The Internationale

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"The Internationale"
"L'Internationale" in original French version

International anthem of
Also known as L'Internationale (French)
Lyrics Eugène Pottier, 1871
Music Pierre De Geyter, 1888
Adopted 1890s
Audio sample
"The Internationale" (instrumental)

"The Internationale" ("French: L'Internationale") is a left-wing anthem. It has been a standard of the socialist movement since the late nineteenth century, when the Second 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, socialist 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.

"The Internationale" has been celebrated by communists, socialists, democratic socialists, and social democrats.[1]


The original French words were written in June 1871 by Eugène Pottier (1816–1887, previously a member of the Paris Commune)[2] and were originally intended to be sung to the tune of "La Marseillaise".[3] In 1888 Pierre De Geyter (1848–1932) set the earlier lyrics to a new melody, composed especially for Pottier's lyrics.[4] De Geyter's melody was first publicly performed in July 1888,[5] and soon thereafter Pottier's lyrics became closely associated with, and widely used with, De Geyter's new melody. Thus "The Internationale" gained an identity that was entirely distinct, and no longer in any way directly tied to the French national anthem, the Marseillaise.

In a 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 (fr) 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.[6]

In 1972 "Montana Edition", owned by Hans R. Beierlein (de), bought the rights to the song for 5,000 Deutschmark, first for the territory of the former West Germany, then in the former East Germany, then worldwide. East Germany paid Montana Edition 20,000 DM every year for its rights to play the music. Pierre De Geyter died in 1932, causing the copyrights to expire in 2002.[7] Luckhardt's German text 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.[8] 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.[9] Due to France's wartime copyright extensions (prorogations de guerre), SACEM claims that the music was still copyrighted in France until October 2014.[10]

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.[11]

Original lyrics[edit]

French Literal English translation

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
Sera le genre humain.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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 our forge ourselves
Strike the iron while it is hot.


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.


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.


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.


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
Disappear one of these days,
The sun will still shine forever.


Translations into other languages[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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!)[citation needed]

"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,[12] the national anthem of the Chinese Soviet Republic,[13] as well as a rallying song of the students and workers at the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.[14]

Russian lyrics[edit]

English: "The Internationale"
Internationale - Russian, 1951.pdf
The Internationale on a 1951 music sheet book.

National anthem of  Russian SFSR
 Soviet Union

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

The Russian version was initially translated by Arkady 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.[12] 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 full song is as follows:

Russian translation Romanization Literal English translation

Вставай, проклятьем заклеймённый,
Весь мир голодных и рабов!
Кипит наш разум возмущённый
И в смертный бой вести готов.
Весь мир насилья мы разрушим
До основанья, а затем
Мы наш, мы новый мир построим, –
Кто был ничем, тот станет всем.

Это есть наш последний
И решительный бой;
С Интернационалом
Воспрянет род людской!

Никто не даст нам избавленья:
Ни бог, ни царь и не герой!
Добьёмся мы освобожденья
Своею собственной рукой.
Чтоб свергнуть гнёт рукой умелой,
Отвоевать своё добро, –
Вздувайте горн и куйте смело,
Пока железо горячо!


Довольно кровь сосать, вампиры,
Тюрьмой, налогом, нищетой!
У вас — вся власть, все блага мира,
А наше право — звук пустой !
Мы жизнь построим по-иному –
И вот наш лозунг боевой:
Вся власть народу трудовому!
А дармоедов всех долой!


Презренны вы в своём богатстве,
Угля и стали короли!
Вы ваши троны, тунеядцы,
На наших спинах возвели.
Заводы, фабрики, палаты –
Всё нашим создано трудом.
Пора! Мы требуем возврата
Того, что взято грабежом.


Довольно королям в угоду
Дурманить нас в чаду войны!
Война тиранам! Мир Народу!
Бастуйте, армии сыны!
Когда ж тираны нас заставят
В бою геройски пасть за них –
Убийцы, в вас тогда направим
Мы жерла пушек боевых!


Лишь мы, работники всемирной
Великой армии труда,
Владеть землёй имеем право,
Но паразиты — никогда!
И если гром великий грянет
Над сворой псов и палачей, –
Для нас всё так же солнце станет
Сиять огнём своих лучей.


