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« A semi-righteous book (prasad) | Main | Chlorine Road »

May 01, 2012

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The Internationale

French lyrics Literal English translation

First stanza

Debout, les damnés de la terre
Debout, les forçats de la faim
La raison tonne en son cratère
C'est l'éruption de la fin
Du passé faisons table rase
Foule esclave, debout, debout
Le monde va changer de base
Nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout
|: C'est la lutte finale
Groupons-nous, et demain
L'Internationale
Sera le genre humain :|

Stand up, damned of the Earth
Stand up, prisoners of starvation
Reason thunders in its volcano
This is the eruption of the end
Of the past let us make a clean slate
Enslaved masses, stand up, stand up
The world is about to change its foundation
We are nothing, let us be all
|: This is the final struggle
Let us group together, and tomorrow
The Internationale
Will be the human race :|


Second stanza

Il n'est pas de sauveurs suprêmes
Ni Dieu, ni César, ni tribun
Producteurs, sauvons-nous nous-mêmes
Décrétons le salut commun
Pour que le voleur rende gorge
Pour tirer l'esprit du cachot
Soufflons nous-mêmes notre forge
Battons le fer quand il est chaud
|: C'est la lutte finale
Groupons-nous, et demain
L'Internationale
Sera le genre humain :|

There are no supreme saviours
Neither God, nor Caesar, nor tribune.
Producers, let us save ourselves
Decree the common salvation
So that the thief expires,
So that the spirit be pulled from its prison,
Let us fan the forge ourselves
Strike the iron while it is hot
|: This is the final struggle
Let us group together, and tomorrow
The Internationale
Will be the human race :|


Third stanza

L'État comprime et la loi triche
L'impôt saigne le malheureux
Nul devoir ne s'impose au riche
Le droit du pauvre est un mot creux
C'est assez, languir en tutelle
L'égalité veut d'autres lois
Pas de droits sans devoirs dit-elle
Égaux, pas de devoirs sans droits
|: C'est la lutte finale
Groupons-nous, et demain
L'Internationale
Sera le genre humain :|

The State oppresses and the law cheats
Tax bleeds the unfortunate
No duty is imposed on the rich
The rights of the poor is an empty phrase
Enough languishing in custody
Equality wants other laws:
No rights without duties, she says,
Equally, no duties without rights
|: This is the final struggle
Let us group together, and tomorrow
The Internationale
Will be the human race :|


Fourth stanza

Hideux dans leur apothéose
Les rois de la mine et du rail
Ont-ils jamais fait autre chose
Que dévaliser le travail ?
Dans les coffres-forts de la bande
Ce qu'il a créé s'est fondu
En décrétant qu'on le lui rende
Le peuple ne veut que son dû.
|: C'est la lutte finale
Groupons-nous, et demain
L'Internationale
Sera le genre humain :|

Hideous in their apotheosis
The kings of the mine and of the rail
Have they ever done anything other
Than steal work?
Inside the safeboxes of the gang,
What work had created melted.
By ordering that they give it back
The people want only their due.
|: This is the final struggle
Let us group together, and tomorrow
The Internationale
Will be the human race :|


Fifth stanza

Les rois nous saoulaient de fumées
Paix entre nous, guerre aux tyrans
Appliquons la grève aux armées
Crosse en l'air, et rompons les rangs
S'ils s'obstinent, ces cannibales
À faire de nous des héros
Ils sauront bientôt que nos balles
Sont pour nos propres généraux
|: C'est la lutte finale
Groupons-nous, et demain
L'Internationale
Sera le genre humain :|

The kings made us drunk with fumes,
Peace among us, war to the tyrants!
Let the armies go on strike,
Stocks in the air, and break ranks
If they insist, these cannibals
On making heroes of us,
They will know soon that our bullets
Are for our own generals
|: This is the final struggle
Let us group together, and tomorrow
The Internationale
Will be the human race :|


Sixth stanza

Ouvriers, paysans, nous sommes
Le grand parti des travailleurs
La terre n'appartient qu'aux hommes
L'oisif ira loger ailleurs
Combien de nos chairs se repaissent
Mais si les corbeaux, les vautours
Un de ces matins disparaissent
Le soleil brillera toujours.
|: C'est la lutte finale
Groupons-nous, et demain
L'Internationale
Sera le genre humain :|

Workers, peasants, we are
The great party of labourers
The earth belongs only to men
The idle will go to reside elsewhere
How much of our flesh have they consumed,
But if these ravens, these vultures
Disappeared one of these days
The sun will shine forever
|: This is the final struggle
Let us group together, and tomorrow
The International
Will be the human race :|

Norman, thanks for the translation of the rousing anthem!

Did you ever see this May Day post from five years ago?

@ Ruchira,

No, I was unaware of your post. I was new to following 3QD, and not aware of its extended family, like AB. Being a parent I understand, and am at a loss for words. I remember the police riot in LA, but lost track of the aftermath - if there was one.

@ Ruchira:

Here's an instrumental version of The Internationale - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko372vrAsfM&feature=related

And here is a choral rendition in Russian. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3AvGImIMwM&feature=related

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