Thursday, 29 July 2010

The Internationale

The most famous song of all for socialists is, of course, the Internationale. I mentioned Tony Babino’s tongue-in-cheek version in an earlier post, but the best-known recording extant in English is by British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg.



Rather than keep to the ‘archaic and unsingable’ traditional English translation, Bragg uses his own modernised text.

First stanza

Stand up, all victims of oppression,
For the tyrants fear your might!
Don’t cling so hard to your possessions,
For you have nothing if you have no rights!
Let racist ignorance be ended,
For respect makes the empires fall!
Freedom is merely privilege extended,
Unless enjoyed by one and all.
    So come brothers and sisters,
    For the struggle carries on.
    The Internationale,
    Unites the world in song.
    So comrades, come rally,
    For this is the time and place!
    The international ideal,
    Unites the human race.

Second stanza

Let no one build walls to divide us,
Walls of hatred nor walls of stone.
Come greet the dawn and stand beside us,
We’ll live together or we’ll die alone.
In our world poisoned by exploitation,
Those who have taken, now they must give!
And end the vanity of nations,
We’ve but one Earth on which to live.
    So come brothers and sisters,
    For the struggle carries on.
    The Internationale,
    Unites the world in song.
    So comrades, come rally,
    For this is the time and place!
    The international ideal,
    Unites the human race.

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