This will take some of you back…

19 May

… and it comes from brothers Trey Smith of Aberdeen, WA and Sean Smith of Kansas City, MO, the Rambling Taoists, who have been on my blog roll for a while.

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

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 armour
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


Words: Billy Bragg
Music: Pierre Degeyter

Performed by the man himself, Billy Bragg, and adapted for these times.

I can be stirred by those lyrics, but the video encompasses a range of personalities, doesn’t it, some of whom were not really true friends of human liberty — or of the environment — but some of whom were. I present it with a mix of irony, nostalgia, and a sincere hat-tip to those who really care. A few in that pantheon look decidedly seedy in 2007 as we know only too well where they led, but at the same time others there remind us of values we need to reclaim. The tune was big in China when M was young.

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2 responses to “This will take some of you back…

  1. ClapSo

    May 20, 2007 at 2:28 am

    The Internationale is a song not only of the past but of the present and future. It matters not that in 20/20 hindsight some of those that appeared in the video turned out to be dogs. What matters is that all of the people in the video resisted the dogs in power at some time and inspire us to do the same.

    As was quoted in the video:

    “WE must BE the CHANGE we seek in the world”

    The process of change must be ever ongoing. We must keep it moving in our present, and pass it on to those that follow us. Lest those like the Bush crime family quell our progress and stagnate our society.


    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

  2. ninglun

    May 20, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Now that Gandhi quote I do endorse…

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