“Nevertheless, She Persisted,” Song for the Movement

PersistedRecently Senator Elizabeth Warren had an experience most women can identify with. She was told to sit down and shut up. In opposition to a cabinet appointment, she was trying to read a Coretta Scott King letter. A little later, three of her male colleagues were allowed to read this letter on the Senate floor.

In silencing Elizabeth Warren, the Senate Majority leader said, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Women all around the country related to her experience, and we took up the rallying cry, “Nevertheless, She Persisted.”

I began thinking of women who have persisted in spite of efforts to stifle them, and I wrote this song “Nevertheless, She Persisted” to the tune of “I Shall Not Be Moved.” You have my permission to print this song with my copyright at the bottom and/or to use the song in any venue.

Nevertheless, She Persisted

She persisted, she persisted still;

she persisted, she persisted still;

nevertheless, she persisted boldly;

she persisted still.

 

Miriam, the prophet, led the Israelites;

she got little praise for her part in the flight;

nevertheless, she persisted boldly;

she persisted still.

 

Mary Magdalene gave witness to the Word,

yet they tried to keep her voice from being heard;

nevertheless, she persisted boldly;

she persisted still.

 

Sojourner Truth claimed her prophetic voice,

yet they tried to squelch her, take away her choice;

nevertheless, she persisted boldly;

she persisted still.

 

Madame Curie found the cures to many ills,

yet they tried to question her scientific skills;

nevertheless, she persisted boldly;

she persisted still.

 

Congresswoman Chisholm ran for President,

yet they said she knew not what the office meant;

nevertheless, she persisted boldly;

she persisted still.

 

Katherine Johnson’s figures launched us into space,

yet they undermined her gender and her race;

nevertheless, she persisted boldly;

she persisted still.

 

Senator Liz Warren spoke truth with all her power,

yet they tried to hush her in the crucial hour;

nevertheless, she persisted boldly;

she persisted still.

 

She persisted, she persisted still;

she persisted, she persisted still;

nevertheless, she persisted boldly;

she persisted still.

 

Words © 2017 Jann Aldredge-Clanton                     I SHALL NOT BE MOVED

 

Miriam, the prophet, with brothers Moses and Aaron, leading the Exodus; image by Pam Allen

Miriam, the prophet, with brothers Moses and Aaron, leading the Exodus; image by Pam Allen

 

Mary Magdalene; image created by Melody M. Stevens, Colette Casburn Numajiri, and David Clanton

Mary Magdalene; image created by Melody M. Stevens, Colette Casburn Numajiri, and David Clanton

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth

 

Madame Marie Curie

Madame Marie Curie

 

Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm

Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm

Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren

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4 Comments

  1. JoAnn Williams
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful song.

  2. janna
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, JoAnn! Hope you will sing it with your groups.

  3. Anne Linstatter
    Posted March 21, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jann–
    I love the way you transport these immortal words into music with “We Shall Overcome,” certainly a sister song. I especially like the verse about Mary Magdalene rhyming “witness to the Word” with “tried to keep her voice from being heard.” Also I love the linking of Miriam, Mary Magdalene, Sojourner Truth, Madame Curie, Shirley Chisholm, Katherine Johnson, and Elizabeth Warren in one song.
    🙂 Anne

  4. janna
    Posted March 31, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Anne, for your affirming comments! I hope you’ll sing this song in your groups!

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