Heroic Hymns

Archaeology is something that ends up on a museum shelf. In contrast, history is a living part of the human organism. It lies dormant until the smell of death trips an alarm. Take a look at various early/mid-20th century German, Polish, and Russian marching hymns “then” (with partial lyrics), along with a contemporary performance “now.”

Germany

THEN: Horst Wessel Lied was the national anthem of Germany from 1933 to 1945. Its writer Horst Wessel was marked for death by Communists over his Weimar-era street fights, his face and address featured on posters with slogans “strike the fascists wherever you find them.”

Raise the flag! The ranks tightly closed!
The SA marches with calm, steady step
Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries
March in spirit within our ranks.

Clear the streets for the brown battalions,
Clear the streets for the stormtroopers
Millions are looking upon the swastika full of hope,
The day of freedom and of bread dawns!

NOW: “Wir sind das Volk” (We are the People) came to prominence during 1989 protests against East German government. Now Germany stands at the threshold of heroic possibilities. They have a lot to lose by speaking up and taking to the streets under their present government, but even more to lose by remaining silent.

You’re up there, you cowardly figures
Paid by the enemy, mocked by the people
But once more there will be justice
The people will try you, God’s mercy upon you!

We have been silent for too long
Were much too quiet
After decades of silence
It’s time once more to take the streets!


Poland

THEN: The March of the First Brigade. It was an anthem of the Polish Legions formed during World War I by Józef Piłsudski and is an emblem of the early-20th century struggle for independence.

The Legions — a soldier’s melody
The Legions — a sacrificial pyre
The Legions — a soldier’s gall
The Legions — a dead man’s fate

REFRAIN:
We, the First Brigade, a team of riflemen
We’ve thrown down the gauntlet
And our lives to the bonfire!

They cried that we had gone stark mad
Not believing us, that there’s a way!
Bereft of all, we’ve shed blood
With our dear leader at our side!

For the sake of posterity,
We’ll devote the rest of our days,
To sow honor ‘mid duplicity
Heedless both to blame and praise.

NOW: Written in 1908, Rota (The Oath) became popular across partitioned Poland, its lyrics defiant of the forced Germanization of children of the time. In the video below, it is played and sang during the November 2016 Independence Day march in Warsaw.

We won’t forsake our fathers’ land
We won’t let our speech be buried
We are the Polish nation
From the royal line of Piast
We won’t let the enemy oppress us

So help us God!
So help us God!


Russia

THEN: USSR National Anthem. Composed in 1930, it replaced “The Internationale” as the national anthem to boost the morale of Soviet forces during WWII.

Unbreakable union of freeborn Republics
Great Russia has welded forever to stand
Created in struggle by will of the people
The united and mighty, our Soviet Union!

REFRAIN:
Be glorified our Soviet fatherland, united and free
Built by the people’s mighty hand (in 1944 version)
Fortress, in brotherhood strong
The party of Lenin, the strength of the people

To Communism’s triumph lead us on!

Through tempests the sunlight of freedom shined
And the great Lenin lighted us the way
He raised the people to the righteous cause

Inspired us to labor and to valorous deed.

NOW: As performed by Russian armed forces during the 2016 Victory Day parade, presided over by Vladimir Putin.

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Pretty Faces

Hope Sandoval is deep inside herself, a diva reputed for her paralyzing stage fright.

“Love is so short, forgetting is so long.” ― Pablo Neruda


Mary Hopkins’ finishing-school “daahnce” is a turn-on. Smiling is a vocalist’s challenge. Having a genuine bright-eyed freshness is another professional challenge, but not for her.

“Why, he wondered, should he remember her suddenly, on such a day, watching the rain falling on the apple trees?” ― Daphne du Maurier


Melania Mina Špiler is not as Apollonian as she’d have you think. See her eyes roll back and her breasts heave in preemptive surrender to her great teacher.

“She had curiously thoughtful and attentive eyes; eyes that were very pretty and very good.” ― Charles Dickens


Courtney Love speaks to our spirit in this live performance, climaxing in whooping cough at 2:45. Her Pacific Northwest accent is pretty, like when she says “pahhhrrrts.”

