Whirlwinds of Danger

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"Warszawianka"
Song
Language Polish
English title Whirlwinds of Danger
March Song of the Workers
The Song of Warsaw
Hostile Whirlwinds
Written between 1879 and 1883
Published 15 September 1883
Genre revolutionary song
Songwriter(s) Wacław Święcicki
Douglas Robson (1st English version)
Randall Swingler (2nd English version)
Composer(s) Józef Pławiński

Whirlwinds of Danger (original Polish title: Warszawianka) is a Polish socialist revolutionary song written some time between 1879 and 1883.[1] The Polish title, a deliberate reference to the earlier song by the same title, could be translated as either "The Song of Warsaw" (as in the Leon Lishner version[2]) or "the lady of Warsaw". To distinguish between the two, it is often called "Warszawianka 1905 roku" ("Warszawianka of 1905"), after the song became the anthem of worker protests during the Revolution in the Kingdom of Poland (1905–1907), when 30 workers were shot[3] during the May Day demonstrations in Warsaw in 1905.

According to one version, Wacław Święcicki wrote the song in 1879 while serving a sentence in the Tenth Pavilion of the Warsaw Citadel for socialist activity. Another popular version has it written in 1883, immediately upon Święcicki's return from exile in Siberia.[4][5] By the beginning of the next decade the song became one of the most popular revolutionary anthems in Russian-held Poland.[6] The music was written by composer Józef Pławiński, who was imprisoned together with Święcicki, based partially on the January Uprising song "Marsz Żuawów".[7]

Lyrics and variants[edit]

Its Russian version with altered lyrics, which removed any mention of Warsaw from the song, the "Varshavianka" (Варшавянка), once experienced considerable popularity. Gleb Krzhizhanovsky is usually reported as the author of the Russian version and the moment of writing the text is thought to be 1897, when Krzhizhanovsky was imprisoned.

The Spanish song "To The Barricades" is set to the same tune. In East Germany, a German translation was created and used as a common piece of marching music by the Army; whilst France's 1st Parachute Hussar Regiment adopted the same music using different lyrics.

In 1924, Isadora Duncan composed a dance routine called Varshavianka to the tune of the song.[8]

An English version of the lyrics, originally titled "March Song of the Workers", but known more widely as "Whirlwinds of Danger", was written by Douglas Robson, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World[9] in the 1920s. A London recording of this version by "Rufus John" Goss, made ca. 1925, is available online.[10] It was notably sung by Paul Robeson (only the first stanza)[11] and Leon Lishner (full version, but with modified lyrics),.[2] A different version, which kept Robson's first stanza, but with the second and third completely rewritten by Randall Swingler, was published in 1938.[12] However, this version never achieved major popularity.

Polish versions[edit]

Original Polish lyrics (Socialist version)

Śmiało podnieśmy sztandar nasz w górę!
Choć burza wrogich żywiołów wyje,
Choć nas dziś gnębią siły ponure,
Chociaż niepewne jutro niczyje...
O!... bo to sztandar całej ludzkości,
To hasło święte, pieśń zmartwychwstania,
To tryumf pracy — sprawiedliwości,
To zorza wszystkich ludów zbratania.

Naprzód, Warszawo!
Na walkę krwawą,
Świętą a prawą!
Marsz, marsz, Warszawo!

Dziś, gdy roboczy lud ginie z głodu,
Zbrodnią w rozkoszy tonąć, jak w błocie;
I hańba temu, kto z nas za młodu
Lęka się stanąć choć na szafocie!
Nikt za ideę nie ginie marnie,
Z czasem zwycięża Chrystus Judasza!
Niech święty ogień młodość ogarnie,
Choć wielu padnie — lecz przyszłość nasza!

Naprzód, Warszawo!
Na walkę krwawą,
Świętą a prawą!
Marsz, marsz, Warszawo!

Hura!... zerwijmy z carów korony,
Gdy ludy dotąd chodzą w cierniowej;
I w krwi zatopmy nadgniłe trony,
Spurpurowione we krwi ludowej!...
Ha!... zemsta straszna dzisiejszym katom,
Co wysysają życie z milionów!...
Ha!... zemsta carom i plutokratom!
A przyjdzie żniwo przyszłości plonów!

