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Bertolt Brecht: War Song


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Bertolt Brecht: Selections on war


Bertolt Brecht
From Threepenny Novel (1934)
Translated by Christopher Isherwood



And now they’re off to the war
And they all need cartridges badly
And of course there are plenty of nice kind people
Who’ll find them the cartridges gladly
“No ammunition, no war!
Leave that to us, my sons!
You go to the front and fight,
We’ll make you ammunition and guns.”

And they made ammunition in piles
And there wasn’t a war to be found
And of course there were plenty of nice kind people
Who conjured one out of the ground.
“Off you go, dear boy, to the front!
For they threaten your native sod
March, for your mothers and sisters,
For your King and for your God!”

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