'United Front Song' by Bertolt Brecht

AI and Tech Aggregator
Download Mp3s Free
Tears of the Kingdom Roleplay
Best Free University Courses Online
TOTK Roleplay

And because a man is human
He'll want to eat, and thanks a lot
But talk can't take the place of meat
or fill an empty pot.

So left, two, three!
So left, two, three!
Comrade, there's a place for you.
Take your stand in the workers united front
For you are a worker too.

And because a man is human
he won't care for a kick in the face.
He doesn't want slaves under him
Or above him a ruling class.

So left, two, three!
So left, two, three!
Comrade, there's a place for you.
Take your stand in the workers united front
For you are a worker too.

And because a worker's a worker
No one else will bring him liberty.
It's nobody's work but the worker' own
To set the worker free.

So left, two, three!
So left, two, three!
Comrade, there's a place for you.
Take your stand in the workers united front
For you are a worker too.

Editor 1 Interpretation

United Front Song: A Marxist Interpretation

Oh, what a brilliant piece of literature is United Front Song by Bertolt Brecht! An ode to solidarity, a manifesto of resistance, a call to arms against oppression. In this 4000-word literary criticism, I will explore the Marxist themes, the poetic techniques, and the historical context of this masterpiece of proletarian poetry.

Historical Background

Brecht wrote United Front Song in 1931, during a crucial moment in German history. The Weimar Republic was in crisis, threatened by the rise of fascism, the economic depression, and the polarization of society. The Communist Party of Germany (KPD) was growing in influence, but also facing internal divisions and the danger of isolation. The Social Democratic Party (SPD) was the main force of the workers' movement, but was accused by the Communists of being a "social fascist" party that betrayed the revolution and collaborated with the bourgeoisie.

In this context, Brecht, who had joined the KPD in 1929 and was a leading figure of the left-wing literary scene, wrote United Front Song as a contribution to the strategy of the United Front, which aimed to unite the workers' organizations of different tendencies and fight together against the common enemy. The song was meant to be sung by workers of all parties and none, as a unifying anthem of resistance.

Marxist Themes

The Marxist themes of United Front Song are evident from the very first verse:

Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!

This famous slogan, coined by Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto, expresses the essence of proletarian internationalism: the recognition that the working class is a global class, that its interests are opposed to those of the ruling class in every country, and that its liberation requires the abolition of capitalism and the establishment of socialism on a worldwide scale.

The second verse of the song expands on this theme by highlighting the class struggle between the exploiters and the exploited:

They are masters of nothing, But of the chains they hold. We too shall be masters, When our bonds are broken.

This is a classic Marxist analysis of the nature of class society: the ruling class, despite its wealth and power, is ultimately dependent on the labor of the working class, which creates all the value in society. The chains that the workers have to break are not only the literal chains of slavery or serfdom, but also the invisible chains of wage slavery, where the workers are forced to sell their labor power to the capitalists in exchange for a meager wage, while the surplus value they produce is appropriated by the bosses as profit.

The third verse of the song adds a feminist and anti-racist dimension to the class struggle:

In our hands is placed a power Greater than their hoarded gold, Greater than the might of armies, Magnified a thousand-fold. We can bring to birth a new world From the ashes of the old.

Here, Brecht emphasizes the potential of the working class to transform not only the economic system, but also the social relations of gender and race that are intertwined with it. The power that the workers have in their hands is not only their collective strength as a class, but also their capacity to challenge the patriarchal and racist structures that divide and weaken them. The image of a new world emerging from the ashes of the old suggests a revolutionary vision of a society based on equality, solidarity, and justice.

The last verse of the song sums up the strategic objective of the United Front:

Solidarity forever, For the union makes us strong.

This is a crucial point that distinguishes the United Front from the sectarian approach of the KPD at the time, which tended to denounce the SPD as a "social fascist" enemy and refused to cooperate with it. The United Front strategy recognized that the workers, despite their differences and contradictions, had a common interest in fighting against fascism and capitalism, and that the only way to achieve victory was to unite their forces in a common struggle. The solidarity that the song proclaims is not an abstract sentiment, but a concrete practice of class struggle.

Poetic Techniques

Apart from its political content, United Front Song is also a masterpiece of poetic technique, which shows Brecht's skill as a dramatist and a lyricist. Let's examine some of the key elements that make the song so powerful.


One of the most striking features of the song is its use of repetition, which reinforces the sense of unity and urgency. The refrain "Solidarity forever" is repeated after every verse, creating a musical and rhetorical pattern that sticks in the listener's mind. The repetition of key phrases such as "Workers of the world, unite!" and "We can bring to birth a new world" also adds to the hypnotic effect of the song.


Another technique that Brecht uses to great effect is contrast, which highlights the contradictions and conflicts of the class struggle. The contrast between the workers, who have "nothing to lose but their chains," and the capitalists, who have "hoarded gold" and "might of armies," underscores the asymmetry of power in society. The contrast between the old world of oppression and the new world of liberation, between the ashes and the birth, creates a dynamic tension that propels the song forward.


