We Are the First Brigade

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My, Pierwsza Brygada (We Are the First Brigade), also known as Marsz Pierwszej Brygady (The March of the First Brigade) and Legiony to żołnierska nuta (The Legions Are a Soldiers' Song), was one of the best-known songs of the Polish Legions formed during World War I by Józef Piłsudski.

Extolling the First Brigade of the Polish Legions, the song is considered an important emblem of the early-20th-century struggle for Polish independence. It is also now an official anthem of the Polish Armed Forces.[1]

The song's melody was borrowed from Kielce March no. 10 in the songbook of the Kielce Fire Department band. This had probably been composed by Captain Andrzej Brzuchal-Sikorski, the band's conductor from 1905, and later bandmaster of the First Brigade of the Polish Legions. It was he who arranged and first conducted the song.[2]

The earliest recognized version of the song appeared in 1917, the words being composed spontaneously during the war by several individuals including Colonel Andrzej Hałaciński and Legions officer Tadeusz Biernacki.

Between 1926 and 1927, many of Piłsudski's supporters viewed the song as the national anthem of Poland.

My, Pierwsza Brygada
We Are the First Brigade
In Polish In English
Legiony to żołnierska nuta, The Legions are a soldiers' note,
Legiony to ofiarny stos, The Legions are a sacrifice pyre,
Legiony to żołnierska buta, The Legions are a soldier pride,
Legiony to straceńców los, The Legions are a soldier fate

My Pierwsza Brygada, We the First Brigade,
Strzelecka gromada, a group of shooters,
Na stos rzuciliśmy We've thrown on the pyre
Nasz życia los, Our life's fate
Na stos, na stos! on the pyre, on the pyre.

O, ile mąk, ile cierpienia, How much suffering and toil,
O, ile krwi, wylanych łez, How much blood and tears have flowed,
Pomimo to nie ma zwątpienia, despite it all there's no doubt
Dodawał sił wędrówki kres. end of the journey gave us strength

My Pierwsza Brygada... We are the First Brigade...

Krzyczeli, żeśmy stumanieni, They cried that we had gone stark mad
Nie wierząc nam, że chcieć - to móc! Not believing us, that there's a way! .
Laliśmy krew osamotnieni, Bereft of all, we've shed our blood
A z nami był nasz drogi Wódz! With our dear leader at our side!

My Pierwsza Brygada... We are the First Brigade...

Nie chcemy dziś od was uznania, We want nothing of your acclaim,
Ni waszych mów ni waszych łez, Nor your tears nor your words.
Już skończył się czas kołatania We're done with making claim
Do waszych serc, do waszych kies! To your hearts, to your purse!

My Pierwsza Brygada... We are the First Brigade...

Umieliśmy w ogień zapału We've fanned the fire of zeal
Młodzieńczych wiar rozniecić skry, From the sparks of steadfast youth,
Nieść życie swe dla ideału Carried our lives for an ideal
I swoją krew i marzeń sny. And, from falsehood, extracted truth.

My Pierwsza Brygada... We are the First Brigade...

Potrafim dziś dla potomności For the sake of posterity,
Ostatki swych poświęcić dni, We'll devote the rest of our days,
Wśród fałszów siać siew szlachetności, To sow honor 'mid duplicity,
Miazgą swych ciał żarem swej krwi. Heedless both to blame and to praise.

My Pierwsza Brygada... We are the First Brigade...

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ (Polish) "Decyzja Nr 374/MON Ministra Obrony Narodowej z dnia 15 sierpnia 2007 r. w sprawie ustanowienia Pieśni Reprezentacyjnej Wojska Polskiego" (PDF). 
  2. ^ Leszek Marciniec, Vademecum Kuracjusza 21 Wojskowego Szpitala Uzdrowiskowo-Rehabilitacyjnego w Busku-Zdroju: przewodnik po Busku-Zdroju, 2005, p. 47.

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