Whirlwinds of Danger, Warszawianka, is a Polish socialist revolutionary song written sometime between 1879 and 1883. The Polish title, a deliberate reference to the earlier song by the same title, could be translated as either “The Song of Warsaw” or “the lady of Warsaw”. To distinguish between the two, it is often called “Warszawianka 1905 roku”, after the song became the anthem of worker protests during the Revolution in the Kingdom of Poland (1905–1907), when 30 workers were shot during the May Day demonstrations in Warsaw in 1905.
According to one version, Wacław Święcicki wrote the song in 1879 while serving a sentence in the Tenth Pavilion of the Warsaw Citadel for socialist activity. Another popular version has it written in 1883, immediately upon Święcicki’s return from exile in Siberia. By the beginning of the next decade, the song became one of the most popular revolutionary anthems in Russian-held Poland. The music was written by composer Józef Pławiński, who was imprisoned together with Święcicki, based partially on the January Uprising song “Marsz Żuawów”.
Let us raise boldly our banner,
Even though a storm of hostile elements is howling
Even though sinister forces oppress us today,
Even though everybody’s tomorrow is uncertain.
Oh, this is the banner of the whole mankind,
The sacred call, the song of resurrection,
It’s the triumph of labor and justice,
It’s the dawn of the brotherhood of all peoples!
To the bloody fight,
Sacred and righteous!
March, march, Warsaw!