Friday, May 11, 2007

A Working Class Anthem

As we marched through the streets of Aberdeen & Hoquiam protesting the military shipments through the Port of Grays Harbor, I thought that besides the chants and shouts, we should be singing. But sing what?

Years ago I heard "The Internationale" written & performed by folk singer Billy Bragg. If the progressive movement ever adopted an anthem, I think this should be it.
The Internationale

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

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


And so begins the final drama
In the streets and in the fields
We stand unbowed before their armour
We defy their guns and shields
When we fight, provoked by their aggression
Let us be inspired by like and love
For though they offer us concessions
Change will not come from above


Words: Billy Bragg
Music: Pierre Degeyter


  1. Yes indeed, The Internationale, especially as modified for contemporary times by Bragg, is a fine tune for social justice struggles and movements. I, given my own secularist biases, am also happy that it hightlights that "change will not come from above."
    : )

    Thanks for highlighting this fine anthem!

  2. This gives me goosebumps. Thank you for posting this and for standing up for what you belive in. It's time for all of us to do the same.


Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.