Socialist Song Book

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SOCIALIST SONGBOOK


The Red Flag (Tune: Tannenbaum or The White Cockade)

The people’s flag is deepest red

It shrouded oft our martyred dead

And ‘ere their limbs grew stiff and cold

Their hearts’ blood dyed its every fold.

 

Chorus:

Then raise the scarlet banner (standard) high

Within its shade we’ll live or die

Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer

We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

 

Look round – the Frenchman loves its blaze;

The sturdy German chants its praise;

In Moscow’s halls its hymns are sung;

Chicago swells the surging throng.

 

(Chorus)

 

It waved above our infant might,

When all ahead seemed dark as night

It witnessed many a deed and vow

We must not change its color now!

 

(Chorus)

 

It well recalls the triumphs past;

It gives the hope of Peace at last;

The banner bright, the symbol plain

Of human right and human gain.

 

(Chorus)

 

It suits today the weak and base,

Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place,

To cringe before the rich man’s frown

And haul the sacred emblem down.

 

(Chorus)

With heads uncovered swear we all,

To bear it onward till we fall.

Come dungeon dark or gallows grim,

This song shall be our parting hymn.

 

(Chorus)

 

The Internationale

 

Arise ye starvelings 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 the old conditions

And spurn the dust to win the prize.

 

Chorus:

Then, comrades, come rally!

And the last fight let us face,

The Internationale Unites the human race!

No saviors from on high deliver,

No trust have we in prince or peer;

Our own right hand the chains must sever,

Chains of hatred, of greed and fear,

Ere the thieves will out with their booty

And to all give a happier lot,

Each at their forge must do their duty

And strike the iron while it’s hot!

 

(Chorus)

 

We peasants, artisans and others

Enrolled among the sons of toil,

Let’s claim the Earth henceforth for brothers,

Drive the indolent from the soil.

On our flesh too long has fed the raven,

We’ve too long been the vulture’s prey,

But now, farewell the spirit craven,

The dawn brings in a brighter day.

 

(Chorus)

 

(Note: A tongue-in-cheek Stalinist version began: Arise Joe Stalin from your slumbers!)

 

Soviet National Anthem (Stalinist version)

Unbreakable Union of freeborn Republics,

Great Russia has welded forever to stand;

Created by struggle by will of the peoples,

United and mighty, our Soviet Land!

 

Chorus:

Sing to our Motherland, glory undying,

Bulwark of peoples in brotherhood strong!

Flag of the Soviets, peoples’ flag flying,

Lead us from vic’try to victory on!

Through tempests the sunrays of freedom have cheered us,

Along the new path where great Lenin did lead.

Be true to the people, thus Stalin has reared us,

Inspired us to labor and valorous deed!

 

(Chorus – second line changes to: Bulwark of peoples in happiness strong!)

Our army grew up in the heat of grim battle,

Barbarian invaders we’ll swiftly strike down.

In combat the fate of the future we settle,

Our country we’ll lead to eternal renown!

 

(Chorus – second line changes to: Bulwark of peoples in glory so strong!)

 

England Arise

 

England, arise! The long, long night is over,

Faint in the East behold the dawn appear,

Out of your evil dream of toil and sorrow

Arise, O England, for the day is here!

From your fields and hills, Hark! The answer swells

Arise, O England, for the day is here!

 

People of England! All your valleys call you,

High in the rising sun the lark sings clear,

Will you dream on, let shameful slumber thrall you?

Will you disown your native land so dear?

Shall it die unheard – That sweet pleading word?

Arise, O England, for the day is here!

 

Over your face a web of lies is woven,

Laws that are falsehoods pin you to the ground,

Labor is mocked, its just reward is stolen,

On its bent back sits Idleness encrowned.

How long, while you sleep,

Your harvest shall it reap?

Arise, O England, for the day is here!

 

Forth, then, ye heroes, patriots and lovers!

Comrades of danger, poverty and scorn!

Mighty in faith of Freedom, thy great Mother!

Giants refreshed in Joy’s new rising morn!

Come and swell the song, Silent now so long; E

ngland is risen, and the day is here!