Naprzód, Warszawo!
Na walkę krwawą,
Świętą a prawą!
Marsz, marsz, Warszawo!

Modified Polish lyrics (Communist version)

Śmiało podnieśmy sztandar nasz w górę!
Choć burza wrogich żywiołów wyje,
Choć nas dziś gnębią siły ponure,
Chociaż niepewne jutro niczyje...
O!... bo to sztandar całej ludzkości,
To hasło święte, pieśń zmartwychwstania,
To tryumf pracy — sprawiedliwości,
To zorza wszystkich ludów zbratania.

Naprzód Warszawo!
Na walkę krwawą,
Świętą a prawą!
Marsz, Warszawo, marsz!

Dziś, gdy roboczy lud ginie z głodu,
Zbrodnią w rozkoszy tonąć, jak w błocie;
I hańba temu, kto z nas za młodu
Lęka się stanąć choć na szafocie!
O, nie bez śladu każdy z tych skona,
Co życie sprawie oddają w darze,
Bo nasz zwycięski śpiew ich imiona
Milionom ludzi ku czci przekaże!

Naprzód Warszawo!
Na walkę krwawą,
Świętą a prawą!
Marsz, Warszawo, marsz!

Hura!... zerwijmy z carów korony,
Gdy ludy dotąd chodzą w cierniowej;
I w krwi zatopmy nadgniłe trony,
Spurpurowiałe we krwi ludowej!...
Ha!... zemsta straszna dzisiejszym katom,
Co wysysają życie z milionów!...
Ha!... zemsta carom i plutokratom!
A przyjdzie żniwo przyszłości plonów!

Naprzód, Warszawo!
Na walkę krwawą,
Świętą a prawą!
Marsz, Warszawo, marsz!

English literal translation

Let us raise boldly our banner,
Even though a storm of hostile elements is howling
Even though sinister forces oppress us today,
Even though everybody's tomorrow is uncertain.
Oh, this is the banner of the whole mankind,
The sacred call, the song of resurrection,
It's the triumph of labor and justice,
It's the dawn of the brotherhood of all peoples!

Forward, Warsaw!
To the bloody fight,
Sacred and righteous!
March, march, Warsaw!

Today when the working people are starving,
To indulge in luxury is a crime,
And shame to those among us, who in our young age,
Are afraid to mount the scaffold!
Oh, we will never forget the deaths of those,
Who gave their life for the cause,
Because our victorious chant will make
Their names honoured by millions of people!

Forward, Warsaw!
To the bloody fight,
Sacred and righteous!
March, march, Warsaw!

Hurra! Let's tear down the crown of the tzars,
While peoples are wearing the one of thorns.
Let's drown the rotten thrones in blood,
Thrones already stained purple with the people's blood!
Ha! Frightful vengeance to today's tormentors,
That suck the life out of millions of people.
Ha! Vengeance to the tzars and plutocrats,
And we'll harvest the crops of the future!

Forward, Warsaw!
To the bloody fight,
Sacred and righteous!
March, march, Warsaw!


English translations[edit]

Douglas Robson version[9]

Whirlwinds of danger are raging around us,
O'erwhelming forces of darkness assail,
Still in the fight see advancing before us,
Red flag of liberty that yet shall prevail.

Then forward ye workers, freedom awaits you,
O'er all the world on the land and the sea.
On with the fight for the cause of humanity.
March, march ye toilers and the world shall be free.

Women and children in hunger are calling,
Shall we be silent to their sorrow and woe?
While in the fight see our brothers are falling,
Up then united and conquer the foe!

Then forward ye workers, freedom awaits you,
O'er all the world on the land and the sea.
On with the fight for the cause of humanity.
March, march ye toilers and the world shall be free.

Off with the crown of the tyrants of favor!
Down in the dust with the prince and the peer!
Strike off your chains, all ye brave sons of labor!
Wake all humanity, for victory is near.

