Lately I have been trying to make an arrangement of some march songs and damn, it’s hard. I was looking for interesting arrangements of march songs when I came upon different versions of The Internationale, one of the most beautiful anthems ever written. The Internationale is the hymn of all the workers of the world, and it a popular song among socialists and communist countries and organizations. No doubt it is one of the most covered songs on the planet. Here are some of the most interesting versions I heard so far.
Arturo Toscanini’s version, banned by the US censors
On 1944, featuring the talents of the NBC Symphony Orchestra, with the Westminister Choir and the great tenor Jan Peerce as soloist, famed Italian conducter and musician Arturo Toscanini conducted a punchy version of the Internationale. It is a tribute to the victory of the Allied forces over fascism. It was actually censored and banned by the US censors and has only re-surfaced quite recently.
Internationale in 51 languages
In keeping with the spirit of internationalism, someone made a version of the song in 51 languages. Check out the Japanese version, the intro sounds like music from an Akira Kurosawa film!
Yes, this is an 8-bit version, in all its simplicity and cuteness.
Tommy Dollar’s Disco Version
I couldn’t fully express how corny and beautiful this version is. Reminds me of the disco Christmas medleys during December and Abba’s “Dancing Queen.”
Hatsune Miku’s bubblegum version
Hatsune Miku’s version straddles the thin line between ‘kawaii’ and surreal in this imaginative rendition, complete with synth presets, vocoder, late 90’s bubblegum pop feel and all. The video adds to the strangeness.
Coco Briaval’s gypsy jazz version
If you are ever into Django Reindhart’s bouncy camp-fire gypsy jazz, you would love Coco Briaval’s virtuoistic yet sincere and fun version.
Tony Babino’s Swing Version
This version can be heard towards the end of Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story.
Utah Phillips & Ani DiFranco’s folk version
Utah “Golden Voice of the Great Southwest” Phillips & Ani DiFranco gave the Internationale a fresh take without making it look ridiculous. Check out this this folk-sounding version and imagine you’re in a prairie in a Steinbeck novel or something.