“She had the secret of individuality which excites and escapes.” ― Joseph Conrad

You remember your first make-out with a girl (or otherwise). Tell us about it if you’re not shy. I described mine here.

Open thread.

“Warszawskie Dzieci”

This post is about nationalism (which in contemporary context is synonymous with patriotism: love of family and belief in a future), as well as a look at the 1944 marching song “Warsaw’s Children” and Laibach’s creative reinterpretation of the original. If you recall the post titled Zero Hour a month ago, it marked the August 1, 1944 outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. The campaign lasted 63 days and Warsaw fell on October 2, 1944.

In a time when national monuments in America and Sweden are torn down, the sight of healthy people openly honoring their heroes, freely in their own public space and in a peaceful relationship with the state, is aspirational.

“Taking migrants would do more damage to Poland than European Union’s sanctions… Remember that the now very numerous Muslim communities (in Western European countries) started out as relatively small numbers.”
— Mariusz Błaszczak, Poland’s Interior Minister, May 2017

I think that people in Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia know that any compromise with liberalism leads to death. Western people in their deluged countries look at the Visegrad Four as the first victors in the long war against globalists.

My translated lyrics to “Warsaw’s Children” are at the end of the post. Here is the original marching song, performed last year on the anniversary of Zero Hour:

The avant-garde Slovenian band Laibach recently created their own interpretation of “Warszawskie Dzieci.” At turns, they sing fragments of the original in Polish and weave in a spoken English translation of a popular prewar song “Heart in a Knapsack” (Serce w plecaku). The video below was made by Poland’s National Centre for Culture.

There are original forms and derivative tributes. The former are often simple, self-contained, and perfect. A creative tribute drinks the waters of the original. Classic forms inspire mannerist interpretations, and as such the cover-form offers tantalizing possibilities that can succeed spectacularly, revealing the compressed wealth of the simple original. At other times, the creative tribute misses the point or runs away with the artist’s ego, and fails.

Does Laibach’s cover of the original song work for you? Frankly, it blew my mind:

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Warszawskie Dzieci

No disaster can break free men
No bloody hardship frightens the bold
We’ll go together toward victory
Our people arm-in-arm.

(Refrain x2, after every verse)
Warsaw’s children, we go to fight
For your every cobblestone we give our blood
Warsaw children, we will go to fight
On your order we’ll bring wrath to the enemy!

Powiśle, Wola and Mokotów [districts]
On every street, in every house
When the first shot is fired, be ready
Like the golden thunderbolt in God’s hand.

Built with hammer, saw, chisel, trowel
Our capital city, proud of her sons
Who stand with her faithfully 
To guard her iron laws.

Glory to the fallen, freedom to the living
May Heavens hear our song 
We believe that righteous Almighty
Will repay for the blood that’s spilled.

Nationalism In Po-Dunk

Kid Rock’s “Po-Dunk” gives a middle finger to anti-American globalists. The video pays homage to Hank Williams, Jr. “Country Boys Can Survive” right away, with an opening scene featuring a man wearing a Bocephus t-shirt.

“Po-Dunk” is a message to a political class that has been tearing those people down for decades. That message is: Our consent is withdrawn. The video is not perfect, but it rides the rising wave of popular discontent. That’s elaborated on here:

It’s Alt Lite, not Alt Right. It’s populist, neither intellectual nor ideological. And while it’s ultimately insufficient, it nevertheless represents a tremendous step forward for Americans, because, unlike the Diversity Left, which hates America, and the Establishment Right, which cares about nothing except GDP and the well-being of the donor class, the Trump nationalists love America. — Vox Day

Where the 1981 video for “Country Boys Can Survive” postures defiantly from a position of competent self-reliance, this one revels literally and figuratively in mud.