Then forward ye workers, freedom awaits you,
O'er all the world on the land and the sea.
On with the fight for the cause of humanity.
March, march ye toilers and the world shall be free.

Randall Swingler version[12]

Whirlwinds of danger are raging around us,
O'erwhelming forces of darkness assail,
Still in the fight see advancing before us,
Red flag of liberty that yet shall prevail.

Then forward ye workers, freedom awaits you,
O'er all the world on the land and the sea.
On with the fight for the cause of humanity.
Forward united and the world shall be free.

Africa murmuring under the slave-whip,
India challenging her plunderers' crime,
Ireland who hurled out the alien oppressor,
Rally against your own exploiters in time!

Then forward ye workers, freedom awaits you,
O'er all the world on the land and the sea.
On with the fight for the cause of humanity.
Forward united and the world shall be free.

Now while in secret our rulers are plotting,
Furies of slaughter to stave off their fall,
Only united the people can thwart them,
Shatter their war designs and bring peace to all.

Then forward ye workers, freedom awaits you,
O'er all the world on the land and the sea.
On with the fight for the cause of humanity.
Forward united and the world shall be free.

Modernized version[13]

Whirlwinds of danger are raging around us,
O'erwhelming forces of darkness assail,
Still in the fight see advancing before us,
Red flag of liberty that yet shall prevail.

Then forward you workers, freedom awaits you,
O'er all the world on the land and the sea.
On with the fight for the cause of humanity.
March, march you toilers and the world shall be free.

Brothers and sisters in hunger are calling,
Shall we be silent to their sorrow and woe?
While in the fight see our comrades are falling,
Up then united and conquer the foe!

Then forward you workers, freedom awaits you,
O'er all the world on the land and the sea.
On with the fight for the cause of humanity.
March, march you toilers and the world shall be free.

Africa murmuring under the slave-whip,
India challenging her plunderers' crime,
Ireland who hurled out the alien oppressor,
Rally against your own exploiters in time!

Then forward you workers, freedom awaits you,
O'er all the world on the land and the sea.
On with the fight for the cause of humanity.
March, march you toilers and the world shall be free.

Off with the crown of the tyrants of favor!
Down in the dust with the prince and the peer!
Strike off your chains, sons and daughters of labor!
Wake all humanity, for victory is near.

Then forward you workers, freedom awaits you,
O'er all the world on the land and the sea.
On with the fight for the cause of humanity.
March, march you toilers and the world shall be free.

Now while in secret our rulers are plotting,
Furies of slaughter to stave off their fall,
Only united the people can thwart them,
Shatter their war designs and bring peace to all.

Then forward you workers, freedom awaits you,
O'er all the world on the land and the sea.
On with the fight for the cause of humanity.
March, march you toilers and the world shall be free.
March, march you toilers and the world shall be free.

Other versions[edit]

Russian version

Вихри враждебные веют над нами,
Темные силы нас злобно гнетут.
В бой роковой мы вступили с врагами,
Нас еще судьбы безвестные ждут.
Но мы подымем гордо и смело
Знамя борьбы за рабочее дело,
Знамя великой борьбы всех народов
За лучший мир, за святую свободу.

На бой кровавый,
Святой и правый
Марш, марш вперед,
Рабочий народ.

Мрёт в наши дни с голодухи рабочий,
Станем ли, братья, мы дольше молчать?
Наших сподвижников юные очи
Может ли вид эшафота пугать?
В битве великой не сгинут бесследно
Павшие с честью во имя идей.
Их имена с нашей песню победной
Станут священны мильонам людей.

На бой кровавый,
Святой и правый
Марш, марш вперед,
Рабочий народ.

Нам ненавистны тиранов короны,
Цепи народа-страдальца мы чтим.
Кровью народной залитые троны
Кровью мы наших врагов обагрим!
Смерть беспощадная всем супостатам!
Всем паразитам трудящихся масс!
Мщенье и смерть всем царям-плутократам!
Близок победы торжественный час.

На бой кровавый,
Святой и правый
Марш, марш вперед,
Рабочий народ.

