Thursday, May 20, 2010


I first heard this song almost ten years ago when I first got involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) movement. In late 1999 I was introduced to the Friday English Prayer Meeting (now known as the Bethel Prayer Group) of my Church, the Sacred Heart Catheral in Kota Kinabalu. I liked the song instantly because of both the wordings and the music/tempo. Infact, I can spend hours ecah day at home or in the car just listening to this song and singing along softly. In no time I found myself singing this song at the Prayer Meeting or at the funeral parlour while strumming my guitar as I was a member of the Benevolent Ministry, part of the Prayer Group. I also sang it at the end of my sharing at a Life In The Spirit Seminar at the St Simon's Church, Likas a few years back organised by the Prayer Group. I was backed by my sons on the guitar and saxophone then. Howver, for years I only got to hear it through the cassette or CD as to the best of my knowledge no video or karaoke version was recorded. So, minutes ago I was plesantly surprised to find this karaoke version on the Internet or to be exact the Facebook. The power of the Net and Facebook and Youtube! Praise the Lord! Thanks to Linda Cabanlit (I introduced CCR to her and husband Alex) who posted it on her Facebook homepage. I think she got it from one Victoria who in turn got it from Scott's EmulSon. The version I posted here is from someone else, so I don't know who first produced and posted it on the Net. Anyway, the composer is Mr Jude Antoine who was the main speaker at the Seminar where I did my sharing and that was partly why I chose this song to end my sharing, apart from the relevant wordings. Forgot the name of the guy who sang this song but he is a West Malaysian Chinese guy who also sang the theme song in the Proton Saga TV advertisements in the 1980s. And the best part is he wasn't even a Christian when he recorded this song. Nonetheless, he was chosen for his voice. I guess that was why Proton chose him too. He said as he was on his way to the studio, he was still learning the song, being a non-Christian and the song having been just composed by Jude. This guy is also popular at dinner functions or shows throughout Malaysia, having sung in Kota Kinabalu at least twice in recent years. Since 1999 I have learned a lot of Christian/Gospel/Charismatic songs, being a musician, but I guess I like this one best apart from a few others. Even the Filipino doctor and wife team who used to come here to give us talks at seminars liked this song and asked if I could give them the CD so they could learn and sing it in the Philippines while doing missionary work! Mabuhay! Thanks Jude, you coverted a lot of former Christians-in-name through this song, me included. May God bless you and your family.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE | Joan Baez - "We Shall Overcome" | PBS

Here is Joan Baez singing We Shall Overcome at the White House soon after Obama became President in 2009. Decades had past since she first made this song famous at the height of the Civil Rights Movement started by the blacks in the 1950s/60s. Imagine how she must have looked in her younger days and of course her voice then. If I am not mistaken, she sang this song during the March on Washington led by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, during Woodstock and again during Obama's inauguration. Anybody can confirm this? I will appreciate it. I have suddenly become interested in US history especially the Civil Rights Movement because there is a lot to be learnt from it, though unfortunately man's memory is short. Pay attention to the wordings and you will understand why I'm so much into it. Simple though the wordings may be, the song together with A Change Is Gonna Come was enough to capture the imagination of the black Americans which eventually won them freedom from slavery and equal rights with the whites especially the right to vote and education and health. Which reminds me of the song Berjaya which was the 'anthem' of the Berjaya Party which defeated the Usno-led Alliance Party in 1976 in Sabah. During the April 1976 State general election, nobody would dare bet that the all-powerful Alliance would fall to the 9-month-old Berjaya; not with memories of detention at the infamous 'Kepayan University' still fresh in their minds. I mean, before the Federal Government took away the special detention powers of former Usno strongman and former Chief Minister Tun Datu Mustapha, the mere mention of his name or Kepayan (prison) was enough to make the average Sabahan shiver! Indeed, in April 1976 Sabahans (majority of them at least) OVERCAME! although a different song (Berjaya) was used.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Orleans-- We Shall Overcome

This video is self-explanatory. It shows scenes of the aftermath of typhoon Catarina (hope I'm not wrong) which devastated South Eastern USA especially New Orleans when George W Bush was still American President. He was criticised by the American people for his slow response to the natural disaster. But that's not the reason why I'm blogging this. The reason is the song or background music sung by Bruce Springsteen. The title of the song is 'We Shall Overcome', a song made famous by black Americans at the height of their fight for Civil Rights between the 1950s-60s. One of those responsible for making this song famous was Joan Baez - though she is white. Since then, many other singers had recorded their own versions of the song - Bruce being one of them. This song was also sung during the famous March to Washington which culminated in the late Rev. Martin Luther King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech. Indeed, together with another song called A Change Is Gonna Come made famous by Sam Cooke, We Shall Overcome became an anthem for the civil rights movement. At least one former (white) US Presidents also used this rallying cry of We Shall Overcome in his speeches. By the way, I can't help but notice that most of the victims of New Orleans typhoon were blacks and I guess that's why the video producer appropriately chose this song. Hope you like the song. Enjoy and please feel free to comment.