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The Internationale

The Internationale
Internationalen in Swedish.

International anthem of International Communist Movement
International Socialist Movement
International Social Democratic Movement
International Anarchist Movement

Also known as L'Internationale (French)
Lyrics Eugène Pottier, 1871
Music Pierre De Geyter, 1888
Adopted 1890s
Music sample

"The Internationale" (French: L'Internationale) is a widely-sung communist anthem. It has been one of the most recognizable and popular songs of the socialist movement since the late 19th century, when the Second International (now the Socialist International) adopted it as its official anthem. The title arises from the "First International", an alliance of workers which held a congress in 1864. The author of the anthem's lyrics, Eugène Pottier, attended this congress.

The original French refrain of the song is C'est la lutte finale / Groupons-nous et demain / L'Internationale / Sera le genre humain. (English: "This is the final struggle / Let us group together and tomorrow / The Internationale / Will be the human race.") "The Internationale" has been translated into many languages. It is often sung with the left hand raised in a clenched fist salute and is sometimes followed (in English-speaking places) with a chant of "The workers united will never be defeated." "The Internationale" has been celebrated by socialists, communists, anarchists, democratic socialists, and social democrats.

Contents

  • Copyright 1
  • Original Lyrics 2
  • Translations into other languages 3
    • Russian lyrics 3.1
    • English lyrics 3.2
  • Cultural influence 4
    • In literature 4.1
    • In music 4.2
    • In film 4.3
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Copyright

The original French words were written in June 1871 by Eugène Pottier (1816–1887, previously a member of the Paris Commune)[1] and were originally intended to be sung to the tune of "La Marseillaise".[2] Pierre De Geyter (1848–1932) set the poem to music in 1888.[3] His melody was first publicly performed in July 1888[4] and became widely used soon after.

In an successful attempt to save Pierre De Geyter's job as a woodcarver, the 6,000 leaflets printed by Lille printer Bolboduc only mentioned the French version of his family name (Degeyter). In 1904, Pierre's brother Adolphe was induced by the Lille mayor Gustave Delory to claim copyright, so that the income of the song would continue to go to Delory's French Socialist Party. Pierre De Geyter lost the first copyright case in 1914, but after his brother committed suicide and left a note explaining the fraud, Pierre was declared the copyright owner by a court of appeal in 1922.[5]

In 1972 Montana Edition owned by Hans R. Beierlein bought the rights for 5,000 Deutschmark, first for the territory of the West Germany, then East Germany, then worldwide. East Germany paid 20,000 DM every year for playing the music. Pierre De Geyter died in 1932, which means the copyright expired 2002.[6] The German text Luckhards is public domain since 1984.

As the "Internationale" music was published before 1 July 1909 outside the United States of America, it is in the public domain in the United States.[7] As of 2013, Pierre De Geyter's music is also in the public domain in countries and areas whose copyright durations are authors' lifetime plus 80 years or less.[8] As Eugène Pottier died in 1887, his original French lyrics are in the public domain. Gustave Delory once acquired the copyright of his lyrics through the songwriter G B Clement having bought it from Pottier's widow.[9]

Original Lyrics

French lyrics Literal English translation
First stanza
: C'est la lutte finale
  Groupons-nous, et demain
  L'Internationale
  Sera le genre humain :
: This is the final struggle
  Let us group together, and tomorrow
  The Internationale
  Will be the human race. :
Second stanza
: C'est la lutte finale
  Groupons-nous, et demain
  L'Internationale
  Sera le genre humain :
: This is the final struggle
  Let us group together, and tomorrow
  The Internationale
  Will be the human race. :
Third stanza
: C'est la lutte finale
  Groupons-nous, et demain
  L'Internationale
  Sera le genre humain :
: This is the final struggle
  Let us group together, and tomorrow
  The Internationale
  Will be the human race. :
Fourth stanza
: C'est la lutte finale
  Groupons-nous, et demain
  L'Internationale
  Sera le genre humain :
: This is the final struggle
  Let us group together, and tomorrow
  The Internationale
  Will be the human race. :
Fifth stanza
: C'est la lutte finale
  Groupons-nous, et demain
  L'Internationale
  Sera le genre humain :
: This is the final struggle
  Let us group together, and tomorrow
  The Internationale
  Will be the human race. :
Sixth stanza
: C'est la lutte finale
  Groupons-nous, et demain
  L'Internationale
  Sera le genre humain :
: This is the final struggle
  Let us group together, and tomorrow
  The Internationale
  Will be the human race. :

