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DSA Songs

  • The Internationale
  • Solidarity Forever
  • Fifty Ways to Leave Your Local
  • The Inter-Factional
  • We Shall Not be Moved
  • Union Maid
  • Red Revolution
  • Are You Sleeping, Bourgeoisie
  • Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie, See How They Run
  • This Land is Your Land Woody Guthrie
  • There Is Power In A Union Billy Bragg
  • Waiting For the Great Leap Forwards Billy Bragg
  • Help Save The Youth Of America Billy Bragg
  • In Old Moscow, In the Kremlin
  • The Sparticists are Coming to Town
  • Avanti Popolo
  • Gonna Lay Down Das Kapital
  • The Fist and Rose
  • Bread and Roses
  • Imagine


    The Internationale

    A sound file of the Internationale

    Adapted from Charles Kerr's translation from the French

    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 naught we shall be all
    Chorus
    'Tis the final conflict
    Let each stand in their place
    The International (Working Class)
    shall be the human race
    'Tis the final conflict
    let each stand in their place
    The International (Working Class)
    shall be the human race
    We want no condescending saviours
    To rule us from their judgement hall
    We ask not for their favors
    Let us consult for all
    To make the theif disgorge his booty
    To free the spirit from its cell
    We must ourselves decide our duty
    We must decide and do it well
    Behold them seated in their glory
    The kings of mines and rail and soil
    What have you read in all their story
    But how they plundered toil?
    Fruits of workers' toil are buried
    In strongholds of the idle few
    In taking back the wealth
    We only claim our due
    The law oppresses us and tricks us
    The wage slave system drains our blood
    The rich are free from obligations
    The laws the poor delude
    How many on our flesh have fattened!
    But if the circlin' birds of prey
    Shall vanish from the sky some morning
    The blessed sunlight will stay



    Solidarity Forever

    When the unions' inspiration
    through the worker's blood shall run
    there can be no power greater
    anywhere beneath the sun
    yet what force on earth is weaker
    than the feeble strength of one?
    For the union makes us strong.
    chorus:
    Solidarity forever
    Solidarity forever
    Solidarity forever
    For the union makes us strong


    It is we who ploughed the prairies, built the cities where they trade
    Dug the mines and built the workshops, endless miles of railroad laid
    Now we stand outcast & starving, 'midst the wonders we have made
    But the union makes us strong

    (chorus)

    They have taken untold millions, that they never toiled to earn
    But without our brain and muscle, not a single wheel would turn
    We can break their haughty power, gain our freedom when we learn
    That the union makes us strong

    (chorus)

    (Raise fists)
    In our hands is placed a power, greater than their hoarded gold
    Greater than the might of armies magnified a thousandfold
    We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old
    For the Union makes us strong

    (chorus)
    Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite,
    Who would lash us into bondage, who would crush us with his might -
    Is there anything left to us but to organise and fight?
    For the Union makes us strong!

    (chorus)
    All the world that's owned by idle drones is ours and ours alone
    We have laid the wide foundations, built it skywards, stone by stone,
    It is ours not to toil in but to master and to own -
    For the Union makes us strong!

    (chorus)




    Fifty Ways to Leave Your Local


    (to the tune of "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" by Paul Simon)

    The problem is all inside your head she said to me
    The answer is easy if you take it logically
    I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
    There must be fifty ways to leave your local

    She said it's really not my habit to intrude
    Furthermore, I hope my meaning won't be later misconstrued
    Buit I'll repeat myself at the risk of being crude
    There must be 50 ways to leave your local
    50 ways to leave your local

    Chorus

    Just work for the state, Kate
    Become a party hack, Jack
    Forget to pay dues, Drew
    Then go on leave, Steve
    Don't need to discuss much
    Read Trotsky, Lee
    And get yourself free
    She said it grieves me so to see you in such pain
    I wish there was something I could do to make you smile again
    I said I appreciate that and would you please explain about the 50 ways?
    She said why don't we both just sneak out of the Conference tonight
    And I believe in the morning we'll both begin to see the light
    And then she frisked me for DSA lit and I realized that she probably was right
    There must be 50 ways to leave your local, 50 ways to leave your local

    Just get a PhD, Lee
    Go into big biz, Liz
    Become a Green, Dean
    Have another kid, Sid
    Don't need to discuss Marx
    Just inherit some stock, Shoch
    And get yourself free



    The Inter-Factional

    Written at the end of the Summer 1985 DSA Youth Conference after endless nitpicking over a re-draft of the YS's statement of principles, "Which Way America".