Vstavay, proklyat′yem zakleymyonny,
Ves′ mir golodnykh i rabov!
Kipit nash razum vozmushchyonnyy
I v smertnyy boy vesti gotov.
Ves′ mir nasil′ya my razrushim
Do osnovan′ya, a zatem
My nash, my novyy mir postroim, –
Kto byl nichem, tot stanet vsem.

Eto yest nash posledniy
I reshitel′nyy boy;
S Internatsionalom
vospryanet rod lyudskoy!

Nikto ne dast nam izbavlen′ya:
Ni bog, ni tsar′ i ne geroy!
Dob′yomsya my osvobozhden′ya
Svoyeyu sobstvennoy rukoy.
Chtob svergnut′ gnyot rukoy umeloy,
Otvoyevat′ svoyo dobro, –
Vzduvayte gorn i kuyte smelo,
Poka zhelezo goryacho!


Dovol′no krov′ sosat′, vampiry,
Tyur′moy, nalogom, nishchetoy!
U vas — vsya vlast′, vse blaga mira,
A nashe pravo — zvuk pustoy!
My zhizn′ postroim po-inomu –
I vot nash lozung boyevoy:
Vsya vlast′ narodu trudovomu!
A darmoyedov vsekh doloy!


Prezrenny vy v svoyom bogatstve,
Uglya i stali koroli!
Vy vashi trony, tuneyadtsy,
Na nashikh spinakh vozveli.
Zavody, fabriki, palaty –
Vsyo nashim sozdano trudom.
Pora! My trebuyem vozvrata
Togo, chto vzyato grabezhom.


Dovol′no korolyam v ugodu
Durmanit′ nas v chadu voyny!
Voyna tiranam! Mir Narodu!
Bastuyte, armii syny!
Kogda zh tirany nas zastavyat
V boyu geroyski past′ za nikh –
Ubiytsy, v vas togda napravim
my zherla pushek boyevykh!


Lish′ my, rabotniki vsemirnoy
Velikoy armii truda,
Vladet′ zemlyoy imeyem pravo,
No parazity — nikogda!
I yesli grom velikiy gryanet
Nad svoroy psov i palachey, –
Dlya nas vsyo tak zhe solntse stanet
siyat′ ognyom svoikh luchey.


Stand up, ones who are branded by the curse,
All the world's starving and enslaved!
Our outraged minds are boiling,
Ready to lead us into a deadly fight.
We will destroy this world of violence
Down to the foundations, and then
We will build our new world.
He who was nothing will become everything!

This is our final
and decisive battle;
With the Internationale
humanity will rise up!

No one will grant us deliverance,
Not god, nor tsar, nor hero.
We will win our liberation,
With our very own hands.
To throw down oppression with a skilled hand,
To take back what is ours –
Fire up the furnace and hammer boldly,
while the iron is still hot!


You've sucked enough of our blood, you vampires,
With prison, taxes and poverty!
You have all the power, all the blessings of the world,
And our rights are but an empty sound!
We'll make our own lives in a different way –
And here is our battle cry:
All the power to the people of labour!
And away with all the parasites!


Contemptible you are in your wealth,
You kings of coal and steel!
You had your thrones, parasites,
At our backs erected.
All the factories, all the chambers –
All were made by our hands.
It's time! We demand the return
Of that which was stolen from us.


Enough of the will of kings
Stupefying us into the haze of war!
War to the tyrants! Peace to the people!
Go on strike, sons of the army!
And if the tyrants tell us
To fall heroically in battle for them –
Then, murderers, we will point
The muzzles of our cannons at you!


Only we, the workers of the worldwide
Great army of labour,
Have the right to own the land,
But the parasites — never!
And if the great thunder rolls
Over the pack of dogs and executioners,
For us, the sun will forever
Shine on with its fiery beams.


English lyrics[edit]

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.[13][14] 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 /ɪntərnæʃəˈnæli/ rather than the French pronunciation of [ɛ̃tɛʁnasjɔnal(ə)].

