ryano:Thank you for the correction.

A Song written in 1889 by Jim Connell and later (much later in fact) featured on Billy Bragg's album Internationale as the 6th track. An excellent piece of music regardless of your social and/or political beliefs, this song is an anthem for all who fight for equality. It should be noted that Connell had intended the song to be sung and played to the tune of The White Cockade, (the tune Bragg uses on the version recorded for Internationale) but it is unfortunately most often set to the tune of O Tannenbaum. (Credit to Oolong for messaging this to me).

The Red Flag

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 to every fold

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

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


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


It suits today the meek and base
Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place
To cringe beneath the rich man's frown
And haul that sacred emblem down


With heads uncovered swear we all
To bare it onward till we fall
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim
This song shall be our parting hymn


Although Billy Bragg may have included his rendition on "Internationale", the song itself was already about a hundred years old. It was written by Irish labour activist Jim Connell in 1889 and quickly became an anthem of the labour movement worldwide. I believe it is still the anthem of the British Labour Party, despite Tony Blair's efforts to shed all "Old Labour" baggage. You can find out more about the song and the man who wrote it at http://www.dcu.ie/~comms/hsheehan/connell.htm

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.