    To the tune of The Internationale


    Arise, ye prisoners of group process
    Arise, correctors of poor verse.
    For just as we reach a consensus,
    Still "better" words are birthed,
    No more facilitators bind us,
    No motions will be called
    The text shall rise in new rephrasements,
    It was all rot, it shall be awed.

    Chorus

    'Tis the final conflict
    Let each stand by her phrase
    The International Working Draft
    Shall reach the human race
    (repeat chorus)

    Some dream of liberal coalition,
    Decry the wreckage of the earth.
    Each Caucus thunders condemnation.
    Priorities are reversed!
    One day the printer's ink will bind us,
    Red and Greens, no more will stall.
    "Which Way A-mer-i-ca" shall triumph,
    It was all rot, it shall be awed
    (Chorus)

    *with apologies to Pierre Deguyter (1871)




    We Shall Not be Moved

    (chorus) We shall not, we shall not be moved
    We shall not, we shall not be moved
    Just like a tree that's planted by the water
    We shall not be moved

    The union is behind us...

    We're fighting for our children...

    We'll build a mighty movement...




    Union Maid

    - Woody Guthrie

    There once was a union maid, Who never was afraid
    Of the goons and gink and the company finks
    And the deputy sheriffs that made the raids
    She went to the Union hall, When a meeting it was called
    And when the company boys came around
    She always stood her ground

    (Chorus)
    Oh you can't scare me, I'm a stickin' to the union (X3)
    Oh, you can't scare me, I'm stickin' to the union
    Till the day I die

    This union maid was wise to the tricks of the company spies
    She couldn't be fooled by the company's stools
    She'd always organize, She'd always get her way
    When she struck for higher pay
    She'd show her card to the company guards
    And this is what she'd say

    We modern union maids, are also not afraid
    To walk the line, leave jobs behind,
    We're not just the ladies' aide,
    We'll fight for equal pay, And we will get our way
    We're workers too, the same as you,
    and we'll fight the union way

    A woman's struggle is hard, Even with a union card
    She's got to stand on her own two feet
    And not be a servant of the male elite
    It's time to take a stand, working hand in hand
    There is a job that's got to be done,
    and a fight that's got to be won





    Red Revolution

    (to the tune of "When the Red, Red Robbin, Comes Bob, Bob Bobbin Along" author: Ruy Texeira, Madison DSOC and/or Rick Kunnes, former NAM Organizational Secretary 1979-1981)

    When the Red Revolution
    Brings Its Solution
    Along, Along

    There'll be no more lootin'
    When we start shootin'
    That Wall Street throng

    Wake up you proletarians
    Don't act like seminarians
    Expropriate Barbarians
    Build a Workers' Republic

    Exploitation and Degradation
    You Won't Find Here
    Surplus Value and Capital Will Disappear

    I'm Just a Red again,
    Saying what I've said again,
    When the Red Revolution... da, da, da, da
    Brings Its Solution...da, da, da, da, da
    A long




    Are You Sleeping, Bourgeoisie

    Traditional American song, sung in rounds to the tune of "Frere Jacques".

    Are you sleeping, Are you sleeping,
    Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie,
    And when the revolution comes,
    We'll kill you all with knives and guns,
    Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie




    Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie, See How They Run

    Usually sung in rounds after "Are You Sleeping, Bourgeoisie". Sung to the tune of "Three Blind Mice".

    Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie,
    See how they run,
    See how they run

    And when the revolution comes,
    We'll kill them all with knives and guns,
    Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie




    This Land is Your Land

    - Woody Guthrie

    This Land is Your land, this land is my land
    From California to the New York Island
    From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
    This land was made for you and me

    As I was walking that ribbon of highway
    I saw above me that endless skyway
    I saw below me that golden valley
    this land was made for you and me

    I've roamed and rambled, and followed my footsteps
    To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
    And all around me, a voice was sounding
    This land was made for you and me

    When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
    And the wheatfields waving, and the dust clouds rolling
    As the fog was lifting, a voice was chanting
    This land was made for you and me

