Written in the Vilna ghetto by Hirsh Glick it was the experience of hearing this song sung by a group of Jewish socialists led by David Rosenberg over one of the ruined Crematoria at Auschwitz which inspired me to try putting it on banjo. David and I changed the words very slightly and Rachel Weston is the featured singer.
Never say the final journey is at hand
Never say we can’t live equal in this land,
The longed-for hour shall come, oh never fear!
Our tread drums forth the tidings – we are here!
From land of palm-tree to the far-off land of snow,
We shall be coming with our torment and our woe.
And everywhere our blood has sunk into the earth,
Shall our bravery, our vigor blossom forth!
We’ll have the morning sun to set our day aglow,
And all our yesterdays shall vanish with the foe,
And if the time is long before the sun appears,
Then let this song go like a signal through the years.
This song was written with our blood and not with lead;
It’s not a song that birds sing overhead,
It was a people, among toppling barricades,
That sang this song of ours with pistols and grenades.
So never say that there is only death for you.
Leaden skies may be concealing days of blue –
Because the hour we have hungered for is near;
Beneath our tread the earth shall tremble: We are here!