German version

Feindliche Stürme durchtoben die Lüfte,
drohende Wolken verdunkeln das Licht.
Mag uns auch Schmerz und Tod nun erwarten,
gegen die Feinde ruft auf uns die Pflicht.
Wir haben der Freiheit leuchtende Flamme
hoch über unseren Häuptern entfacht:
die Fahne des Sieges, der Völkerbefreiung,
die sicher uns führt in der letzen Schlacht

Auf, auf nun zum blutigen, heiligen Kampfe.
Bezwinge die Feinde, du Arbeitervolk.
Auf die Barrikaden, auf die Barrikaden,
erstürme die Welt, du Arbeitervolk!

Tod und Verderben allen Bedrückern,
leidendem Volke gilt unsere Tat,
kehrt gegen sie die mordenden Waffen,
dass sie ernten die eigene Saat!
Mit Arbeiterblut gedüngt ist die Erde,
gebt euer Blut für den letzen Krieg,
dass der Menschheit Erlösung werde!
Feierlich naht der heilige Sieg.

Auf, auf nun zum blutigen, heiligen Kampfe.
Bezwinge die Feinde, du Arbeitervolk.
Auf die Barrikaden, auf die Barrikaden,
erstürme die Welt, du Arbeitervolk!

Elend und Hunger verderben uns alle,
gegen die Feinde ruft mahnend die Not,
Freiheit und Glück für die Menschheit erstreiten!
Kämpfende Jugend erschreckt nicht der Tod.
Die Toten, der grossen Idee gestorben,
werden Millionen heilig sein.
Auf denn, erhebt euch, Brüder, Genossen,
ergreift die Waffen und schliesst die Reihn!

Faroese version

Hungur og neyð alt ov leingi vit kendu,
tíðum varð rænt okkar dagliga breyð.
Nú verður á slíkum óskili endi,
nú stendur stríðið um lív ella deyð!
Tær hugsjónir bjørtu fyrr lív máttu lúka,
líkbleikt á valinum arbeiðsfólk lá.
Nú er' tað vit skulu hevndarstund brúka:
Smell, reyði dúkur mót himinum blá!

Nú, haldið í hernað! Dystur skal standa!
Sigur skal vinnast, nú framá í bólk!
Blóðreyða merki nú smellir um landa:
Nú byrjar nýtíð for arbeiðsins fólk!

Japanese version

 暴虐の雲 光を覆い
 敵の嵐は 荒れ狂う
 怯まず進め 我等の友よ
 敵の鉄鎖を 打ち砕け
 自由の火柱 輝かしく
 頭上高く 燃え立ちぬ
 今や最後の 闘いに
 勝利の旗は ひらめかん

 起て同胞よ ゆけ闘いに
 聖なる血に まみれよ
 砦の上に 我等の世界
 築き固めよ 勇ましく

Romanized Japanese

Bōgyaku no Kumo Hikari wo o-oi
Teki no Arashi wa arekurū
Hirumazu susume Warera ga Tomo yo
Teki no Tsssa wo uchikudake
Jiyū no Hibashira kagayakashiku
Zujō takaku moetachinu
Imaya Saigo no Tatakai ni
Shōri no Hata wa hiramekan

Tate Harakara yo yuke Tatakai ni
Seinaru Chi ni mamireyo
Toride no Ue ni Warera no Sekai
Kizukikatameyo isamashiku

Hungarian version

Rontása tört ránk a dúló viharnak,
ordas had áradata kelt ellenünk.
Vesztünkre esküdtek ádáz hatalmak,
s tudtuk, egy életen át kell küzdenünk.

Álltunk a vészben, álltunk merészen,
lelkünkben tűzpirosan izzott a cél.
Munkások, álljunk a nagy harcra készen,
melyből az emberi nem új napja kél!

Kínzó igában legörnyedt a hátunk,
Mégis reméltük ama nagy diadalt.
Szenvedve távol jövendőbe láttunk,
s harsogva zengtük a szent csatadalt:

Vérünk nem omlott a harcban hiába.
Mártírjainknak neve nagy lesz és dicső.
Emlékük az fonja legszebb dalába,
Melyért elestek: a boldog jövő.