    One bright Sunday morning in the shadows of the steeple
    By the relief office, I seen my people
    As they stood there hungry, I stood there whistling
    this land was made for you and me

    I've roamed and rambled, and I've followed the beer cans
    To the toxic cities, from the poisoned farmlands
    And all around me, were billboards reading
    This land was made for you and me

    As I was walking I saw a sign there
    And on that sign it said "no trespassin'"
    But on the other side it didn't say nothin'
    That side was made for you and me





    There Is Power In A Union

    - Billy Bragg

    There is power in a factory,power in the land
    Power in the hand of the worker
    But it all amounts to nothing if together we don't stand
    There is power in a Union

    Now the lessons of the past were all learned with workers blood
    The mistakes of the bosses we must pay for
    From the cities and the farmlands to trenches full of mud
    War has always been the bosses way,sir

    The Union forever,defending our rights
    Down with the blackleg,all workers unite
    With our brothers and our sisters from many far-off lands
    There is power in a Union

    Now I long for the morning that they realise
    Brutality and unjust laws cannot defeat us
    But who'll defend the workers who cannot organise
    When the bosses send their lackeys out to cheat us?

    Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own
    Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone?
    What a comfort for the widow,a light to the child
    There is power in a Union

    The Union forever, defending our rights
    Down with the blackleg, all workers unite
    With our brothers and our sisters together we will stand
    There is power in a Union





    Waiting For the Great Leap Forwards

    -Billy Bragg

    It may have been Camelot for Jack and Jacqueline
    But on the Che Guevara highway filling up with gasoline
    Fidel Castro's brother spies a rich lady who's crying
    Over luxury's disappointment
    So he walks over and he's trying
    To sympathize with her but thinks that he should warn her
    That the Third World is just around the corner

    In the Soviet Union a scientist is blinded
    By the resumption of nuclear testing and he is reminded
    That Dr Robert Oppenheimer's optimism fell
    At the first hurdle

    In the Cheese Pavilion and the only noise I hear
    Is the sound of people stacking chairs
    And mopping up spilt beer
    And someone asking questions and basking in the light
    Of the fifteen fame filled minutes of the fanzine writer

    Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
    I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
    While looking down the corridor
    Out to where the van is waiting
    I'm looking for the Great Leap Forwards

    Jumble sales are organized and pamphlets have been posted
    Even after closing time there's still parties to be hosted
    You can be active with the activists
    Or sleep in with the sleepers
    While you're waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

    One leap forwards, two leaps back
    Will politics get me the sack?

    Here comes the future and you can't run from it
    If you've got a blacklist I want to be on it

    It's a mighty long way down rock 'n roll
    From Top of the Pops to drawing the dole

    If no one seems to understands
    Start your own revolution, cut out the middleman

    In a perfect world we'd all sing in tune
    But this is reality so give me some room

    So join the struggle while you may
    The Revolution is just a t-shirt away




    Help Save The Youth Of America

    -Billy Bragg

    Help save the youth of America
    Help save them from themselves
    Help save the sun-tanned surfer boys
    And the Californian girls

    When the lights go out in the rest of the World
    What do our cousins say
    They're playing in the sun and having fun fun fun
    Till Daddy takes the gun away

    From the Big Church to the Big River
    And out to the Shining Sea
    This is the Land of Opportunity
    And there's a Monkey Trial on tv

    A nation with their freezers full
    Are dancing in their seats
    While outside another nation
    Is sleeping in the streets

    Don't tell me the old old story
    Tell me the truth this time
    Is the Man in the Mask or the Indian
    An enemy or a friend of mine

    Help save the youth of America
    Help save the youth of the World
    Help save the boys in the uniform
    Their mothers and their faithful girls

    Listen to the voice of the soldier
    Down in the killing zone
    Talking about the cost of living
    And the price of bringing him home

    They're already shipping the body bags
    Down below the Rio Grande
    But you can fight for democracy at home
    And not in some foreign land

    And the fate of the great United States
    Is entwined with the fate of us all
    And the incident in Tschernobyl proves
    The World we live in is very small

    And the cities of Europe have burned before
    And they may yet burn again
    And if they do I hope you understand
    That Washington will burn with them
    Omaha will burn with them
    Los Alamos will burn with them





