Tag Archives: We Shall Overcome

Happy Birthday gummies

Is We Shall Overcome the new Happy Birthday?

In 2016, the song Happy Birthday finally entered the public domain.  This isn’t because the requisite time finally passed, but because of a lawsuit filed by filmmaker Jennifer Nelson, who showed that the murky history of the lyrics and the music to Happy Birthday extended far enough back to make the copyright no longer valid.

Now the same lawyer, Mark Rifkin, is trying to bring We Shall Overcome into the public domain.  The song, both the lyrics and the music, similarly has a long (and murky) history.

Photo by Lynne Hand