Monday, November 3, 2008

Pete Seeger Sings in My Head

We Shall Overcome

We shall live in peace.

We are not afraid
(and remember, they sang this verse while they were crossing the bridge in Montgomery, when they were staring into the hard faces of the police, listening to the snarls of the dogs, seeing the firefighters readying the hoses)

They sang "We Are Not Afraid."

Of course, they were afraid. Every person I've ever known who has demonstrated courage knows fear.

That day. On that bridge. They knew that there were things that mattered far more than their fear. That's what the essence of courage is. Knowing that there are things that matter much more than your own fear.

They faced their fear. They faced the hatred and scorn of entire states and communities.

They sang.
They marched.
They went to jail by the thousands.
They were slaughtered by the hundreds.

Still they marched.
Still, they sang.
This. Beautiful. Song.

They marched and made clear the way to bring us, as a nation, and a people to this wonderful day fast approaching.

Ladies, Gentlemen, Brothers, Sisters, Cousins.

We are about to elect
the 44th President of the United States
Barack Obama!

We shall overcome, indeed. If you have a line at your polling place. Take a moment and remember those beautiful brave people who stared straight into the face of hatred.

And sang. Then start singing yourself because we are truly at a day of history.

I'll be singing. Loud. Long. With harmony and feeling.

We are not alone
We are not alone
We are not alone
Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We are not alone
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