We Shall Not Be Moved
DESCRIPTION: "The Union is behind us, We shall not be moved... Just like a tree That's standing by the water, We shall not be moved." Similarly "We're fighting for our freedom, We shall not be moved"; "We're fighting for our children"; "We'll build a mighty Union."
EARLIEST DATE: 1955 (recording, Pete Seeger)
KEYWORDS: labor-movement nonballad
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Scott-BoA, pp. 344-345, "We Shall Not Be Moved" (1 text, 1 tune)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 38, "We Shall Not Be Moved" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 135, "We Shall Not Be Moved" (1 text)
Pete Seeger, "We Shall Not Be Moved" (on PeteSeeger01) (on PeteSeeger47)
SNCC Freedom Singers, "We Shall Not Be Moved" (the civil rights version; on Voices Civ)
Union Boys, "We Shall Not Be Moved" (on "Songs for Victory", Asch 346, 1944)
cf. "I Shall Not Be Moved"
We Shall Not Be Moved -- union parodies (Greenway-AFP, p. 17)
NOTES: [Although not printed at that time, the union version of this song goes back at least to] 1941, [since] Woody Guthrie, in Bound for Glory, refers to singing it with Cisco Houston on Dec. 7, 1941, to break up a possible lynching of Japanese-Americans after the attack that day on Pearl Harbor.
The song was adapted from a traditional hymn, "I Shall Not Be Moved," by labor organizers working with southern tenant farmers in the 1930s. It was also adapted into an anthem of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. - PJS
Given the extreme variations in traditional versions of the hymn (one of Brown's informants actually sang the chorus as "I Shall Not Be Blue!"), we originally listed the source and its adaptions here. The civil rights version, in particular, is close to the hymn. Best to check both. - RBW
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