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Last modified 6/18/17

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We wish to share our passion of music whether as singer, student, musician or listener

Peace Song/We Shall Overcome--Greg Gilpin (Encore):

Peace Song was written by Christie Smith Stephens but not much is known about it beyond that.

We Shall Overcome is widely believed to be derived from a gospel song called I'll Overcome Some Day written in 1901 by Charles Albert Tindley, a Methodist minister from Philadelphia.  

Singer-songwriter Pete Seeger published the song with the revised title in 1948 after learning it from Zilphia Horton, the cultural director of the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tennessee as well as a union organizer.  She had learned the song from an African American woman named Lucille Simmons, a member of the Food, Tobacco, Agricultural, and Allied Workers union who began a 5 month strike in the fall of 1945 against the American Tobacco Company.  

We Shall Overcome became associated with the Civil Rights movement in 1960 when the new cultural director of the Highlander school, Guy Carawan, played it at the first meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

At the famous March on Washington in August 1963, Joan Baez, a 22 year old folksinger, sang the song in front of 300,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  

In the aftermath of the “Bloody Sunday” attacks on civil rights workers during the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson used the phrase “we shall overcome” when he addressed Congress.

On March 31, 1968, just 5 days prior to his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King recited the lyrics from We Shall Overcome in his final sermon in Memphis, TN.

Peace Song/We Shall Overcome

21Peace (1).mp3