Translations into other languages

The German version, Die Internationale, was used by East German anti-Stalinists in 1953 and again during the 1989 protests which toppled SED rule. When numerous East Germans were arrested for protesting the 40th anniversary celebrations for the GDR, several of them sang the hymn in police custody to embarrass their captors, and imply that they had abandoned the socialist cause they were supposed to serve.

Luckhardt's version, the standard German translation, of the final line of the chorus tellingly reads: "Die Internationale erkämpft das Menschenrecht". (The Internationale will win our human rights.) It was coupled with the chant: "Volkspolizei, steh dem Volke bei" (People's police, stand with the people!). The Internationale in Chinese (simplified Chinese: 国际歌; traditional Chinese: 國際歌; pinyin: Guójìgē), literally the International Song, has several different sets of lyrics. One such version served as the de facto anthem of the Communist Party of China,[10] the national anthem of the Chinese Soviet Republic,[11] as well as a rallying song of the students and workers at the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.[12]

Versions of the song in Indian languages, particularly Bengali and Malayalam, have existed since the time of colonial rule. It was translated into Bengali by the radical poet CPI(Marxist) (CPI(M) and published in the Student Monthly, the organ of SFI.

Nepali translations of the song have also been sung in Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal, and the song has been popularised by the Nepali Maoists.

Russian lyrics

Интернационал
English: The Internationale
Internatsional

National anthem of  Russian SFSR
 Soviet Union
CPSU

Lyrics Arkady Yakovlevich Kots, 1902
Music Pierre De Geyter, 1888
Adopted 1918 (as anthem of Russian SFSR)
1922 (as anthem of Soviet Union)
Relinquished 1944
Music sample

The Russian version was initially translated by Aron Kots (Arkady Yakovlevich Kots) in 1902 and printed in London in Zhizn, a Russian émigré magazine. The first Russian version consisted of three stanzas (as opposed to six stanzas in the original French lyrics, and based on stanzas 1, 2 and 6) and the refrain. After the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the text was slightly re-worded to get rid of "now useless" future tenses - particularly the refrain was reworded (the future tense was replaced by the present, and the first person plural possessive pronoun was introduced). In 1918, the chief-editor of Izvestia, Yuri Steklov, appealed to Russian writers to translate the other three stanzas and in the end, the song was expanded into six stanzas.[13] In 1944, the Soviet Union adopted the "Hymn of the Soviet Union" as its national anthem. Prior to that time, the "Internationale" served as the principal musical expression of allegiance to the ideals of the October Revolution and the Soviet Union. (The "Internationale" continued to be recognized as the official song of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and the post-1919 Soviet version is still used by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.) The three stanzas by Kots were as follows:

Russian translation Latin alphabet transliteration Literal English translation
First stanza
: Это есть наш последний
  И решительный бой;
  С Интернационалом
  Воспрянет род людской! :
: Eto yest nash posledniy
  I reshitelniy boy;
  S Internatsionalom
  vospryanet rod lyudskoy! :
: This is our final
   and decisive battle;
   With the Internationale
   humanity will rise up! :
Second stanza
: Это есть наш последний
  И решительный бой;
  С Интернационалом
  Воспрянет род людской! :
: Eto yest nash posledniy
  I reshitelniy boy;
  S Internatsionalom
  vospryanet rod lyudskoy! :
: This is our final
   and decisive battle;
   With the Internationale
   humanity will rise up! :
Third stanza
: Это есть наш последний
 И решительный бой;
 С Интернационалом
 Воспрянет род людской! :
: Eto yest nash posledniy
  I reshitelniy boy;
  S Internatsionalom
  vospryanet rod lyudskoy! :
: This is our final
   and decisive battle;
   With the Internationale
   humanity will rise up! :
Fourth stanza
: Это есть наш последний
 И решительный бой;
 С Интернационалом
 Воспрянет род людской! :
: Eto yest nash posledniy
  I reshitelniy boy;
  S Internatsionalom
  vospryanet rod lyudskoy! :
: This is our final
   and decisive battle;
   With the Internationale
   humanity will rise up! :
Fifth stanza
: Это есть наш последний
 И решительный бой;
 С Интернационалом
 Воспрянет род людской! :
: Eto yest nash posledniy
  I reshitelniy boy;
  S Internatsionalom
  vospryanet rod lyudskoy! :
: This is our final
   and decisive battle;
   With the Internationale
   humanity will rise up! :
Sixth stanza
: Это есть наш последний
  И решительный бой;
  С Интернационалом
  Воспрянет род людской! :
: Eto yest nash posledniy
  I reshitelniy boy;
  S Internatsionalom
  vospryanet rod lyudskoy! :
: This is our final
   and decisive battle;
   With the Internationale
   humanity will rise up! :

