The meaning of, and background to, the well-known expression "We shall overcome.

Well-Known Expressions

We shall overcome

Meaning:

We will eventually win in the struggle.

Background:

This expression appears to date back before the American Civil War but became popular in the 1960s as the title of the civil rights movement's popular song, which derived its lyrics from Albert Tindley's Baptist hymn I'll Overcome Some Day written around 1900, and its music from a 19th century spiritual, No More Auction Block for Me.

We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day


CHORUS:
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

CHORUS

We shall all be free
We shall all be free
We shall all be free some day

CHORUS

We are not afraid
We are not afraid
We are not afraid some day

CHORUS

We are not alone
We are not alone
We are not alone some day

CHORUS

The whole wide world around
The whole wide world around
The whole wide world around some day

CHORUS

We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day


CHORUS

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...
  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  90Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.