Friday, May 01, 2009

Two Songs for May Day

The Red Flag [Wikipedia here]

The workers' flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead;
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold
Their life-blood dyed its every fold.


Then raise the scarlet standard high;
Beneath its folds we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.

The Internationale [Wikipedia here]

Arise ye starvelings [or workers] from your slumbers
Arise ye criminals of want
For reason in revolt now thunders
and at last ends the age of cant.
Now away with all your superstitions
Servile masses arise, arise!
We'll change forthwith [or henceforth] the old conditions
And spurn the dust to win the prize.


Then come comrades rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale
Unites the human race. (repeat).


Steve Muhlberger said...

what a condescending set of words!

But then, my wife's Latvian grandmother thought the same of the inscription on the Statue of Liberty.

Paul Halsall said...

Which are condescending? I quite like The Red Flag.

Steve Muhlberger said...

sorry, meant the verse of; the Internationale.

Paul Halsall said...

Steve it has never sung well in English, which is why I gave the Wikipedia link wherein are some modern variants - especially Billy Braggs' version.