Arise ye stravelings from your slumbers;
Arise ye criminals of want,
For Reason in revolt now thunders,
And at last ends the age of cant.
Now away with all your superstitions,
Servile masses arise! Arise!
We’ll change fortwith the old conditions,
And spurn the dust to win the prize.
Then comrades some rally
And the last fight let us face
Unites the human race
We peasants, artisans and others
Enrolled among the sons of toil
Let’s claim the earth henceforth for brothers,
Drive the indolent from the soil
On our flesh too long has fed the raven
We’ve too long been the vulture’s prey,
But now farewell the spirit craven,
The dawn brings in a brighter day
No Saviour from on high delivers;
No trust have we in prince or peer
Our own right hand the chains must shiver;
Chains of hatred, of greed and fear.
Ere the thieves will out with their booty
And to all give a happier lot,
Each at his forge must do his duty
And strike the iron while it is hot
The Internationale was written to celebrate the Paris Commune of March-May 1871 - the first time workers took state power into their own hands.
They established in the Commune a form of government more democratic
than ever seen before. Representatives were mandated on policy
questions by their electors, they were recallable at any time and were
paid wages that reflected those of their constituents.
Marx's Civil War in France
is a contemporary account of the history and significance of the
Commune. The Commune was drowned in blood by the conservative French
government in Versailles, cheered on by the ruling classes of the
The words were written by poet Eugene Pottier
one of Communards who was killed and the music by was written,
originally in French, by his friend the composer Pierre Degeyter in
1888. The song is still sung around the world.