Country music from the 1950s through the 1970s is the greatest of American music. Hank, Merle, George, Johnny, Waylon balanced license with dignity. But the past does not return. You have to push through the present — through Kid Rock’s potty-mouthed, mudsharking-at-the-edges, conspicuous nihilism — to make a future aligned with your higher aspirations

The video shines a light on our people in their nadir-hour. Naked women, tats galore, smoking while pregnant… those aren’t a matter of culture or aesthetic. They are a matter of self-respect. That said, Kid Rock knows the Alt-Right’s Point No. 12:

“Podunk don’t give one hillbilly fuck.” — Kid Rock

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More importantly, the video does several very, very big things: it explicitly celebrates White natalism: “Got a baby in her belly and a baby on her hip / Little towheaded rascal peeing off the porch.” Also the Confederate flag, guns, rooted all-White communities, and in pointed defiance of neoliberalism, no immigrants. And good, dirty fun. How can the political slogan “diversity is our greatest strength” be taken seriously, when homogeneity looks like home sweet home?

(An aside on the featuring of blacks in the video: that ruins it for me. That’s because I’m farther along on the national right-ward drift than the target audience for the video is. Also, idealized relations between Whites and Blacks are part of American mythology and have a bit of basis in reality in some regional and historic contexts.)

Kid Rock’s people in rural Michigan are giving the middle finger to the conservatives who had stabbed them in the back, and to the liberals who want them blended out of existence. “Po-Dunk” follows the same angry current as that of Michigan’s other native son, Michael Moore, who featured those same people in his unintentionally pro-Trump campaign video. Did you forget about Moore’s “Biggest Fuck You in Human History”? I didn’t.

Yes, on November 8, you — Joe Blow, Steve Blow, Bob Blow, Billy Blow, Billy-Bob Blow, all the Blows — get to go and blow up the whole goddamned system because it’s your right. Trump’s election is going to be the biggest “Fuck You” ever recorded in human history and it will feel good. — Michael Moore

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Kid Rock is tapping into that same “Fuck You.”

Everybody is feeling the hunger for a home. That’s what nationalism is all about.

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Jukebox Wars

Ace was a shitlord theorist even back in high school. In this story, “D.J.” is named after his former calling. Bobby struck gold and now lives idly for women and wine, both in moderation.

Ace: I drove to the Jersey shore with D.J. and Bobby this past weekend. Remember the dive last year that you called the “dinosaur bar,” which was full of old rednecks?

PA: Yeah. I drank Miller Lite from a plastic cup. But it was our oasis from the dindu noise they played at all the other bars.

Ace: Rock music on the jukebox was nice, but what sat wrong with me, when you and I were there, is that we had to settle for that dump to finally hear our sound. And then, remember how those two scrawny Cholos went up to the jukebox and put on Reggaeton? You and I wondered why the fuck we’re in a place that’s full of drunk tough guys and nobody does a damn thing about this blatantly disrespectful act.

PA: They were more drunk than tough. But yeah, you and I didn’t do anything either. “It’s not the time yet,” is what I said. Not my home turf, pick your battles, the bartender isn’t doing anything so why should I.

Ace: So on Saturday, D.J., Bobby, and I popped into that same “dinosaur bar” and the music was good, if a bit long in the tooth. Older acts like Guns N’ Roses and Foo Fighters. Then, a fat thirty-something woman waddles over to the jukebox.

PA: Oh shit. That’s trouble.

Ace: Oddly though, she put on some of those old-school crooner selections. Perry Como and the like. I don’t mind it, but it wasn’t the right vibe.

PA: Definitely could have been worse.

Ace: Superannuated is what it was. So Bobby says “I’ll put something on” and gets up from his chair. He puts on Lush.

PA: Heh, we all know your feelings about Alternative Rock.

Ace: Yeah, it’s the faggiest fucking crap. Well, the song starts, and my reaction was “this sucks, this sucks…” and then the intro halts and… “THIS ROCKS!” And I told Bobby that this is surprisingly good. He laughed and said “You know I wouldn’t do you wrong, brother.”

After that, things went downhill. Someone put on ten, or realistically, more like six songs of pure undiluted hardcore ghetto rap.

PA: Who did that!?

Ace: It was a normal looking, forty-something White gentleman. There were three blacks there, and they started monkeying it up. And then D.J. commences to bust my balls: “I told you people enjoy that music — see, even the bartendress is feelin’ the beat.”

PA: The bastard loves to kick you when you’re down.

Ace: But I said “This is war” and asked him to remind me what was that Death Metal band he once played to drive the schwoogs from his venue. He said it’s Meshuggah. I asked him to spell it for me, and I went over and put that on.