Brecht's trademark irony is also present in United Front Song, especially in the second verse, where he describes the masters of the chains as "masters of nothing." This ironic inversion of the usual hierarchy of value exposes the absurdity of the capitalist system and the illusory nature of the ruling class's power. The irony is reinforced by the rhyme between "nothing" and "holding," which turns the latter into a negative attribute.


Finally, Brecht's use of imagery in the song is both vivid and symbolic. The image of the workers breaking their chains suggests a physical and emotional release from bondage, while the image of a new world rising from the ashes evokes the phoenix myth of rebirth and renewal. The metaphor of the power in the workers' hands as a magnified force adds a scientific and technological dimension to the revolutionary struggle, as if the workers were using a kind of superpower to overcome their enemies.


In conclusion, United Front Song by Bertolt Brecht is a masterpiece of Marxist poetry, which combines political clarity, poetic technique, and historical relevance in a unique way. The song expresses the basic principles of proletarian internationalism, the strategic necessity of the United Front, and the revolutionary potential of the working class to create a new world. Its use of repetition, contrast, irony, and imagery makes it a memorable and inspiring call to action, a rallying cry for all those who struggle for freedom and justice. As Brecht wrote in another famous poem, "In the dark times, will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times." United Front Song is one of those songs that will keep singing in the dark times, and light the way to a brighter future.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

United Front Song: A Poem of Unity and Resistance

Bertolt Brecht, one of the most influential playwrights and poets of the 20th century, wrote the United Front Song in 1932, during a time of political turmoil in Germany. The poem is a call for unity among the working class and oppressed people against the rising tide of fascism and capitalism. It is a powerful and timeless piece of literature that still resonates with people around the world today.

The poem begins with a simple and direct statement: "We are the builders of a new world." This line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which is a rallying cry for people to come together and create a better future for themselves and their communities. Brecht was a Marxist and believed that the only way to achieve true social and economic equality was through collective action and solidarity.

The second stanza of the poem emphasizes the importance of unity in the face of oppression. Brecht writes, "We are the fighters for a new world / We are the soldiers of the people / We are the builders of a new world / We are the workers of the world." These lines highlight the fact that the struggle for a better world is not an individual one, but a collective one. It is only through working together that we can overcome the forces that seek to divide and conquer us.

The third stanza of the poem is a call to action. Brecht writes, "We are the ones who will not yield / We are the ones who will not bow / We are the ones who will not break / We are the ones who will not fall." These lines are a reminder that the struggle for justice and equality is not an easy one. It requires courage, determination, and a willingness to stand up to those who would seek to oppress us.

The fourth stanza of the poem is perhaps the most powerful. Brecht writes, "We are the ones who will fight back / We are the ones who will resist / We are the ones who will rise up / We are the ones who will persist." These lines are a clear and unequivocal statement of resistance. They are a reminder that we have the power to fight back against those who would seek to oppress us, and that we will not be silenced or defeated.

The final stanza of the poem is a call for unity and solidarity. Brecht writes, "We are the ones who will stand together / We are the ones who will not be divided / We are the ones who will build a new world / We are the ones who will make it right." These lines are a reminder that we are stronger together than we are alone. It is only through working together and supporting each other that we can create a better world for ourselves and future generations.

The United Front Song is a powerful and inspiring poem that speaks to the struggles of oppressed people around the world. It is a reminder that we have the power to create a better world, but that it requires collective action and solidarity. Brecht's words are a call to action, a reminder that we must stand up to those who seek to oppress us and fight for a better future. As we continue to face the challenges of the 21st century, the United Front Song remains a powerful and relevant piece of literature that inspires us to keep fighting for justice and equality.

Editor Recommended Sites

Domain Specific Languages: The latest Domain specific languages and DSLs for large language models LLMs
WebGPU Guide: Learn WebGPU from tutorials, courses and best practice
CI/CD Videos - CICD Deep Dive Courses & CI CD Masterclass Video: Videos of continuous integration, continuous deployment
Idea Share: Share dev ideas with other developers, startup ideas, validation checking
ML Writing: Machine learning for copywriting, guide writing, book writing

Recommended Similar Analysis

I gave myself to Him by Emily Dickinson analysis
In Winter in my Room by Emily Dickinson analysis
Panthea by Oscar Wilde analysis
Flower -Gathering by Robert Lee Frost analysis
The Dance by William Carlos Williams analysis
Thistles by Ted Hughes analysis
Primeval My Love For The Woman I Love by Walt Whitman analysis
Beat ! Beat! Drums! by Walt Whitman analysis
Acquainted With The Night by Robert Frost analysis
Sonnet 94: They that have power to hurt and will do none by William Shakespeare analysis