Hanns Eisler: Music

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Der rote Wedding RealAudio Buy
Text: Erich Weinert. Hermann Hähnel, baritone, with the Berliner Singakademie and members of the Staatskapelle Berlin, directed by Dietrich Knothe.

Die Internationale
Otto Griebel's 1929-30 painting "Die Internationale" (The International) in the collection of the German Historical Museum in Berlin.
Wedding was a working-class district in Berlin and during the Weimar years a stronghold of the KPD (Communist Party of Germany). Erich Weinert, a cabaret poet and KPD member, was unsuccessfully prosecuted in 1931 for his subversive lyrics. He fled to the Soviet Union after Hitler's rise to power in 1933. The aggressive text is typical of Communist Kampflieder (Songs for the Struggle) written during the final crisis years of the Republic, when German radicals believed a revolution was imminent. The following version is slightly different than the one used in this recording.

Links, links, links links,
die Trommeln werden gerührt.
Links, links, links links,
die Arbeiterklasse marschiert.
Wir fragen euch nicht nach Verband und Partei
seid ihr nur ehrlich im Kampf mit dabei
gegen Unrecht und Reaktion.
Wir sind durch die Not, durch den Hunger vereint.
Uns binden die Opfer im Kampf vor dem Feind,
unsere Lieder der Revolution.

Left, left, left, left,
the drums are beating.
Left, left, left, left,
the working class is marching.
We're not asking about your party
only that you're honestly in the fight
against injustice and reaction.
We are through poverty, through hunger united.
What binds us are the victims in the fight before the enemy,
[and] our songs of revolution.

Roter Wedding, grüßt euch Genossen,
haltet die Fäuste bereit,
haltet die roten Reihen geschlossen,
dann ist der Tag nicht mehr weit.
Kämpfen wir als Sozialisten
endlich in einer Front,
Arbeitsbrüder, Kommunisten,
Rotfront, Rotfront!

Chorus

Red Wedding greets you as comrades:
be ready with your fists!
Keep the red ranks close together:
our day is coming soon.
We're fighting as socialists,
finally in one front,
brothers of labor, Communists,
Red Front, Red Front!

Links, links, links, links,
der Kampf wird weiter geführt.
Links, links, links links,
ein Lump, wer kapituliert.
Wir tragen die Wahrheit von Haus zu Haus
und jagen die Lüge zum Schornstein hinaus
wie Karl Marx es und Lenin gelehrt.
Und schlug auch der Feind unsre Besten tot,
der Wedding kommt wieder und Berlin bleibt rot,
damit Deutschland den Deutschen gehört.

Left, left, left, left,
the fight will lead us further on.
Left, left, left, left,
the one who surrenders is a scab.
We carry the truth from house to house
and throw the lies out the back door
as Karl Marx and Lenin taught us to do.
And though the enemy strikes our best ones dead,
Wedding comes back and Berlin stays red,
so that Germany belongs to the Germans.

Music sample © 1997 Edition Barbarossa. Translation by Andrew Lang.

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