Arise Ye Workers

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Melody - Pierre Degeyter
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Eugène Pottier (1816-1887); French lyrics

Arise ye workers from your slumbers
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.

Chorus:
|: So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale
Unites the human race. :|

2. 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.

3. 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 give to all a happier lot.
Each at the forge must do their duty
And we'll strike while the iron is hot.


The "Internationale" was written in Paris, in June of 1871 by Eugène Pottier, who was born in Paris in 1816 and died in 1887. He was a member of the International and of the Central Committee of the Commune. He was condemned to death in May of 1873, but sentence was never carried out as he took refuge in America. The song was published in Chants Révolutionnaires (1887), and dedicated to Gustave Lefrançais, member of the Commune.

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