soul, R&B, funk singer, songwriter, and record producer. Through his songwriting skills he had the ability to use his lyrics to paint a clear picture of the social injustices of that time. Once the music was composed and both merged together, the songs would deeply capture the heart  and soul of the listener.

“Freddie’s Dead” is a song by Curtis Mayfield. It was the first single from his 1972 soundtrack album for the film Super Fly. The single was released before the Super Fly album, and before the film was in theaters. The song peaked at #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 82 song for 1972.

The song laments the death of Fat Freddie, a character in the film who is run over by a car.

Like most of the music from the Super Fly album, “Freddie’s Dead” appears in the film only in an instrumental arrangement, without any lyrics. The song’s music is featured prominently in the film’s opening sequence and also recurs at several other points. Because of this usage the song was subtitled “Theme from Superfly on its single release (but not on the album). It is not to be confused with “Superfly“, a different song and the second single released from the Super Fly album. The arrangement is driven by a strong bass line, wah wah guitars, and a melancholy string orchestration.

The song was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best Rhythm & Blues Song but lost to “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone“. “Freddie’s Dead” was ruled ineligible for the Academy Award for Best Original Song because its lyrics are not sung in the film Super Fly.

Song Lyrics –

Hey, hey
Love, love
Yeah, yeah
Ah, ha
Freddie's dead
That's what I said
Let the rap a plan
Said he'd see him home
But his hope was a rope
And he should've known
It's hard to understand
That there's love in this man
I'm sure all would agree
That his misery was his
Woman and things
Now Freddie's dead
That's what I said

Everybody's misused him
Ripped him up and abused him
Another junkie plan
Pushing dope for the man
A terrible blow
But that's how it goes
A Freddie's on the corner now
If you want to be a junkie, wow
Remember Freddie's dead

We're all built up with progress
But sometimes I must confess
We can deal with rockets and dreams
But reality, what does it mean
Ain't nothing said
Cause Freddie's dead

Hey, hey
Love, love
Hey, hey
Yeah, yeah
Ha, ha
Love, love
Yeah, yeah
Ha, ha
Yeah, yeah
Freddie's dead

All I want is some peace of mind
With a little love I'm trying to find
This could be such a beautiful world
With a wonderful girl
Why I need a woman child
Don't want to be like Freddie now
Cause Freddie's dead
Hey, hey
Yeah, yeah
If you don't try
You're going to die

Why can't we brothers
Protect one another
No one's serious
And it makes me furious
Don't be misled
Just think of Fred

Everybody's misused him
Ripped him up and abused him
Another junkie plan
Pushing dope for the man
A Freddie's on the corner now
If you want to be a junkie, why
Remember Freddie's dead
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
Freddie's dead
Hey, hey
Ha, ha
Love, love
Ha, ha

Written by: Curtis Mayfield

Source: Wikipedia, YouTube, Lyrics.com & Yahoo.com/images

8 thoughts on “Curtis Mayfield – “Freddie’s Dead”

  1. I saw this movie on the big screen in 2018 in Nashville at a theater that runs old movies…I’d seen it before but the music was awesome and I loved the twist in the movie.