 

Bandiera Rossa (The Red Flag of Italy – apologies for spelling)

 

Avanti o popolo, alla riscossa

Bandiera Rossa, Bandiera Rossa,

Avanti o popolo, alla riscossa

Bandiera Rossa, la trionfera!

 

Chorus:

Bandiera Rossa, la trionfera!

Bandiera Rossa, la trionfera!

Bandiera Rossa, la trionfera!

A viva el Socialismo (Communismo) et la liberta!

 

Dai campi al mare, a la minera,

El officina, chi chiffre e spera.

Sia pronto, elora, della riscossa,

Bandiera Rossa la trionfera!

 

(Chorus)

 

(English version:)

The people on the march

This road are treading,

That leads to Freedom,

It leads to Freedom,

The people on the march

This road are treading,

It leads to Freedom and liberty!

 

Chorus:

Raise then the scarlet flag triumphantly!

Raise then the scarlet flag triumphantly!

Raise then the scarlet flag triumphantly!

We fight for Peace and Progress and our Liberty!

 

Song of the Soviet Air Force

Chorus:

Higher and higher and higher,

Reaching the Soviet Red Star!

Every propeller is turning,

We’re defending the USSR!

 

***** An ex-YCLer has suggested one verse and the chorus of the song went like this, and an alternative title as follows:

The Song of the Soviet Airforce (known by me as The Song of the Soviet Airmen) goes like this.

Our proud machines obey our every order

There is no flight our pilots do not dare

And overhead, a ring around our borders

The workers first squadron of the air (Shout) Y-C-L

 

(Chorus)

Flying higher and higher and higher

Our emblem the Soviet star

And every propeller is roaring

Defending the USSR.

 

(Anyone know the rest of this song? Something about dropping bombs on the bosses and leaflets on the workers I believe, which would be very clever if you could distinguish which is which from an airplane.)

 

Solidarity Forever! (Tune: John Brown’s Body)

 

We’ll turn Buckingham Palace into a block of council flats,

We’ll turn Buckingham Palace into a block of council flats,

We’ll turn Buckingham Palace into a block of council flats,

When the Red Revolution comes!

 

Solidarity forever!

Solidarity forever!

Solidarity forever!

When the Red Revolution comes!

 

(Other verses about Princess Anne, Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Docker are now too un-P.C. to repeat here, but there is an alternative refrain which I rather like:)

Free beer for all the workers!

Free beer for all the workers!

Free beer for all the workers!

When the Red Revolution comes!

 

Red Fly The Banners, O! (Tune: Green Grow the Rushes, O)

I’ll sing you one-o,

Red fly the banners O!

What is your one-o?

One is workers’ Unity

And evermore shall be so.

 

I’ll sing you two-o,

Red fly the banners O!

What are your two-o?

Two, two the worker’s hands

Working for their living-o,

One is workers’ Unity

And evermore shall be so.

 

I’ll sing your three-o,

Red fly the banners O!

What are your three-o?

Three, three the rights of Man,

Two, two the worker’s hands

Working for their living-o,

One is workers’ Unity

And evermore shall be so.

(And so on, until you finally get to ten…)

 

I’ll sing you ten-o,

Red fly the banners O!

What are your ten-o?

Ten for the days that shook the World,

Nine for the days of the General Strike,

Eight for the Eight Red Army,

Seven for the hours of the working day,

Six for the Tolpuddle Martyrs,

Five for the years of the Socialist plan,

Four for the four years taken,

Three, three the rights of Man,

Two, two the worker’s hands

Working for their living-o,

One is workers’ Unity And evermore shall be so.

 

(Another version thanks to Phil Kinch:)

I’ll sing you twelve-o,
Red fly the banners O!
What are your twelve-o?
Twelve for the chimes of the Kremlin Clock,
Eleven for the Moscow Dynamos,
Ten for the works of Lenin,
Nine for the nine bright satellite states,
Eight for the Eighth Red Army,
Seven for the days of the working week,
Six for the Tolpuddle Martyrs,
Five for the years of the 5-year plan,
Four for the four years taken,
Three, three the rights of Man,
Two, two the hands at toil
Working for the living-oil,
One is workers’ Unity
And evermore shall be so.

