Happy International Workers Day!

by Macarena Marey on May 1, 2023

I just wanted to wish you all a happy international workers day and leave you this 1901 tango as a gift. In honour of all the workers everywhere who fought and fight for our right to a dignified existence and our right to be lazy!

I translate the recited introduction and the lyrics:

“Tango also had anarchist lyrics that were sung at the typical picnics that the anarchists organised on the Maciel Island”. (The text is by Osvaldo Bayer, and Héctor Alterio reads it).

The lyrics:

War to the bourgeoisie
Without distinction of colour
They suck the poor worker’s
human blood.
While some sweat their guts out
By working day and night
Others spend their lives nonstop
lazing around.

It is a duty
Fair and loyal
That the people fight for their existence.

You will see that the one who works the most
Does not have even what to eat
And those who do nothing
Enjoy with no restrictions
And those who do nothing
Enjoy with no restrictions.

Since our right to life
That great rival takes away
Workers, have consciousness!
And war to the god Capital
Workers, have consciousness!
And war to the god Capital.

Anarchists from the early twentieth century left many legacies in Argentina’s working classes and in general in our culture. On August 4th, 1887, anarchists Enrico Malatesta and Ettore Mattei founded the Cosmopolitan Society for the Resistance and Placement of Bakery Workers. This anarchist workers’ organisation was one of the first most combative unions in Argentina. As one of their methods of struggle, besides manifestations and strikes, backers named pastries with words that mocked the police, the army, and the church: “vigilantes” (wards, policemen),“cañoncitos” (little cannons), “bombas” (bombs), “sacramentos” (sacraments), “bolas de fraile” (friar’s balls), “suspiros de monja” (nun’s whispers). (All of them are delicious). This is how we called pastries even today. By the way, our word for “pastries” is “facturas”, which also means bills, invoices.



John Q 05.01.23 at 7:07 pm

Thanks! I started a May Day post, but didn’t get it done in time.


Macarena Marey 05.01.23 at 7:27 pm

Oh! I want to read it, will you post it?

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