Song

Inauguration Day
It’s a new day a-dawning, our spirits rising high
Folks all over forming, a pilgrimage of pride
Flowing into a city, and spreading through the land
To share the hope, to change the course, to echo: “Yes, we can!”

It’s a day for rejoicing, although these times are grim
So lift every voice in a universal hymn:
Praised be the people, who’ve gathered through the land
To share the hope, to change the course, to echo: “Yes, we can!”

I remember — age 16 — watching marchers on a screen
Listening to that fervent dream, how that moment molded me!
In between — what troubled years — so many lost, so many tears
Hard to believe I’ll finally hear, freedom ring so loud and clear!

It’s a new day a-dawning, our spirits rising high
Folks all over forming, a pilgrimage of pride
Flowing into a city, and spreading through the land
To share the hope, to change the course, to echo: “Yes, we can!”
To echo: “Yes, we can!”

Click here for a printable copy of this song.

Estelle writes: As the inauguration of Barack Obama approached in January, I heard from friends across the country who were making their way to Washington, D.C., to witness the historic event. Their determination and my own excitement about the impending political change left me in gleeful anticipation, even though I would be watching it from afar on television. I thought back to the impact of watching the 1963 March on Washington and of the hopes and disappointments over the decades since then. On the day before the inauguration, when we honored the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., I wrote this song to celebrate the power that people have to effect change.

Estelle Freedman is a long time member of the SFFMC and an historian who teaches at Stanford University. She offers workshops on folk music of women’s history at the annual S.F. Free Folk Festival. Her latest album of original songs, Someday Has Come, is available through CDBaby.com


The folknik song pages are lovingly produced by Kay Eskenazi, John Kelly, and Barbara Millikan. Barbara Millikan produced the song pages for this issue.

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