I Shall Not Be Moved

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"I Shall Not Be Moved" is a Negro spiritual. The song describes how the singer is "like a tree planted by the waters" who "shall not be moved" because of their faith in God. Secularly, as "We Shall Not Be Moved" it gained popularity as a protest and union song of the Civil Rights Movement.[1]

The text is based on biblical scripture:

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

— Psalm 1:3

The song became popular in the Swedish anti-nuclear and peace movements in the late 1970s, in a Swedish translation by Roland von Malmborg, "Aldrig ger vi upp" ('Never shall we give up').[2]

In Great Britain in the 1980s the song was used by the popular British wrestler Big Daddy as his walk-on music, which would be greeted by cheers from the fans.[citation needed]

David Spener has written a book documenting the history of this song title, including how it was translated into Spanish, changing the first singular to first person plural, "No Nos Moverán".[3]

Recorded versions[edit]

Among others, the following artists recorded "I (We) Shall Not Be Moved":

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wells, Robert V. (2009). Life flows on in endless song: folk songs and American history. University of Illinois Press. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-252-07650-3.
  2. ^ Pettersson, Louise (2010). "På jakt efter miljörörelsens sångtradition" [In search of the Swedish environmental movement's song tradition] (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  3. ^ David Spener. 2016. We Shall Not Be Moved / No Nos Moverán: Biography of a Song of Struggle. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
  4. ^ Thom Owens (1994-06-02). "Complete Recorded Works (1929-1936) - Blind Roosevelt Graves | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  5. ^ "Charley Patton Vol 2 1929 - Document Records Vintage Blues and Jazz". Document-records.com. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  6. ^ Bruce Eder. "The Best of the Seekers - The Seekers | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  7. ^ "Blues from Elmo, Texas - Henry Qualls | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 1995-11-22. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  8. ^ "Underground Ministries Featuring Kenny Bobien - I Shall Not Be Moved (Stand Still)". Discogs. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  9. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear on No Stamp - Public Enemy". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-08-14.