#02182
Peat Bog Soldiers (Ryan's Fancy) videos
Go down to: (Die Moorsoldaten)
#96: YouTube video by quickaccent2006
©2007 ~ Used with permission ~

Click Here for a video in the original German.

As we march we look around us,
Peat and bog on every hand;
Not a bird to break the silence,
Shriveled bare the oak trees stand.

We are the peat bog soldiers,
Marching with our spades to the bog.

Up and down the guards are prowling,
No man, no man can get by;
Walls of fire can build their fortress,
Try to flee and you will die.

We are the peat bog soldiers,
Marching with our spades to the bog.

Thus our thoughts lie homeward, homeward,
Back to caring child and wife;
Oiled by their deep-ended keep,
We march as we pay deep for life.

We are the peat bog soldiers,
Marching with our spades to the bog.

Put away with desperation,
After clouds there comes the rain;
One day comes our liberation,
And our home is ours again.

No more the peat bog soldiers
Will go marching with our spades to the bog.

No more the peat bog soldiers
Will go marching with our spades to the bog.

####.... Original German lyrics: Wolfgang Langhoff and Johann Esser (1933); Music: Rudi Goguel and later adapted by Hanns Eisler and Ernst Busch. ....####
This variant arranged and recorded by Ryan's Fancy (Dark Island — A Portrait Of Ryan's Fancy, trk#5, 1971, Audat Records, Oshawa, Ontario).

See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.

A variant was recorded by The Dubliners (30 Irish Favorites, 2000).

See more songs by The Dubliners.

Variants were also recorded by Theodore Bikel (From Bondage To Freedom, 1973); Paul Robeson (Songs Of Free Men: A Paul Robeson Recital, 1997); and Pete Seeger (Songs Of The Spanish Civil War: Vol.1, 2006).

Notes from the Learning From History program in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany:
Translated from the German, Die Moorsoldaten is one of the best known songs of the political resistance movement against National Socialism. Its forceful lyrics and folk melody have established it as an important historical source. There are different accounts of the song's origin, the reason for which may be that its authors gave only vague accounts of its origins after their release from imprisonment so they would not endanger those still in concentration camps. All accounts of the creation of the song agree that it was composed in the summer of 1933 at the Börgermoor concentration camp, close to the town of Papenburg in the Emsland region. Börgermoor was the first of the Emsland Moor concentration camps, a chain of fifteen camps built in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1938, and known collectively as the Emslandlager. Conditions in the camp were especially brutal and the song was written in response to brutality by camp guards. The camp commandant prohibited prisoners from singing Die Moorsoldaten because of its last line. Nevertheless, the song spread rapidly and was transmitted by prisoners into the expanded German concentration camp system, where it continued to be sung after 1939 to become known internationally. Langhoff, Eisler, and Busch were all active in the German Communist party.



The video below features an excellent performance in the original German by Raymond Crooke of Melbourne, Australia.

#1200: YouTube video by raymondcrooke
©2010 ~ Used with permission ~

Langhoff and Esser's original song in German:

Die Moorsoldaten

Wohin auch das Auge blicket,
Moor und Heide nur ringsum;
Vogelsang uns nicht erquicket,
Eichen stehen kahl und krumm.

Wir sind die Moorsoldaten,
Und ziehen mit dem Spaten ins Moor.


Hier in dieser öden Heide,
Ist das Lager aufgebaut;
Wo wir fern von jeder Freude,
Hinter Stacheldraht verstaut.

Wir sind die Moorsoldaten,
Und ziehen mit dem Spaten ins Moor.


Morgens ziehen die Kolonnen,
Durch das Moor zur Arbeit hin;
Graben bei dem Brand der Sonne,
Doch zur Heimat steht der Sinn.

Wir sind die Moorsoldaten,
Und ziehen mit dem Spaten ins Moor.


Heimwärts, heimwärts jeder sehnet,
Zu den Eltern, Weib und Kind;
Manche Brust ein Seufzer dehnet,
Weil wir hier gefangen sind.

Wir sind die Moorsoldaten,
Und ziehen mit dem Spaten ins Moor.


Auf und nieder geh´n die Posten,
Keiner, keiner kann hindurch;
Flucht wird nur das Leben kosten,
Vierfach ist umzäunt die Burg.

Wir sind die Moorsoldaten,
Und ziehen mit dem Spaten ins Moor.


Doch für uns gibt es kein Klagen,
Ewig kann nicht Winter sein,
Einmal werden froh wir sagen:
Heimat du bist wieder mein.

Dann zieh´n die Moorsoldaten,
Nicht mehr mit dem Spaten ins Moor.


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