Saturday, July 16, 2016

 

Bob Darden on "We Shall Overcome"



Earlier this week, Bob Darden wrote a great piece for the Dallas Morning News on the song "We Shall Overcome." (You can read the whole thing here).  My favorite part is this, tracing the origins of the song:

The song combines bits of the old Baptist hymn "I'll Be Alright" and C. A. Tindley's "I'll Overcome Someday" among others. Zilphia Horton of the famed Highlander Folk School of Tennessee said she first heard the patchworked song sung by striking North Carolina tobacco workers in the 1940s. Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger is widely credited with changing the title to "We Shall Overcome" as it was taught to each new generation of Highlander attendees. Rosa Parks, John Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr. are among those who heard it at Highlander. Returning home from Highlander's 25th anniversary in 1957, King told Anne Braden and Ralph Abernathy, "There's something about that song that haunts you."

Comments:
This was wonderful, Bob. Thank you. Especially love this line: "When John Lewis sings "We Shall Overcome," it is a song with an apostolic succession..."
 
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