    In Old Moscow, In the Kremlin

    (a Trotskyist song, written after the Hitler-Stalin pact of Sept. 1939. To the tune of "Oh, my Darlin Clementine")

    In Old Moscow, in the Kremlin
    In the Fall of '39
    Sat a Russian and a Prussian
    Drawing up the Party Line

    (Chorus)
    Oh my Stalin, Oh my Stalin,
    Oh my Stalin party line
    Oh I never will forsake you
    For I love this life of mine

    Leon Trotsky was a Nazi
    We all knew it for a fact
    Pravda said it, We all read it
    'fore the Hitler-Stalin pact

    Once, a Nazi, would be shotsy
    That was then the party line
    Now a Nazi's, hotsy-totsy
    Volga boatmen sail the Rhine

    Now the Fuhrer and our leader
    Stand within the party line
    All the Russians, love the Prussians
    Trotsky's laying British mines





    The Sparticists are Coming to Town

    (To the tune of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town")

    (Chorus)
    You better be pure
    You better think right
    You're in trouble
    If you're not Trotskyite
    Sparticists are coming to town

    They're checking you out
    Making a list
    Going to find every revisionist
    The Sparticists are coming to town

    They jeer you at your meetings
    Their questions last an hour
    You're holding back the working class
    Who're about to seize state power

    (Chorus)

    They support martial law in Poland
    They think that it is great
    That the army keeps Poland
    A degenerate workers' state

    (Chorus)

    They go to demonstrations
    They sometimes break a head
    They're trying to prove to you
    That you're better red than dead

    (Chorus)

    They come up with great chants
    They always get a roar
    Like "The Defense of the Soviet Union
    Starts in Cuba and El Salvador!"





    Avanti Popolo

    (an Italian socialist song)

    Avanti Popolo! alla riscossa,
    bandiera rossa, bandiera rossa.

    Avanti Popolo! alla riscossa,
    bandiera rossa, trionfera!
    (repeat 3 times)

    Eviva socialisma e la liberta!
    Avanti popolo, per il canone,
    rivoluzione, rivoluzione

    Avanti popolo, per il canone,
    rivoluzione, trionfera
    (repeat three times)

    Eviva rivoluzione e la liberta!

    Avanti popolo, per il canone,
    rivoluzione, rivoluzione

    Avanti popolo, per il canone,
    rivoluzione, trionfera
    (repeat three times)





    Gonna Lay Down Das Kapital

    (Sung to the tune of "Ain't Gonna Study War No More")

    I'm gonna lay down Das Kapital,
    and work for the Democrats,
    Collaborate with the fat cats,
    and the union bureaucrats
    I'm gonna lay down Das Kapital,
    and work for the Democrats-
    ain't gonna study Marx no more

    I ain't gonna study Marx no more,
    gonna throw Gramsci out the door
    Ain't gonna study Marx no more, no more
    (repeat)

    I'm gonna lay down the "S" word,
    and work for "democracy",
    collaborate with the bourgeoisie,
    but seek hegemony





    The Fist and Rose

    (to the tune of "O Tannenbaum")

    The Fist and Rose is sweet and strong
    And DSA can do no wrong
    Lead workers through the thickest fray
    So we can get more speakers' pay
    So raise the fist and rose so high
    That 'neath its folds the left can hide
    Tho liberals cringe & sectarians sneer
    We'll keep the red flag flying here



    Bread and Roses

    - James Oppenheim

    As we come marching, marching, in the beauty of the day
    A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray
    Are touched with all the radiance,
    that a sudden sun discloses
    For the people hear us singing,
    "Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses"

    As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men
    For they are women's children, and we mother them again
    Our lives shall not be sweated, from birth until life closes
    Hearts can starve as well as bodies,
    Give us bread and give us roses

    As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
    Go crying through our singing, their ancient song of bread
    Small art and love and beauty, their ancient spirits knew
    Yes it is bread we fight for,
    But we fight for roses too

    As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days
    The rising of the women, means the rising of us all
    No more the drudge and idler, ten toil where one reposes
    But a sharing of life's glories
    Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses



    Imagine

    - John Lennon

    Imagine there's no heaven
    It's easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today
    Aha

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    No things to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace yu-huh

    You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope some day you'll join us
    And the word will be one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world y-huh

    You may sayŠ
    Šand the word will live as one


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