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DISSIDENT ARTS - NEW MASSES MEDIA: Listen

Viva La Quince Brigade

(The Flames Of Discontent)
March 10, 2007
Bart Van Der Schelling, based on a traditional theme (arr-Flames)
This recording is the showcase selection from our latest CD, 'Revenge of the Atom Spies'. Viva La Qunice Brigade is one of the great anthems of the Spanish Civil War, the war between freedom fighters of the Spanish Republic and the fascist regime of Franco. Though Franco's army was financed and supplemented by Hitler and Mussolini, the Spanish were unable to secure support from democracies in America or Europe. Those governments instead remained neutral while big businesses maintained regular trade with the young fascist governments. Brave soldiers of local militias fought intensive battles alone against the well-financed fascist marauders. Finally, a series of international volunteers, largely comprised of communists and socialists (the first victims of fascists), were dispatched to aid the militias. None of these troops were officially sent by any country, in fact many governments deemed it illegal for a would-be soldier to join in, so the International Brigade--the 15th Brigade--was an army with no boundaries. US citizens involved in it were part of the Abraham Lincoln Battallion.

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This song, Viva La Quince Brigade was written by Bart Van Der Schelling, a musician, activist and member of the Dutch segment of the International. It addresses the plight of the Spanish militias in light of the frightening take-over of their land by a fascist dictator. Our recording of it opens with guest percussionist Rafael Figueroa singing the intro in Spanish, accompanied by John Pietaro's acoustic guitar. Once the tune proper begins, John is singing lead in an English translation, accompanied by his own solid-body electric banjo, Figueroa's frantic congas and Laurie Towers' powerful lead electric bass, including a searing distorted solo midway through. The song was composed in the late 1930s, during the time of the United States' second Red Scare. Our nation's reactionaries developed this invoked paranoia and repression in response to then-President Roosevelt's social reforms. The great irony is that the Left were alone in the fight against the fascists at this point. Had the democratic governments engaged in this war against dictatorship, the nazi and fascist governments in Germany, Japan and Italy may never have grown so powerful in such a short time....thus ending World War 2 before so many had to die.
Viva La Quince Brigade/Rumbala, rumbala, rumbla/
Viva La Quince Brigade/Rumbala, rumbala, rumbala/Che se a cubuerto de gloria/ay Manuela, ay Manuela...
.........

Long live our fifteenth brigade/rumbala, rumbala, rumbala/
Long live our fifteenth brigade/rumbala, rumbala, rumbala/
For her name is grand and glorious/ay Manuela, ay Manuela!/
For her name is grand and glorious/ay Manuela, ay Manuela...

We have only one desire/rumbala, rumbala, rumbala/
We have only one desire/rumbala, rumbala, rumbala/
Forever end the fascist terror/ay Manuela, ay Manuela!/
Forever end the fascist terror/ay Manuela, ay Manuela!

At Jarama we are standing/rumbala, rumbala, rumbala/
At Jarama we're still standing/rumbala, rumbala, rumbala/
And we have no planes above us/not a tank/not any cannon/ay Manuela/ay Manuela!
And we have no planes above us/not a tank/not any cannon/ay Manuela/ay Manuela...

We have left the Spanish trenches/rumbala, rumbala, rumbala/
We have left the Spanish trenches/rumbala, rumbala, rumbala/
To fight the fascist where we find them/ay Manuela/ay Manuela!
To fight the fascist where we find them/ay Manuela/ay Manuela...