 

Miner’s Lifeguard

(American miners’ union song adapted from gospel number ‘Life is Like A Mountain Railroad’. Later further adapted and adopted as CND anthem ‘The H-Bomb’s Thunder’ – see Aldermaston Songbook)

Miner’s life is like a sailor’s

Board a ship to cross the waves,

Every day his life’s in danger,

Still he ventures, being brave,

Watch the rocks, they’re falling daily,

Careless miners always fail,

Keep your hands upon the dollar

And your eyes upon the scale.

 

Chorus:

Union miners, stand together!

Heed no operator’s tale,

Keep your hands upon the dollar

And your eyes upon the scale.

 

Harry Was A Bolshie

(Ballad of Harry Pollitt, former General Secretary of the British Communist Party)

Harry was a Bolshie, one of Stalin’s lads

Till he was foully murdered by counter revolutionary cads

Counter revolutionary, counter revolutionary cads

He was foully murdered by counter revolutionary cads

 

That’s all right said Harry

I’m not afraid to die

I’ll carry on my Party work in the land beyond the sky

I’ll just carry on my Party work in the land beyond the sky

 

He got up to the Pearly Gates, met Peter on his knees

‘May I speak to Comrade God?

I’m Harold Pollitt please’

Harold Pollitt please, Harold Pollitt please,

‘May I speak to Comrade God?

I’m Harold Pollitt please’

 

Said Peter unto Harry: ‘Are you humble and contrite?’

I’m a friend of Lady Docker’s’,

Then OK. you’ll be alright’

Then OK. you’ll be alright, then OK. you’ll be alright

‘If you’re a friend of Lady Docker’s, then OK. you’ll be alright’

 

They dressed him in a nightie, put a harp into his hand

And he played the Internationale in the hallelujah band

In the hallelujah band, in the hallelujah band

He played the Internationale in the hallelujah band

 

They put him in the choir, the hymns he did not like

So he organized the angels and he fetched them out on strike

Fetched them out on strike, fetched them out on strike

He organized the angels and he fetched them out on strike

 

One day as God was walking around the heavenly state

Who should he see but Harry chalking slogans on the gate

Slogans on the gate, slogans on the gate

Who should he see but Harry chalking slogans on the gate

 

They put him up for trial before the Holy Ghost

Charged with disaffection amongst the heavenly host

Amongst the heavenly host, amongst the heavenly host

Charged with disaffection amongst the heavenly host

 

The verdict it was guilty, said Harry ‘That is swell’

And he tucked his nightie ’round his knees and he floated down to hell

Floated down to hell, floated down to hell

He tucked his nightie ’round his knees and he floated down to hell

 

A few more years have ended, now Harry’s doing swell

He’s just been made the people’s commissar for Soviet Socialist Hell

And now all the little devils have joined the Y.C.L.*

Yes all the little devils have joined the Y.C.L.

 

Now the moral of this story, it isn’t hard to tell,

If you want to be a Bolshie, you’ve got to go to Hell,

Got to go to Hell, Yes, you’ve got to go to Hell,

If you want to be a Bolshie, you’ve got to go to Hell!”

 

(*Y.C.L. = Young Communist League)

 

National Anthem of the GDR (German Democratic Republic)

 

Risen from the ruins and faced towards the future,

Let us serve you for the good, Germany, united fatherland.

Old woes we will have to conquer, and, united, so we shall,

For it lies within our power that the sun, beautiful as never before,

Shines over Germany, shines over Germany.

 

Happiness and peace may be granted Germany, our fatherland.

All the world now longs for peace, so go forth and extend your hand.

When as brothers we unite, we defeat the people’s foe.

Let it shine, the light of Peace, so that no mother again must

Mourn her son, mourn her son.

 

Let us plow, let us build, learn and work as never before,

And, in confidence and strength, a free generation will come forth.

German youth, the best endeavor of our people combined in you,

You will be Germany’s new life. Then may the sun, more beautiful than  ever

Shine over Germany, shine over Germany

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