English lyrics

The traditional British version of The Internationale is usually sung in three verses, while the American version, written by Charles Hope Kerr with five verses, is usually sung in two.[14][15] The American version is sometimes sung with the phrase "the internationale", "the international soviet", or "the international union" in place of "the international working class". In English renditions, "Internationale" is sometimes sung as rather than the French pronunciation of .

The English versions are known to be notoriously difficult to sing, as the lyrics may appear sometimes forced and unnatural . British musician Billy Bragg, after talking to the American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger, agreed that the old lyrics were "archaic and unsingable".[16] However, the Scottish musician Dick Gaughan takes a different view.[17] Bragg composed revised verses for the song, based on the British version. The recording was released on his album The Internationale along with reworkings of other socialist songs. A full, six-stanza translation can be found on the Wikisource page on The Internationale.

British Translation Billy Bragg's Revision[18] American version
First stanza

Arise, ye workers from your slumber,
Arise, ye prisoners of want.
For reason in revolt now thunders,
and at last ends the age of cant!
Away with all your superstitions,
Servile masses, arise, arise!
We'll change henceforth the old tradition,
And spurn the dust to win the prize!
  So comrades, come rally,
  And the last fight let us face.
  The Internationale
  Unites the human race.
  So comrades, come rally,
  And the last fight let us face.
  The Internationale
  Unites the human race.

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.

Arise, ye prisoners of starvation!
Arise, ye wretched of the earth!
For justice thunders condemnation:
A better world's in birth!
No more tradition's chains shall bind us;
Arise, ye slaves, no more in thrall!
The earth shall rise on new foundations:
We have been nought, we shall be all!
  'Tis the final conflict;
  Let each stand in his place.
  The International working class
  Shall be the human race!
  'Tis the final conflict;
  Let each stand in his place.
  The International working class
  Shall be the human race!

Second stanza

No more deluded by reaction,
On tyrants only we'll make war!
The soldiers too will take strike action,
They'll break ranks and fight no more!
And if those cannibals keep trying,
To sacrifice us to their pride,
They soon shall hear the bullets flying,
We'll shoot the generals on our own side.
  So comrades, come rally,
  And the last fight let us face.
  The Internationale
  Unites the human race.
  So comrades, come rally,
  And the last fight let us face.
  The Internationale
  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.
  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.

We want no condescending saviors
To rule us from a judgment hall;
We workers ask not for their favors;
Let us consult for all.
To make the thief disgorge his booty
To free the spirit from its cell,
We must ourselves decide our duty,
We must decide, and do it well.
  'Tis the final conflict;
  Let each stand in his place.
  The International working class
  Shall be the human race!
  'Tis the final conflict;
  Let each stand in his place.
  The International working class
  Shall be the human race!

Third stanza

No saviour from on high delivers,
No faith have we in prince or peer.
Our own right hand the chains must shiver,
Chains of hatred, greed and fear.
E'er the thieves will out with their booty,
And to all give a happier lot.
Each at his forge must do their duty,
And we'll strike the iron while it's hot.
  So comrades, come rally,
  And the last fight let us face.
  The Internationale
  Unites the human race.
  So comrades, come rally,
  And the last fight let us face.
  The Internationale
  Unites the human race.

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 life and love.
For though they offer us concessions,
Change will not come from above!
  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.