PA: Nice move. What did the blacks do?

Ace: It was funny, the life went out of them and they just kind of sat huddled together.

PA: I remember D.J.’s explanation about how those arrhythmic parts unsettle them, besides of course the insane growling vocals. Something about how every fifth beat is off, that fucks with their heads.

Ace: So then, one of them goes up to the jukebox.

PA: Bring it on, jukebox wars! Did they escalate?

Ace: Surprisingly, no. They put on black artists but nothing obnoxious. Michael Jackson, that kind of stuff.

PA: See, you show some firepower and the other side is willing to negotiate.

***

We’re a fractured nation. More accurately, a hodgepodge of nations elbowing at each other in contested public space. The stuff of wars. Back in America, kids rocked around the jukebox. Today, smart proprietors control all music, usually by streaming Pandora.

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I had some thoughts about the cycles of popular music here.

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It’s time for a coffee. I take mine with Meshuggah.

Idle Thoughts on Christian Music

It was a cool October afternoon thirty years ago and we were doing hill workouts. My high school varsity athletic team drove to a nearby neighborhood to sprint up its hilly terrain. It was a loop, where you pump your arms and legs up a steep incline, then walk back down where jogging would be too much like riding your brakes. Several teammates and I formed a small group and our competitiveness drove us to top performance up the hills. I was in a state of runner’s high — a hyper-oxygenated brain awash in natural endorphin — reveling in the functional perfection of my weightless body. I thought: This is an incredible workout for the mind, the body nourishing the brain

But thoughts raced on. Is the brain the end-beneficiary of physical health? No… something whispered. The brain merely regulates everything so that the reproductive organs can do their job. My first encounter with doubt: the body’s purpose is to replicate itself, and the illusion of having a mind or a soul is a byproduct of fluids.

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The next hill workout was several weeks later. It was late Sunday afternoon and I was alone, catching my breath on the grassy hill overlooking an empty vista of my school’s athletic fields. A teenager’s emotional state is volatile and his mind solipsistic, taking certain things with grave seriousness. As euphoric I was during the previous workout, the rush of oxygen was now fueling thoughts of doom. The air was cold, the western sky was on fire.

Miserable thoughts piled on: Is this the best it’s going to be? The heart pushed jets of bile through my overheated body. Would it be best to die now? What is my purpose?

This is vivid recollection, not poetic license: I looked down from the hilltop and the panorama of athletic fields glowed golden, like the Elysian fields.

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Ideas that ran in conflicting directions took me, at turns over the course of my twenties, to materialism and then back to knowing of another plane. I’m becoming convinced that keeping your eyes open and thinking without fear, over the course of a long life, will lead you to the foot of the Cross.

What Is Out There?

I can’t convince you of any metaphysical reality because I don’t understand it myself. Rather, it’s a certainty to me that God is more real than the two hands I’m looking at right now. So I’ll just leave you with someone’s comment from a recent thread at Chateau Heartiste:

I always keep coming back to the martyrs of Christianity. From St. Stephen, to St. Paul, to St. Peter, to St. Ignatius of Antioch, to St. Maximilian Kolbe, to the Copts massacred just this last Palm Sunday, and all the known and unknown martyrs in between…

Either:

1. There is absolutely nothing after death. Just the big “Nothing.” Lights out for good. Eternal Oblivion. They’ll never know they were totally wrong. All of them are all the biggest fucking idiots in history, throwing away their lives […] St. Paul himself says as much in 1 Corinthians 15:14.

or…

2. There is something more to all this.

Good and evil. If they are real, than so is God. To get a sense of evil, imagine extremes of depravity, and not necessarily involving violence — just look around you. And to contemplate an expression of good, read John 15-13:

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Laying down your life for your friends. This next comment is not my original insight but I agree with it: A.B. Breivik volunteered to spend the rest of his life in 23-hour/day solitary confinement to deliver his countrymen from evil.

High Art

It’s not just martyrdom that the Cross inspires. There is also our sublime output. Finally acknowledging the title of this post and starting with high art, there is Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring,” Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” and Henryk Górecki’s “Symphony No. 3.” There is also this Eastern Orthodox hymn from Serbia. Speaking of Coptic martyrs, listen to this Assyrian Palm Sunday prayer in Aramaic.

