De mördades fria republik

Dan Berglund
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An essay for a singable English version of the song
I ate my porridge and read the paper,I ate up my porridge and read my newspaper,
took my bag and kissed my missis goodbye.Then seized my workbag and kissed my love goodbye,
And in the dark I left my trail in the deep snowThe snow was so deep, the dark night saw my trail
on the road I had been walking for thirteen long years.Along the way I had been going for thirteen endless years.
On that day the wind was in the north.That day was swept by so strong a north wind,
We were welding on a deck thirty meters above the groundDoing our deck weldwork 100 feet up high
when I heard a boom and a voice shouting: »Sven!«I heard a crash and someone shouting: -Sven!
And everything disappeared in blood and fire and it was night again.And then blood and fire, and the night fell again.
Then I woke up in a coffin of spruceA sprucewood coffin was the place I woke up in,
and thought all hell must be loose.I thought I was in hell, that's all I tell you friends.
And my missis was weeping her face pale like deathMy love was weeping, her face was white as death,
and the priest begging to his god out of breath.the priest was praying his god with his nose turned up.
Then I was lowered into my simple dwellingThen I was lowered into my simple, bare grave,
and in its loneliness I started to twiddle my thumbs.I lay and rolled my thumbs in my quiet loneliness;
Suddenly I heard a voice: »Comrade, dear deceased,I heard a voice saying: - Comrade, dear deceased,
welcome to The Free Republic Of Those Murdered.«The Free Republic of the Murdered bids you welcome.
And there, in the midst of stones, roots, sand and dirt,And there among stones, roots, pebbles, sand and dirt
rows of people were lying, the earth was fullPeople lay in long rows, the whole earth was full
of women and men who had once been workingOf men and women, old workers of times past,
and who rose up singing a song that made the earth shake:The earth was shaken, trembling as they all rose up and sang:
»We were murdered by the Swedish industry.“We all were murdered by the Swedish industry,
Five hundred of us each year are butchered like pigsFive hundred of us per year, slaughtered like pigs
in factories that drain our blood.In factories where our blood's drain'd from our veins,
And the worst of all murderers is Jacob Wallenberg. *)And the worst butcher's name is Jacob Wallenberg.
We were the ones to keep his factories running,We, the workers, kept all his plants in nonstop run,
it was we who fell and whose bodies were buried.The pay we got was death, a burial and a grave.
We bowed to the hangman and filled his stomach,Bowing to a butcher's feet we made him rich and fat
while socialists and union men were busy to shine his shoes.While socialists and unionmen rushed to shine his shoes.
Now we are demanding revenge, hear our bitter cryWe're craving for revenge, hear now our bitter cry
sounding from each factory floor,Resounding through the floors in every factory,
carried by whispering winds and the humming of tall pines,Whispering with the wind, humming with the pine trees
and requiring you to do your duty and revenge us.And telling you to take revenge, your duty to fulfill.
And from the machines on factory floors we sing to you:Through the machines, you can hear us sing for you:
Study Marx and Lenin and unite!Let's act for revolution, for union and dignity,
Class against class it shall be!Class against class, that's our struggle, our fight,
And silently we will raise up to back you.«We'll stand up in silence and back you by your side.
* ) Jacob Wallenberg (1892 - 1980) was a banker and one of the most influential figures in Swedish business life.

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