Effect Measure

U.S., Hungary, 2010, 1989, 1956

Martin Luther King’s birthday is an official holiday in the US, but King’s example of non-violent resistance is not a US idea. So once again we have decided this non-traditional version of We Shall Overcome is appropriate. I’ve heard and sung this in churches, union halls, in the streets and in concerts for four decades and it inspires wherever and whenever it is sung. This 1996 version features Diana Ross in full concert hall regalia, backed by a symphony orchestra. The venue is Budapest, Hungary and more than one member of the orchestra and the audience were undoubtedly thinking of their own history. A bloody uprising in 1956 was savagely put down by Soviet troops. It was the simple act of opening their border with Austria in 1989 that started the unraveling of the Soviet Union.

One day they did overcome. An American holiday. But a universal hope:

Comments

  1. #1 GrannySue
    January 18, 2010

    Beautiful. Once again, thank you.

  2. #2 hat_eater
    January 18, 2010

    Thank you!
    I’d like only to add that while the act of removing the border fence in May 1989 might seem simple, the events that made it possible ware anything but:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutions_of_1989
    I suppose you know that but some might think, why the border fence did not fall earlier?

  3. #3 History Punk
    January 19, 2010

    Fortunately for the Hungarians, the Soviets allowed them to do so. Had a hard-liner been in power, it would have been 1989 all over again.

  4. #4 hat_eater
    January 19, 2010

    Well, had a hard liner been in power in the USSR, there would be neither Solidarity legalization nor the Round Table in Poland so the rest of the members of the Warsaw Pact would not make a peep. And the whole communist block would crumble later and probably quite violently.

  5. #5 Joe
    January 20, 2010

    You’ve been in a church??

  6. #6 revere
    January 20, 2010

    Joe: LOL. I’ve been in many, not just for political meetings. I am diligent about family obligations (Mrs. R.’s family and children’s in-laws) and do it cheerfully and without demur. I am nothing if not a good sport. The fact that lightning has not struck any of the structures during my visits is further evidence there is no God.