In “The Pastor’s Wife”, Romanian Sabina Wurmbrand writes about her prison experience where she was locked up with a number of other women who had done or believed naughty things (e.g. nuns, prostitutes, dissenters, and wives who refused to divorce political-dissident-husbands).
In one prison, the guards did not permit them sing. They could talk, pray, and fight–but they were not allowed to sing. Because singing gets in the way of proper re-education (its hard to re-educate an unbroken spirit). And singing with one’s own mouth about what one holds dearest and believes in, gives great strength to the spirit. (Its a psychological thing–try it next time you are falling apart).
Anyway, she talks about these waves of panic/depression where the women would just start to scream. Singing helped, but the guards wouldn’t allow it. Once she was transferred to another cell, and a group of bedraggled nuns were singing away.
Sabina asked them, “The guards allow you to sing?!”
“Of course! They let us sing, and we let them beat us.”
No one can take away your freedom. Everything else, perhaps, but not that.