We Shall Overcome

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Ever since I learned about Song Lyric Sunday, songs from my past have been going through my mind. My 67 years of life has had so many phases and the music that is dear to me reflects all the different paths I have walked.

As I contemplated what song to use this week, I realized I wanted it to relate both to my life in the past and the present. What song could do that better than Pete Seeger’s version of We Shall Overcome.  As I read the words and listened to the video I chose to accompany it, I began to cry.

There were so many levels to my tears. I grew up during the struggle for civil rights and in a lot of ways that movement created the me I am today. As I looked at the photographs that are on the video below, my mind flooded with my own memories. Some of my tears were from remembering what this country was like before the push for civil rights, and feeling touched by how far we have come.

At the same time, the events of this past week (and many weeks/months/years before it) make it evident that we still have a long way to go. Therefore, another part of my tears were due to despair arising from the recent killings in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and Dallas and the overwhelm of not knowing if, when or how we will make the violence stop. When will we (humans) learn to live with love and respect for all beings?

No one knows for sure who wrote We Shall Overcome. There is some new evidence that it may have originally been a gospel hymn composed between 1932 and 1942. The lyrics have changed over the years. The song as I know it became associated with the Civil Rights movement in 1959 and was soon considered its unofficial anthem.  (Wikipedia)

 

We Shall Overcome Lyrics

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…

We shall live in peace,
We shall live in peace,
We shall live in peace, some day.

Oh, deep in my heart…

The whole wide world around,
The whole wide world around,
The whole wide world around, some day.

Oh, deep in my heart…

We are not afraid,
We are not afraid,
We are not afraid, TODAY.

Oh, deep in my heart…

We shall overcome,
We shall overcome,
We shall overcome, some day.

Oh, deep in my heart,
I do believe,
We shall overcome, some day.

 

While my faith is a bit shaken right now, as I listen to the music, I know that this is my truth.

Oh, deep in my heart,
I, Karuna, do believe
We shall overcome, some day.

 

 

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27 thoughts on “We Shall Overcome

    1. I do believe there are people like him in our midst. For me the question is whether or not we have we gone too far in destroying our environment and our social system for anyone to lead us back.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. We are in very difficult times indeed. Sometimes I wonder if we are on the track to just completely destroying ourselves or if there’s still that glimmer of hope that we can recover. Who knows what the future holds?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have the same thoughts. I believe we are at a place where we could destroy ourselves but that there is still a glimmer of hope. May we learn to make choices that will heal the earth and ourselves.

      Thanks for reading the post and commenting. Your words are important for people to hear.

      Like

  2. “I was involved in the Take Back The Night/Violence Against Women Movement, and we sang the same song,” she commented.
    “I too see the Civil Rights Movement in what’s happening today. Bullets instead of ropes; cops instead of the Klan,” she sighed. “Then you get Dallas. Oh, I do so hope we shall overcome violence some day, but it seems to be a part of human nature.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Never fear. We have overcome the worst times. Progress is slow but what we have seen in our life time gives me hope. Thanks for a wonderful post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is beautiful and once again I am reminded how parallel our paths have been. Thanks for the music (and for the kind reference to my earlier song and post). I have no comment on the bigger picture process in the world right now. Just can’t go there. Must focus on smaller pieces for a while….but then, maybe we all need to do that sometimes, just to gather info and energy to deal with the overwhelming state of the world……
    Thanks Karuna.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Change comes from us doing our part rather than becoming incapacitated by focusing on the immensity of what needs to be done. As I know you know, it’s one step at a time, and we can all contribute.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I still shake my head in disbelief that human beings have had to fight for their freedom in this world. It’s even more unbelievable that it still happens in today’s world. We’ve come a long way, but we haven’t done enough, and our society still breeds hate to a certain degree.

    Thank you for posting this beautiful tribute. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As always, Karuna, you fill the page with love and compassion…your tears of joy and sadness as you weep for all that you hear, see and touch. That video is truly moving! I feel we have come a long way but old (bad) habits die hard when there is despair we seem to choose to lash out rather than come together. This is why it is so healing and comforting when we can come together.

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    1. A church I used to go had a practice of saying that we should ask God for what we want and then start praising as if it had already happened. Your response reminded me of the power of taking that kind of attitude.

      Liked by 1 person

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