Attempts at overcoming different versions of 'We Shall Overcome'

Karen Scotti, Mathilde Therese Claudine Beck & Rasmus Holmen Lærkner

Studenteropgave: Fagmodulprojekt


In this project, we chose to apply the theory Critical Discourse Analysis from Norman Fairclough, along with another approach closer to the musical theme, namely Songs of Social Protest by Dario Martinelli, to different versions of the song ‘We Shall Overcome’. Firstly the structure of the very first version of the song from 1901 is analysed, from which the other versions were inspired, specifically ‘I’ll overcome Someday’ by Charles Albert Tindley. What is interesting is that this song was, we discovered, primarily driven by religious thoughts, but this has been the departure point for a series of protest songs. Thus, we pursued, with the help of our theoretical framework, by looking at how different versions of the song have been applied to protest events after being, to various degrees, modified. We looked at the different modifications that occur and, to the best of our ability, tried to relate them to their broader structural contexts in order to identify a social wrong. As Tindley’s song differs greatly from the songs analysed and was merely used as inspiration, the discourse analysis of the songs will be in comparison to each of them comparatively. The Critical Discourse Analysis and the Songs of Social Protest approach will be applied to those four of the most relevant versions of this song; Joe Glazer’s from 1950, Pete Seeger’s from 1957, Roger Waters’ from 2010, and Bruce Springsteen’ from 2012.

UddannelserEngelsk, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor
Udgivelsesdato27 maj 2018
Antal sider38
VejledereKimberly Renée Chopin