We shall overcome

We shall overcome (1)

(Traditional) - New words and music arranged by Z. Horton, F. Hamilton, G. Caraivan and Pete Seeger

From “ A Song-book of Folk and Pop Music”

by Mario Papa & Giuliano Iantorno, Zanichelli Editore, Bologna, 1977

 

We shall overcome,

We shall overcome,

We shall overcome some day,

Oh deep in my heart, I do believe,

We shall overcome some day.

 

We'll walk hand in hand,

We'll walk hand in hand,

We'll walk hand in hand some day,

Oh deep in my heart, I do believe,

We shall overcome some day.

 

We shall live in peace,

We shall live in peace,

We shall live in peace some day,

Oh deep in my heart, I do believe,

We shall overcome some day.

 

We are not afraid,

Wc are not afraid,

We are not afraid today,

Oh deep in my heart, I do believe,

We shall overcome some day.

 

Possible additional verses for singing:

We shall all be free, etc.

We will stand together, etc.

Black and white together, etc.

The truth will set us free, etc.

 

(1) It was an old sacred picee, `I will overcome', which be¬came the anthem of the civil rights movement during the 1930s. 'We shall overcome' is 'the' song for all people who love freedom. People generally sing it in groups after a song leader who calls out the verses. The song is also the result of the interchange between Negro and White musicians in creating American folk music.

 

Martin Luther King Jr.: the apostle of non violence

Martin Luther King (1929-1968), who received the 1964 Nobel peace prize, was the leader of the Negro struggle for equality through nonviolent social change. Ali his life's work aimed at bringing about social, politica[, and economic equality for Negroes by peaceful means. He preached 'nonviolent resistance’ to achieve full civil rights for all because he thought that non-violence was the most potent technique for oppressed people. His pleas for nonviolence were honoured by the Negroes, despite arrests and troubles of every kind, culminating with the bombing of King's home on January 20, 1956.

His ideas and statements became famous and gave great strength to the movement for Negro freedom. On segregation, for example, he said, 'Many Negroes unconsciously wondered whether they deserved better conditions. Their minds were so conditioned to segregation that they submissively adjusted to things as they were. This is the ultimate tragedy of segregation. It not only harms one physically, but injures one spiritually’. In his nonviolent protest against injustice, King always tried to instill in his people a sense of dignity and self-respect as well as the right of life and freedom. But violence cut short his life and he was murdered in Memphis, Tennessee, on April, 1968.