Stalin Wasn't Stallin'

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"Stalin Wasn't Stallin' "
Song by Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet
Released1943 (US)
GenreA cappella
Songwriter(s)Willie Johnson
"Stalin Wasn't Stallin' "
RobertWyatt StalinWasntStallin SingleCover.jpg
Single by Robert Wyatt
from the album Nothing Can Stop Us
Format7" single
GenreA cappella
LabelRough Trade
Songwriter(s)Willie Johnson
Producer(s)Robert Wyatt
Robert Wyatt singles chronology
"At Last I'm Free"
"Stalin Wasn't Stallin' "

"Stalin Wasn't Stallin' (A Modern Spiritual)" was a song written in 1943 by Willie Johnson and originally recorded by the a cappella gospel group Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet (of which Johnson was a member) in 1943. Robert Wyatt recorded a cover of the song in 1980.


"Stalin Wasn't Stallin'" was written during World War II, and praises the efforts of Joseph Stalin in his stand against Adolf Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union. United States president Franklin D. Roosevelt had declared in a July 28, 1943 speech that:

The United States and the Soviet Union were co-belligerents during the war and many decisive battles occurred between the Soviets and Germany that changed the direction of the war.

Original recording[edit]

The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet spoke (or sermonized) the lyrics of the song against a rhythm of back-up vocals. It was a moderate hit in 1943. It has since appeared on several compilation records, including Gospel Greats: 60 Legendary Performances (The Soho Collection, 2005).


Robert Wyatt covered the song in 1980, emulating an a cappella group by singing in four-part harmony (achieved by multi-tracking). Wyatt's interest in the song was that he wanted to remind the West of the selective memory they had during the Cold War about this earlier alliance. The cover was released as a single in 1981 with "Stalingrad", a poem about the Battle of Stalingrad, written and read by Peter Blackman, on the "B" side. "Stalin Wasn't Stallin'" and "Stalingrad" also appeared on Wyatt's 1982 album Nothing Can Stop Us.


  1. ^ "The War in Europe and D-Day". Miller Nichols Library. Archived from the original on 2007-03-12. Retrieved 2008-09-10.

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