Danish version

Stormene glammer så vildt over lande,
natsorte skyer formørker solens lys.
Os kalder pligten mod fjenden at stande,
ej ænses smerte og dødskolde gys.
Thi vi ejer frihedens lysende flamme,
højt vil vi hæve vort luende flag.
Her vi os fylker; så kampglad en stamme
for folkets frihed står rustet til slag.

Nu frem da til kampen. På barrikaden
sejren skal vindes for arbejdets folk.
Rødt smælder flagdugens flig over staden,
ny tid skabes af arbejdets folk.

Død og fordærv over folkets tyranner.
Bødlernes skare vil høste blodig sæd.
Skælvende ser den vort flammende banner,
hører vort hævnråb i dødsangstens ræd.
Arbejdets helte! Tit har i givet
jorden for andre jert dyreste blod.
Krigen, den sidste for frihed, for livet
kan I vel vinde med sejrshåbets mod.

Nu frem da til kampen. På barrikaden
sejren skal vindes for arbejdets folk.
Rødt smælder flagdugens flig over staden,
ny tid skabes af arbejdets folk.

Sulten og nøden har naget os alle,
tit man berøved' os det daglige brød.
Lidelsens samfund i grus nu skal falde,
arbejdets ungdom ræddes aldrig for død!
Ofte ideen livet har krævet,
tit er det ofret for massernes sag.
Frem da til kampen. Se fanen er hævet.
Arbejderhæren står rede til slag.

Nu frem da til kampen. På barrikaden
sejren skal vindes for arbejdets folk.
Rødt smælder flagdugens flig over staden,
ny tid skabes af arbejdets folk.

In movies[edit]

The first words of the Russian version served as a name for 1953 film Hostile Whirlwinds.

In Doctor Zhivago, an instrumental version of the song is played by the peaceful demonstrators in Moscow.

The song, in version performed by The Red Army Choir, featured in the opening scene of "The Jackal" (credited as "Warsovienne") as well as in the submarine scene of "Hail, Caesar!" (credited as "Varchavianka").

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Zakrzewski, pp. 13–16
  2. ^ a b Leon Lishner – Varshavianka
  3. ^ Ascher, Abraham (1994). The Revolution of 1905: Russia in Disarray, Stanford University Press, pp.157-158, ISBN 0-8047-2327-3
  4. ^ Szurczak, pp. 233–234
  5. ^ Nadolski, p. 159
  6. ^ Dobrowolski, p. IV
  7. ^ Biblioteka Polskiej Piosenki, Warszawianka
  8. ^ Varshavianka (1924) – Loyola University Chicago Department of Fine and Performing Arts]
  9. ^ a b March Song of the Workers – Protest Song Lyrics
  10. ^ Recording: "Whirlwinds of Danger", Sung by Rufus John – Exploring 20th century London]
  11. ^ Paul Robeson's performance of the Warszawianka
  12. ^ a b Alan Bush and Randall Swingler, The Left Song Book. Gollancz 1938.
  13. ^ Whirlwinds of Danger – annotated at Genius.com

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Books
  • Bogdan Zakrzewski (1981). >>Warszawianka<< Wacława Święcickiego [Wacław Święcicki's "Warszawianka"] (in Polish). Ossolineum. p. 44. ISBN 9788304007925. 
  • Stanisław Ryszard Dobrowolski (1888). Wybór poezyj dla robotników [Selection of poems for the workers]. Biblioteka Robotnika Polskiego (in Polish). VI. Geneva-Warsaw: Proletaryat. p. 56. 
  • Artur Nadolski (2008). Pani Chłodna; opowieść o warszawskiej ulicy [Miss Chłodna, story of a Warsaw's street] (in Polish). Bellona. p. 491. ISBN 9788311112582. 
Journals
  • Anna Szurczak (1981). "Warszawianka". Polonistyka (in Polish). 34 (189). ISSN 0551-3707. 

External links[edit]