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We Shall Overcome

We Shall Overcome

Horton, Zilphia

Arr. Maiden Mueller, Spike


  • Ensemble: Horn Quartet
  • Genre: Spiritual
  • Grade: 3
  • Duration: 4.5 minutes
  • Catalog Number: AOS1489

A gospel song that became a protest song and the signal anthem of the civil rights movement, We Shall Overcome is commonly believed to be lyrically descended from I'll Overcome Some Day, a hymn by Charles Albert Tindley. The modern version was first contributed to the People's Songs Bulletin by Zilphia Horton, who said she had learned it from tobacco workers organizer Lucille Simmons in 1945. It became associated with the civil rights movement in 1959 when Guy Carawan and Pete Seeger began using their version at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee. Within a year, it had spread across the south, becoming the unofficial anthem of the civil rights movement.

This simple solemn version for horn quartet is offered for contemporary use.

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