Tuesday, 1 May 2012

May Day 2012 - a day on which I am proud to be a Socialist


On this May Day I remind myself that I am not a liberal. I am a Christian Socialist.


United States citizens (limited as they are in their understanding of European history) may never have heard of the Christian Socialist Movement.

It is a non-revolutionary and non-violent movement.

It is deeply rooted in the teachings of the Bible.

See http://www.thecsm.org.uk/ for more information.

SO ON THIS MAY DAY, this day of solidarity with the workers (in europe) I, as a proud socialist, offer you the text of “The Red Flag” – an anthem for working people.

PLEASE  NOTE  This anthem was written in 1889.  Thus its references to “The Red Flag” have nothing to do with Soviet State Communism (not the same animal  as Democratic Socialism); and the “Moscow” in stanza 2 is the Moscow of the tyranny of the Tsars.

The lyrics of the song were written by Irishman Jim Connell in 1889.[There are six stanzas, each followed by the chorus. It is normally sung to the tune of "Lauriger Horatius", better known as the German carol "O Tannenbaum"

1. The people's flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts' blood dyed its every fold.

Chorus 

Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.

2. Look round, the Frenchman loves its blaze,
The sturdy German chants its praise,
In Moscow's vaults its hymns were sung
Chicago swells the surging throng.

(Chorus)

3. It waved above our infant might,
When all ahead seemed dark as night;
It witnessed many a deed and vow,
We must not change its colour now.

(Chorus)

4. It well recalls the triumphs past,
It gives the hope of peace at last;
The banner bright, the symbol plain,
Of human right, and human gain.

(Chorus)
5. It suits today the weak and base,
Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place
To cringe before the rich man’s frown,
And haul the sacred emblem down.

(Chorus)
6. With head uncovered swear we all
To bear it onward till we fall;
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim,
This song shall be our parting hymn


 Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.

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