The Internationale

Song by:
Eugène Pottier (lyrics) and Pierre Degeyter (music). Popularised by Quilapayún in 1970s Chile.
Testimony by:
Ana María Jiménez
Experience in:
Villa Grimaldi, April 1975

In April 1975, the triumph in Vietnam was celebrated. We heard about it through a comrade who went to the bathroom and found a piece of the week’s newspaper. It was so beautiful for us to be there, having shouted so often for Vietnam at demonstrations.

So a group of prisoners from the Tower (*) decided to sing a bit from The Internationale. And we sang all together. We would coordinate through secret mail: for example, messages would be exchanged when someone went to the bathroom. The guards arrived and started shouting “what is happening here?”, kicking about. We managed to sing two or three verses. This was another example of music in conditions of extreme oppression.

(*) The Tower (la Torre) was a water tank inside Villa Grimaldi. It was about six metres tall and was converted into tiny cubicles, where prisoners where kept in isolation.

Published on: 20 October 2016

Let the poor of the world rise
- on your feet, slaves without bread!
And let us all cry in one voice:
Long live the Internationale!

Let us remove all hindrances
impeding our well-being
let us change the world from its foundation
let us sink the bourgeois empire.

Let us all come together
in the final struggle
and let the nations rise
to the Internationale.

The day we achieve our triumph
there will be no slaves and no hunger.
Earth will be a paradise
for all humanity.

May the earth bear all its fruit
and may bliss be our home.
Work is the support that will
enable all to enjoy abundance.