Popular Songs

Stepping away from high art, there are songs that regular people can sing. A famous example is the immortal “Stille Nacht.” It was written in 1818 by a young Austrian priest, with music composed by a schoolmaster from a nearby village.

“Pescador de hombres” was written in 1979 by a Spanish priest. Pope John Paul II famously said that “Pescador” (Polish version: “Barka,” transl. below) is his favorite song:

Lord, you have come to the lake shore
Looking for people who are ready to follow
To capture hearts with the truth of God’s word

REFRAIN:
O Lord, your eyes have looked upon me
Kindly smiling, you have spoken my name
Now my boat’s left on the shoreline behind me
By your side I will cast a new net

I don’t have many possessions
My treasure is my two ready hands
To work with you and my pure heart

Today we set out together
To capture hearts on the seas of human souls
With Your truth and the word of life

The calling of a priest is to be a holy man. Since the one true religion, by definition, applies to all of humankind (unless you go with an assumption that not all subsets of mankind have a soul), then such a man’s thinking will be catholic, lower-case. I imagine that such a priest would wish for everyone to aspire to godliness according to their nature, on their own land and among their own people, encountering others solely in friendship.

With that thought, what do you make of the scene a little after 3:45 in the Barka video linked above, showing an African man and his son crying at the Pope’s funeral?

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The great bass-baritone Bernard Ładysz leads a choir in this arrangement of the traditional evening-song “All Of Our Daily Matters” (“Wszystkie nasze dzienne sprawy”). I like the spontaneous feel of the performance. It sounds like a what you would hear in a church with the parishioners singing.

All of our daily matters
Accept mercifully, righteous God
And when we fall asleep
May our dreams praise You

Your eyes turned
Day and night in our direction
Where the frailty of man
Your rescue awaits

Turn away the nightly perils
Protect us from all harm
Have us always in Your care
Guardian and Judge of man

And when we ascend to Heaven
We will sing to You together
God in Trinity unfathomed
Holy, forever and ever Holy

From 966 A.D. onward, men have sang hymns in that language in preparation for putting foreign invaders to the sword.

Christian Rock?

In the live performance below, the eye is on the ghoulish guitarist until the vocalist lets out the pathos in a lung-defying howl.

He looks tormented, maybe possessed. This isn’t a comment about the band members. I don’t know Thom Yorke. Yet even if that dramatic performance is all-artifice, the fact that it expresses the inner state of listeners points to their hunger for something.

Did we just watch an artistic interpretation of a station toward the foot of the Cross?

Imagine

Imagine there’s no mercy
It’s easy if you try
Traitors hang on lampposts
Above us righteous God

Imagine all the coloreds driven from our lands

Imagine there’s no leftism
It’s the easiest thing to do
A time to kill or die for
And separation too

Imagine our people free and true again

Hope burned in the hearts of dreamers
Who saw another way to live
So many have since joined us
The world is starting to believe

Imagine there’s a future
I wonder if you can
No need for nihilism
An awakening of man

Imagine Europeans’ glory yet untold

People said that I’m a dreamer
But I’m just a woken man
For a brotherhood of nations
And White children face the sun

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UPDATE: The Mamas & The Pepes have set my take on Lennon’s “Imagine” to music. It’s fantastic:

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A few words on why John Lennon’s original is the most anti-human song ever written.

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The 16 Points that describe the Alt-Right’s core philosophy.

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Something about this man’s words (read them closely) and his face struck me as proof that we won’t be homeless forever:

A homeless [Manchester] man, called Steve, described the moment he had to ‘pull nails out of children’s faces’ following the shocking attack.

He said: ‘Just because I’m homeless it does not mean that I haven’t got a heart and I’m not human still.

‘They needed the help and I would like to think someone would come and help me if I needed help.

‘It’s your instinct to go and help and it was children and it was a lot of children. We were pulling nails out of their arms and from a little girl’s face.

‘It had to be done, you had to help. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to live with myself for walking away and leaving kids like that.’

englstev

(Story above). Source of top image unknown. Alternate lyrics to “Imagine” written by me.