WE SHALL OVERCOME

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • WE SHALL OVERCOME
    “We Shall Overcome” is a protest song that became a key anthem of the US civil rights
    movement. The lyrics of the song are derived from a gospel song by Reverend Charles
    Tindley. The song was published in 1947 as “We Will Overcome” in the People’s Songs
    Bulletin (a publication of Peoples Songs, an organization of which Pete Seeger was the
    director and guiding spirit). It appeared in the bulletin as a contribution of and with an
    introduction by Zilphia Horton, then music director of the Highlander Folk School of
    Monteagle, Tennessee, a school that trained union organizers. It was her favorite song and
    she taught it to Pete Seeger, who included it in his repertoire, as did many other activist
    singers, such as Frank Hamilton and Joe Glazer, who recorded it in 1950. The song
    became associated with the Civil Rights movement from 1959, when Guy Carawan
    stepped in as song leader at Highlander, and the school was a the focus of student non-
    violent activism. It quickly became the movement’s unofficial anthem. Seeger and other
    famous folksingers in the early 1960s, such as Joan Baez, sang the song at rallies, folk
    festivals, and concerts in the North and helped make it widely known. Since its rise to
    prominence, the song, and songs based on it, has been used in a variety of protests
    worldwide.
    We shall overcome, we shall overcome,
    We shall overcome someday;
    Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
    We shall overcome someday.
    The Lord will see us through, The Lord will see us through,
    The Lord will see us through someday;
    Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
    We shall overcome someday.
    We’re on to victory, We’re on to victory,
    We’re on to victory someday;
    Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
    We’re on to victory someday.
    We’ll walk hand in hand, we’ll walk hand in hand,
    We’ll walk hand in hand someday;
    Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
    We’ll walk hand in hand someday.
    We are not afraid, we are not afraid,
    We are not afraid today;
    Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
    We are not afraid today.
    The truth shall set us free , the truth shall set us free,
     The truth shall set us free someday;
    Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
    The truth shall set us free someday.
    We shall live in peace, we shall live in peace,
    We shall live in peace someday;
    Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
    We shall live in peace someday.