Billy Bragg was asked by Pete Seeger to sing "The Internationale" with him at the Vancouver Folk Festival in 1989. Bragg thought the traditional English lyrics were archaic and unsingable (Scottish musician Dick Gaughan[15] and former Labour MP Tony Benn[16] disagreed), and composed a new set of lyrics.[17] The recording was released on his album The Internationale along with reworkings of other socialist songs.

British translation
(by Eugène Pottier)
Billy Bragg's revision[18] American version
(by Charles Hope Kerr)

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.

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.


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.


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


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!

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.


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.


Chinese lyrics[edit]

Qu Qiubai's version[edit]

The most common and official Chinese version is the de facto anthem of the Communist Party of China.[23] It was first translated on 15 June 1923 from the Russian version by Qu Qiubai (Chinese: 瞿秋白),[24] a leading member of the Communist Party of China in the late 1920s. His translation has transliterated "The Internationale" as Yīngtènàxióngnài'ěr (simplified Chinese: 英特纳雄耐尔; traditional Chinese: 英特納雄耐爾) when singing the phrase in Standard Chinese. When the Chinese Soviet Republic was established in 1931, it was decided to be its national anthem.[25] As he was executed by the Kuomintang in 1935, his Chinese translation is in the public domain wherever the duration of copyright is an author's lifetime plus up to 70 years, including Chinese-speaking Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan (lifetime plus 50 years in these places), and Singapore (lifetime plus 70 years). The three Chinese lyrics roughly correspond to the three Russian lyrics by Arkady Kots and the first, second, and sixth French lyrics by Eugène Pottier. The fourth and fifth stanzas are not used in the official Chinese version and the PRC forbids the use of them in public performances of the song.[citation needed]

The song was a rallying anthem of the demonstrators at the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, and was repeatedly sung both while marching to the Square and within the Square.

...many hundreds of people (not only students) appeared on the street. They ran after the trucks and shouted protest slogans. A few stones were thrown. The soldiers opened fire with live ammunition. The crowd threw themselves on the ground, but quickly followed the convoy again. The more shots were fired, the more the crowd got determined and outraged. Suddenly they started singing "The Internationale"; they armed themselves with stones and threw them towards the soldiers. There were also a few Molotov cocktails and the last truck was set on fire.[19]

Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Pinyin Literal English translation













Qǐlái, jīhánjiāopò de núlì,
Qǐlái, quánshìjiè shòukǔ de rén!
Mǎnqiāng de rèxuè yǐjīng fèiténg,
Yào wèi zhēnlǐ ér dòuzhēng!
Jiù shìjiè dǎ gè luòhuāliúshuǐ,
Núlìmen, qǐlái!, qǐlái!
Bú yào shuō wǒmen yìwúsuǒyǒu,
Wǒmen yào zuò tiānxià de zhǔrén.

Zhè shì zuìhòu de dòuzhēng,
Tuánjié qǐlái, dào míngtiān,
Jiù yídìng yào shíxiàn.

Cónglái jiù méiyǒu shénme jiùshìzhǔ,
Yě bú kào shénxiān huángdì.
Yào chuàngzào rénlèi de xìngfú,
Quán kào wǒmen zìjǐ.
Wǒmen yào duóhuí láodòng guǒshí,
Ràng sīxiǎng chōngpò láolóng.
Kuài bǎ nà lúhuǒ shāo de tōnghóng,
Chènrèdǎtiě cái néng chénggōng.


Shì shéi chuàngzào le rénlèi shìjiè?
Shì wǒmen láodòng qúnzhòng.
Yíqiè guī láodòngzhě suǒyǒu,
Nǎnéng róngde jìshēngchóng!
Zuì kěhèn nàxiē dúshéměngshòu,
Chījìn le wǒmen de xuèròu.
Yídàn bǎ tāmen xiāomiè gānjìng,
Xiānhóng de tàiyáng zhào biàn quánqiú.


Arise, slaves afflicted by hunger and cold,
Arise, suffering people all over the world!
The blood which fills our chest has boiled over,
We must struggle for truth!
The old world shall be destroyed
Arise, slaves, arise!
Do not say that we have nothing,
We shall be the masters of the world!

