Dropkick Murphys have shared their version of civil rights protest anthem “We Shall Overcome.”
The track begins with audio from Robert F. Kennedy’s speech on the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated: April 4th, 1968. From there, the band delivers a poignant and charismatic rendition in its signature Celtic punk style. The audio is accompanied with a video montage of archival footage from various American protest movements.
“We Shall Overcome” became a unifying rallying cry during the American civil rights movement of the 1960s in particular. Dropkick Murphys’ own music often focuses on camaraderie in the face of harsh conditions, and their treatment of the powerful gospel song is a passionate and boisterous one.
“I’ve always found this to be such a powerful protest song,” remarked co-vocalist Ken Casey in a press release, “as we all know from its importance in both the civil rights and labor movements, but what I love the most is its positivity. The message of hope is needed now more than ever. Also, nobody has done a loud, ballsy rock version — so it just needed to happen!”
Dropkick Murphys’ take on “We Shall Overcome” will be included on the forthcoming expanded edition of their 2021 album Turn Up That Dial, out March 18th. The digital-only album will be available in both stereo and 3-dimensional Dolby Atmos mixes, with other bonus tracks including the previously released cover songs “James Connolly” (originally by Larry Kirwan) and “The Bonny” (Gerry Cinnamon).
Dropkick Murphys are reaching the tale end of their annual “St. Patrick’s Day Tour.” The jaunt continues tonight (March 15th) in Portland, Maine, before the band heads to Boston for four hometown shows. You can get tickets via Ticketmaster and tune into a livestream of the March 17th concert at the House of Blues.
Watch the video for Dropkick Murphys’ rendition of “We Shall Overcome” below.