Toilers from shops and fields united,
The union we of all who work:
The earth belongs to us, the workers,
No room here for the shirk.
How many on our flesh have fattened!
But if the noisome birds of prey
Shall vanish from the sky some morning,
The blessed sunlight still will stay.
  'Tis the final conflict;
  Let each stand in his place.
  The International working class
  Shall be the human race!
  'Tis the final conflict;
  Let each stand in his place.
  The International working class
  Shall be the human race!

Cultural influence

In literature

In music

  • The song "Hammerblow" from the 2008 album Susquehanna by American ska-swing band the Cherry Poppin' Daddies includes a verse of "L'Internationale" within its bridge ("L'Internationale/Sera le genre humain"). The song itself concerns an underground Marxist movement.

In film

  • The novel National Anthem of the Soviet Union) being symbolic of betrayal of the ideas of the revolution.
  • The 1974 film Sweet Movie, features two different versions of the melody, one being played in 6/8 time signature with an accordion, the other one, played in 4/4 at fast tempo with an organ.
  • In the 1993 film 'In the Heat of the Sun' (Yangguang canlan de rizi) by Chinese director Jiang Wen, the song plays loudly over a brutal scene where the main character, Ma Xiaojun, repeatedly beats an innocent victim to a state of bloodied unconsciousness. Set during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), the film's use of The Internationale, a song played at official events and at the end of the day's radio broadcast during this era, is intended to symbolise the hypocrisy of Maoist ideological rectitude. ([19])[20]
  • In the 1997 film, Air Force One, inmates at a prison sing the song as General Radek, a communist terrorist leader, is released.
  • In the 1999 film Cradle Will Rock by Tim Robbins, Bill Murray's character Tommy Crickshaw sings one verse of the song (mostly from the "American Version" above) at the end. He's a ventriloquist at the end of his career, a man who once was a fiery radical, but who has now been reduced to a near nonentity. He can't even bring himself to sing it, so he sings it through his puppet.
  • In the 2009 American film, Capitalism: A Love Story, by director Michael Moore, singer Tony Babino sings a lounge version of the Internationale over the ending credits.

See also

References

  1. ^ The Guardian, Australia. "The International". pp. first paragraph. Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. 
  2. ^ David Walls,  
  3. ^ The Guardian, Australia. "The International". pp. ninth paragraph. Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. 
  4. ^ The Guardian, Australia. "The International". pp. 11th paragraph. Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. 
  5. ^ The Guardian, Australia. "The International". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. 
  6. ^ "Ich habe die Kommunisten bezahlen lassen", Die Welt, Hans R. Beierlein, 2014-04-18.
  7. ^ Peter B. Hirtle. "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States". 
  8. ^ Year 1932 when Pierre De Geyter died, plus 80 years, would get to year 2012.
  9. ^ The Guardian, Australia. "The International". pp. 16th paragraph. Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. 
  10. ^ (Chinese) Xinhua Net: 瞿秋白:译词传谱国际歌
  11. ^ (Chinese) People's Daily: History of Chinese national anthems in a hundred years
  12. ^ Modern History Sourcebook: The Internationale
  13. ^ A.V. Lunacharskiy(ed). "The International (in Russian)". Fundamental'naya Elektronnaya Biblioteka. 
  14. ^ David Walls,  
  15. ^ in 82 languagesThe Internationale
  16. ^ Billy Bragg sings the Internationale at Pete Seeger's 90th birthday concert, May 3, 2009: [3]
  17. ^ Scottish musician Dick Gaughan supports an older British English version [4]
  18. ^ Billy Bragg: Albums: The Internationale.
  19. ^ Braester, 258
  20. ^ Braester, Yomi (2001). "Memory at a standstill: 'street-smart history' in Jiang Wen's In the Heat of the Sun". Screen 42 (4): 350-362. 

External links

  • A documentary on the Internationale.
  • Another large collection of downloadable recordings
  • The Internationale: lyrics and tabs
  • Communist propaganda clip with the Internationale as background music (Albanian and Russian)
  • Downloadable recordings in more than 40 languages
  • The InternationalePiano arrangements and orchestral MIDI file of
  • in 98 languagesThe Internationale
  • Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
  • IWW Version, translated by Charles Kerr from 'The Little Red Songbook' London, 1916
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