My First Thought

Joan Baez. That’s the first thought that comes to mind when I see or hear the word Overcome.

I could write a poem, or confess to the way I’ve been feeling lately, but the thought of Joan Baez makes anything I write about myself insignificant. She didn’t write the song, We Shall Overcome, and she wasn’t the only one to sing it – it’s been recorded many times, by many artists, and millions of people in audiences have added their voices, but she sang it for the crowd gathered on the Mall during the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., on August 29th, 1963, and she was still singing it in 2010, notably to Barack Obama, at the White House. After 45 years and countless repeats, this incredible woman still sang it with conviction.

I couldn’t choose between a 1965 recording and the White House one, so I give you both of them. When I listen to the first one, her voice makes me feel as if I’m going to melt, while the second one gives me goosebumps and brings tears to my eyes every time.

©Jane Paterson Basil

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33 thoughts on “My First Thought

      1. Jane, I like music also and remember the popularity of the song in 1960’s and on. As it became the anthem for change. Changes in society, race and creed. “Pseudo hippy”? I’m not so sure about that. The word “hippy” has many connotations, to different people.. I think the establishment was afraid of the ideals it was promoting. Like universal love.

        So it was sought to denigrate, ridicule and generally destroy the movement. Most people believe in peace. The Christian belief system, as others, promotes peace and goodwill. So, be loud. Be proud and be who you are. Without labels, or preconception. We shall overcome.

        Just truly believe it and it’s true. Cheers Jamie

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Whenever I feel doubt I listen to Joan Baez – usually a recent rendition – and I look closely at her beautiful, positive face. As long as she can keep the faith, I won’t give up. I listen to her and I believe;

          We shall overcome.

          Thanks, Jamie, you straighten my backbone.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. I loved Joan Baez’ music, and everything she stood for when I was young. I was overwhelmed a few years ago, when I finally got a laptop, and found recordings of her more recent renditions. She’s an inspiring example to a tired old pseudo hippy like me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A very pure voice and an interesting lady. I saw a snipper of her being interviewed, talking about her relationship with Bob Dylan. She was gracious, but he sounds as if he was rather unpleasant. She still has things she believes in, which as we grow older (and let’s face it more jaded by the world and our ability to change it) is admirable

        Liked by 1 person

        1. She’s influenced me on some level since I was ten or eleven – and what you say about Bob Dylan doesn’t surprise me. I distrusted him in the same way I distrusted John Lennon – but we’re not supposed to speak ill of John…

          Liked by 1 person

                    1. Troubled.. that’s a generous description…
                      I’ve just watched some of the coverage of John and Yoko’s honeymoon staging of ‘Bed Peace’. It was hard to tell at the time, but it probably brought about more contention than peace, Yoko later said that they had been naive, and I think it may have been true of her, but I don’t think John was naive.

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                    2. Yes, I’ve always felt troubled by that – rather grandstanding I thought, though perhaps coming from a genuine place. He always had a chip lodged firmly on his shoulder, came across a little agressive, so perhaps it’s just me seeing the bad in him

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. A LITTLE aggressive? I’ve been reading up on him recently, and watching YouTube coverage of his bed peace, and when he wasn’t being patronising, he was downright unpleasant… usually with a smile on his face – particularly after being challenged on one of his silly, half-arsed statements.
                      Uh, oh… I’m not meant to say these things about His Holiness. This is why I made people uneasy when I was young; I always disagreed with the majority..

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Oh, I agree with you. A chippy Scouse if ever there was one. He didn’t treat people in his personal life any better either by the sounds of it – Cynthia and Julian Lennon for instance. A damaged man

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. He’d vowed to stay with Cynthia always, stating that he didn’t want his son to suffer as he had (and ignoring the fact of his habitual unfaithfulness). I despised his failed attempt to set her up with another man, in order to divorce her on the grounds of adultery.
                      World peace is a great thing to aspire to, but the first step is learning to be kind to those who love us. I considered his public display with Yoko a horribly cruel and egotistical act, no matter how it was perceived by his adoring followers. As for that song…
                      OK, enough already…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Yep, all very well to preach about peace and love when you show little to those who love you and who you’re supposed to love in return. Though many people are capable of that, of trying to set the big things straight while neglecting the small, important things like family

                      Liked by 1 person

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