The Internationale

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"The Internationale" (L'Internationale in French) is a famous socialist, anarchist, communist, and social democratic anthem. The lyrics were originally written in French, but have been translated into nearly every modern language. It served as the anthem of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 1922 until 1944, replacing The Worker's Marseillaise. British socialist Billy Bragg has recorded a version of the song, which is a modernization of the original French, in English. Other English versions of the anthem exist.

Lyrics to Bragg version

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

Chorus: 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 armor

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