In 1963, he introduces the song in a voice filled with the confidence of a great performer, and the fear of a man on stage in Carnegie Hall.
You know there’s lots of people get discouraged about this damned human race, but every time I think about it, I think of, you know, Shakespeare said “It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” And it’s better to have fought for the survival of the world and failed than to never have fought at all.
If you would like to get out of a pessimistic mood yourself, I got one sure remedy for you, go help those people down in Birmingham Mississippi and Alabama. You don’t have to go down there yourself. … There’s all kinds of jobs to do.
Maybe we’ll see this song come true.
“We Shall Overcome” by Pete Seeger from the album We Shall Overcome — The Complete Carnegie Hall Concert (1963, 8:13).
There are still fights going on. Not necessarily in Birmingham. Not necessarily over civil rights. Kansas just joined 18 other states in banning some people from marrying the people they love. We’re on the verge of making up the definition of science as we go along. Endangered species are blinking out of existence and the temperature is rising. The blood of tortured Iraqi children is on American hands. AIDS is on the increase, largely because of violence against women. Children are starving. Victims of genocide are still waiting for justice in Kosovo, Darfur, and Myanmar.
We are not afraid, We are not afraid
We are not afraid, today
Deep in my heart I do believe
We shall overcome some day
if you’re wealthy blog reader you should consider whether it’s better to give a grand or two to [your favorite liberal organizations] or a grand or two to [your favorite bloggers]. Not that it’s necessarily a choice, but for good or for ill unaffiliated bloggers are an increasingly important part of the trench warfare of the news cycle, and despite the presence of a lot of free ice cream out there on the internets, your favorite blogger would probably able to give more and better blog and feel good about it if a few more bucks were coming in.
And, finally, this is not a plea for me — go give to other people.
That last sentence goes for me too. I’m not here with my hat out. I’ll take free money, but there are other people, like Dave Neiwert, who either publish material on their blog for free, or spend time selling their words. When you give to a blogger, it means time to really do something.
I know how I’d spend some cash on movementish things, and you know other bloggers who could do the same. Think about it, and decide whether your favorite group is doing what you want, or if a couple hours of a blogger’s time would be of more value. We won’t spend money on marketing. We’ll spend time researching, writing, and publishing for free.
Like Arlo says,
You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him.
And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin’ a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an organization.
And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.
Friends, there’s a movement – decentralized, tangled and confused, but focussed. We know what we want, and we’ll get there.