"I Shall Not Be Moved", also known as "We Shall Not Be Moved", is an African-American slave spiritual, hymn, and protest song dating to the early 19th century American south. It was likely originally sung at revivalist camp-meetings as a slave jubilee. The song describes being "like a tree planted by the waters" who "shall not be moved" because of faith in God. Secularly, as "We Shall Not Be Moved" it gained popularity as a protest and union song of the Civil Rights Movement.
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.
In 1908 Alfred H. and B. D. Ackley copyrighted a hymn by the name "I Shall Not Be Moved".
As "We Shall Not Be Moved" the song gained popularity as a protest and union song of the Civil rights movement.
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').
Among others, the following artists recorded "I (We) Shall Not Be Moved":
The Housemartins on the 12 inch version of their 1985 UK number 1 single "Caravan of Love"
The Spinners set the musical tone of the 1975 Thames Television comedy about a Liverpool working-class family, The Wackers. The closing credits medley featured them singing "We Shall Not Be Moved" and "You'll Never Walk Alone".
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.
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 third person plural, "No Nos Moverán" (meaning "They will not move us"). That version was part of the soundtrack of the well-known popular tv series Verano azul, which popularized the song among the Spanish youth.
JB Burnett covered the song for the first episode of the third season of Supernatural ("The Magnificent Seven").
Playwright Isaiah Reaves used the name for his show describing his grandmother's experiences as a Freedom Rider.