"Born Free"
Single by Matt Monro
from the album Born Free soundtrack
B-side"Other People"
Released1966 (1966)
Songwriter(s)John Barry, Don Black
Matt Monro singles chronology
"Beyond the Hill"
"Born Free"
"Honey on the Vine"
"Born Free"
Single by Roger Williams
from the album Born Free
B-side"Jimmie's Train"
ReleasedJuly 1966 (1966-07)
Songwriter(s)John Barry, Don Black
Producer(s)Hy Grill
Roger Williams singles chronology
"Lara's Theme from 'Dr. Zhivago'"
"Born Free"
"Sunrise, Sunset"

"Born Free" is a popular song with music by John Barry and lyrics by Don Black.[1] It was written for the 1966 film of the same name and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.[1]

Original version

The song's composers, John Barry and Don Black, asked British singer Matt Monro, who was managed by Black at the time, to record the song for the film's soundtrack. The producers of the film considered the song uncommercial, however, and deleted it from the print shown at its Royal Command premiere in London. When Monro, who attended the event, made Black aware of the edit, they successfully lobbied the producers to restore it. Monro's interpretation appeared over the closing credits in a shortened version recorded especially for the film, which enabled it to qualify for the Academy Award. Monro's complete commercial recording was released on the film's soundtrack album and became the singer's signature tune for the remainder of his career.

Charted versions

Matt Monro's version never charted. However, Roger Williams recorded a cover which was noted for its use of a male chorus, heard in the second half of the song after the instrumental section. The song reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Adult contemporary chart for six non-consecutive weeks in September/October 1966[2]

The R&B group the Hesitations recorded a cover that peaked at #38 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1968.[3]

"Born Free" also appeared on the Vic Reeves album I Will Cure You. Released as a single, this version peaked at #6 in the UK Singles Chart in 1991.[1]

Other versions

Hans Zimmer recorded an instrumental version of the song for the 2005 DreamWorks Animation film Madagascar and its sequels.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 135. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 259.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2009). Top Pop Singles, 12th Edition. Record Research.