Thursday, 22 November 2007

1917

Author: Sean Matgamna

Who fears to praise Red Seventeen?
Who quails at Lenin’s name?
When liars mock at Trotsky's fate
Who adds his, “Theirs the blame”?
Cain-Stalin’s knave, or bourgeois slave
Will scorn the Old Cause thus,
But honest men and women
Will raise a voice with us.

We praise the memory of the dead,
Of Lenin's friends long gone
Who led the workers in revolt:
An army, not a throng.
All, all are gone, but still lives on
The cause of those who died
And honest men and women
Remember them with pride.

They rose in war-torn blood drenched days
To help set workers free
Their own lives fed the living blaze
That challenged tyranny:
But bourgeois might half-vanquished right
Some fell in disarray,
Others spun ’neath Stalin s gun
—And we strive still today!

We work to free all those who live
In bourgeois slavery
And glory in the names of those
Who fought for Liberty.
’Trenched bourgeois might won’t vanquish right
But fail and go astray.
And honest and women
Will speed them on their way!

Yes, we dare praise Red Seventeen,
We honour Lenin’s name.
Though cowards mock the old Red fight,
We’re still in Trotsky’s game!
Though Stalin’s knaves and bourgeois slaves
Will scorn the Old Cause thus,
Yet honest men and women
Still voice this faith with us.

We hail the memory of the free,
Of Trotsky’s ’durate few
Who fought in France, Spain, Germany,
In Stalin's Russia too.
Though all are gone, they still live on,
Their cause won’t go away
And honest men and women
Still sing their song today.

Then here’s their memory, may it be
For us a guiding light
That shows us workers’ liberty
And teaches us to fight.
Through good and ill continue still
The Cause that thrives unseen,
That brought the bourgeois tyrants down
In Nineteen Seventeen!

SM

This is patterned on John Kells Ingram’s “The Memory of the Dead”, which is better known as “Ninety Eight” — 1798, the year of rebellion in Ireland.
goes to the tune of Ninety Eight.

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