This is the final struggle,
Unite together towards tomorrow,
The Internationale
Shall certainly be realised.

There has never been any saviour of the world,
Nor deities, nor emperors on which to depend.
To create Humankind's happiness
We must entirely depend on ourselves!
We shall retake the fruits of our labour,
And let the mind burst free from its prison cell.
Let the flames in the furnace burn red-hot,
For only when the iron is hot will we succeed in forging it!


Who is it that created the world of humankind?
It is us, the masses.
Everything is for workers,
How can parasites be accommodated!
The most detestable are those poisonous snakes and savage beasts
Eating up our flesh and blood.
Exterminate them all at once,
The red sun will shine all over the globe!



Note that the lyrics above were translated from the first, second and sixth (last) stanza of the French original.

National Revolutionary Army version[edit]

When commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Paris Commune on 18 March 1926, the National Revolutionary Army printed a music sheet with three lyrics of "The Internationale" in Chinese, roughly corresponding to the first, second, and sixth French lyrics by Eugène Pottier. When singing refrain twice after each lyric, "The Internationale" is transliterated first as Yīngtè'ěrlāxióngnà'ěr (Chinese: 英特爾拉雄納爾) and second as Yīngtè'ěrnàxióngnà'ěr (Chinese: 英特爾納雄納爾).

Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Pinyin Literal English translation













Qǐlái, jīhánjiāopò de núlì,
Qǐlái, quánshìjiè shàng de zuìrén!
Mǎnqiāng de rèxuè yǐjīng fèiténg,
Zuòyí zuìhòude zhànzhēng!
Jiù shìjiè dǎ tā luòhuāliúshuǐ,
Núlìmen, qǐlái, qǐlái!
Mò yào shuō wǒmen yìqiánbùzhí,
Wǒmen yào zuò tiānxià de zhǔrén.

Zhè shì zuìhòu de zhēngdòu,
Tuánjié qǐlái dào míngtiān,
Jiù yídìng yào shíxiàn.

Cónglái méiyǒu shénme jiùshìzhǔ,
Búshì shénxiān yĕ búshì huángdì.
Gèng búshì nàxiē yīngxióng háojié,
Quán kào zìjǐ jiù zìjǐ!
Yào shājìn nàxiē qiángdào gǒumìng,
Jiù yào yǒu xīshēng jīngshén.
Kuàikuài de dāngzhè lúhuǒ tōnghóng,
Chènhuǒdǎtiě cái nénggòu chénggōng!


Shéi shì shìjièshàng de chuàngzàozhě?
Zhǐyǒu wǒmen láokǔ de gōngnóng.
Yíqiè zhǐ guī shēngchǎnzhě suǒyǒu,
Nǎlǐ róngde jìshēngchóng!
Wǒmen de rèxuè liúle duōshǎo,
Zhǐ bǎ nà cánkù èshòu.
Tǎngruòshì yídàn shāmiè jìnliǎo,
Yìlún hóngrì zhào biàn wǔdàzhōu.


Arise, slaves afflicted by hunger and cold,
Arise, persecuted all over the world!
The blood which fills my chest has boiled over,
Make one last war!
The old world, it shall be destroyed.
Arise, slaves, arise!
Do not say that we are worth nothing,
We shall be the masters of the world!

This is the final struggle,
Unite together towards tomorrow,
The Internationale
Shall certainly be realised.

There has never been any saviour of the world,
Nor deities, nor emperors.
Not even those heroes,
Entirely depend on ourselves to save ourselves!
To fully kill those bandits' crestless lives
Requires sacrificing spirit.
Quickly, while this furnace burns red-hot,
For only when the iron is fired will we succeed in forging it!


Who is the creator of the world?
Only us, hard working labours and farmers.
Everything is for producers only,
Where can parasites be accommodated!
How much hot blood of ours have bled,
Only to handle that cruel and evil monster.
If it is someday fully killed,
A red sun will shine all over the five continents!


