We Shall Overcome


Play and sing along to We Shall Overcome on the Ukulele, includes Ukulele tab + lyrics.

We Shall Overcome,” which the US Library of Congress named, “The Most Powerful Song of the Twentieth Century”  was the unofficial anthem of the African American Civil Rights Movement. It was also the subject of an intense copyright dispute. In January 2018, author Isaias Gamboa and the We Shall Overcome Foundation won a class-action lawsuit releasing it to public domain. “Its spiritual strength has now been unshackled so that its full power may be used to strengthen those fearless warriors who fight for justice, equality and freedom against the forces of evil.”

Research reveals the song was based on the hymn “If My Jesus Wills,” by Louise Shropshire and was later adapted by Zilphia Horton and Pete Seeger. The song features “short, simple lyrics” and “may be some of the most influential words in the English language,” adds the LOC. This version is in the key of C major and uses mostly diatonic harmony and implements a secondary dominant chord to give the song trajectory. You can listen to the Classical Roots Community Mass Choir sing a medley of “If My Jesus Wills/We Shall Overcome” here.


Prodigies sheet music is colorful & easy to read.

Download and print the sheet music for you and your students.

For personal and educational use only. Not for re-sale.


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