I Shall Be Released

A person can become trapped or caught up in a desperate situation such that they are forced to make a plea that someone will come along and release them from their misery.  These lyrics are about a man in prison, however they can also be interpreted as a person who believes they are about to be spiritually released.  The Band reached a crossroads in 1976, after nearly 18 years of performing, as both backup musicians and as headliners, and this was their last concert.  This song features a massive amount of talent on the same stage with Paul Butterfield playing Blues harmonica, and singing vocals / Bobby Charles – vocals / Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals / Neil Diamond – guitar, vocals / Dr. John – piano, guitar, congas, vocals / Bob Dylan wrote this song and he plays guitar, vocals / Ronnie Hawkins – vocals / Joni Mitchell – acoustic guitar, vocals / Van Morrison – vocals / Larry Packer – violin / John Simon – piano / Ringo Starr – drums / Stephen Stills – guitar / Muddy Waters – vocals / Ronnie Wood – guitar / Neil Young – guitar, harmonica, vocals / Bob Margolin – guitar (for Muddy Waters) / Pinetop Perkins – piano (for Muddy Waters) / Dennis St. John – drums (for Neil Diamond) / and Carl Radle – bass (on second encore Jam).

The Band doing I Shall Be Released from The Last Waltz concert and movie

They say ev’rything can be replaced
Yet ev’ry distance is not near
So I remember ev’ry face
Of ev’ry man who put me here
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released
They say ev’ry man needs protection
They say ev’ry man must fall
Yet I swear I see my reflection
Some place so high above this wall
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released
Standing next to me in this lonely crowd
Is a man who swears he’s not to blame
All day long I hear him shout so loud
Crying out that he was framed
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released