Shen Baoji's version[edit]

The third, fourth, and fifth French stanzas are not sung in Chinese in the above two versions of Qu and the National Revolutionary Army. Chinese translator Shen Baoji (simplified Chinese: 沈宝基; traditional Chinese: 沈寶基, 1908–2002) has made a complete Chinese translation, published in 1957, of all six French stanzas,.[27] Shen's translation has transliterated "The Internationale" as Yīngdāi'ěrnàxī'àonà'ěr (simplified Chinese: 因呆尔那西奥纳尔; traditional Chinese: 因呆爾那西奧納爾) in the stanzas, different from the transliterations of Qu and the National Revolutionary Army. As the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China grants individuals copyright for their lifetime plus 50 years, Shen's translation is expected to remain copyrighted there until the end of 2052.

Non-Mandarin versions[edit]

In addition to the Mandarin version, "The Internationale" also has Cantonese[20] and Taiwanese Hokkien[21] versions, occasionally used in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The word "Internationale" is not translated in either version.

South Asian lyrics[edit]

  • 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 Kazi Nazrul Islam and subsequently by Bengali mass singer Hemanga Biswas. The Assamese version was translated by the poet Bishnu Rabha.
  • The Malayalam version of the song has existed since the 1950s with the translation of the song for the people of the Indian state of Kerala by actor and social activist Premji for the united Communist Party of India (CPI).
  • Pakistani musical group Laal performed a version of this anthem in their translation.[22]

In film[edit]

  • In the 1965 film The East Is Red, produced the year prior to the Cultural Revolution, the song is performed at the end in the very last scene.[23]
  • In the 1993 film In the Heat of the Sun (阳光灿烂的日子) 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.[24]
  • In Federico Fellini's 1973 film Amarcord, the song is played on gramophone as part of cruel prank to get an innocent person arrested by Fascists in 1930s Italy.
  • Ken Loach used the Spanish version of this song in his 1995 movie Land and Freedom, set during the Spanish Civil War.[25]


  1. ^ World Book Encyclopedia, 2018 ed., s.v. "Internationale, The"
  2. ^ Gill 1998, first paragraph.
  3. ^ David Walls, Sonoma State University. "Billy Bragg's Revival of Aging Anthems: Radical Nostalgia or Activist Inspiration?".
  4. ^ Gill 1998, ninth paragraph.
  5. ^ Gill 1998, 11th paragraph.
  6. ^ Gill 1998.
  7. ^ "Ich habe die Kommunisten bezahlen lassen", Die Welt, Hans R. Beierlein (de), 2014-04-18.
  8. ^ Peter B. Hirtle. "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States". Archived from the original on 4 July 2012.
  9. ^ Year 1932 when Pierre De Geyter died, plus 80 years, would get to year 2012.
  10. ^ Vulser, Nicole (April 8, 2005). "Siffloter "L'Internationale" peut coûter cher". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  11. ^ Gill 1998, 16th paragraph.
  12. ^ A. V. Lunacharskiy (ed.). "The International (in Russian)". Fundamental'naya Elektronnaya Biblioteka.
  13. ^ David Walls, Sonoma State University. "Billy Bragg's Revival of Aging Anthems: Radical Nostalgia or Activist Inspiration?".
  14. ^ "The Internationale" in 82 languages
  15. ^ "I can see no more point in trying to 'modernise' it than I would in repainting the Cistine [sic] Chapel or rewriting Shakespeare's plays" Gaughan, Dick. "The Internationale". Dick Gaughan's Song Archive.
  16. ^ Tony Benn (2014). A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine: The Last Diaries. Arrow Books. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-09-956495-9.
  17. ^ Billy Bragg – Internationale on YouTube, from the Pete Seeger 90th Birthday Concert (The Clearwater Concert) at Madison Square Garden, May 3, 2009.
  18. ^ Billy Bragg. "The Internationale". Billy Bragg. Archived from the original on 2009-06-09.
  19. ^ Amnesty International, 30 August 1989. Preliminary Findings on Killings of Unarmed Civilians, Arbitrary Arrests and Summary Executions Since 3 June 1989, p. 19
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 June 2004. Retrieved 12 June 2004.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 January 2006. Retrieved 18 January 2006.
  22. ^ Internationale Anthem – Laal Band on YouTube
  23. ^
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Soundtrack, Land and Freedom, IMDb


External links[edit]