We Shall Not Be Moved

Gil’s Hootenanny begins with a procession of performers marching down the aisles toward the stage, singing and encouraging the audience to join in.

​This year’s opening song is a well-known protest song, We Shall Not Be Moved. With lyrics based on biblical scripture, the song evolved from an African-American spiritual dating back to the early 19th century. It has been described as a “traditional folk song of resilience and determination”.

Arthur McGregor

We Shall Not Be Moved rose in popularity as a powerful union song sung on picket lines and protests and was later adopted by the civil rights movement. It has been recorded over the years by many influential musicians, including Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Cash and Mavis Staples.

​At Gil’s Hootenanny 2024, the song will be performed by singer-songwriter and Gil’s Hootenanny team member Arthur McGregor. Arthur will lead the opening procession with his banjo, an instrument that has early African American roots like the song itself. 

Gil’s Hootenanny will take place on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, starting at 7:00 pm at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, 30 Cleary Avenue. Tickets are $20 (kids free).