[Home Page [Programme [Songs [Performances [Links]

Sea Green Singers - Ils sont venus - First they came for

Martin Niemoller was a Protestant pastor and head of the anti-Nazi Confessing Church. Arrested for 'malicious attacks against the state', he spent seven years in the Dachau and Sachsenhausen Released in 1945 by the Allies.

Ils sont venus - Martin Niemoller - Les Joyeux Mutins (Lille)

Le chorale se divise en 5 ou plus groupes. Chaque couplet est une demi-tone plus haut. Alors la limite sur le nombre de groupes est le voix des chanteurs. Tout chorale chante couplet A. A la fin de leur couplet chaque group tourne le dos au spectateurs est ne chante plus. A la fin toute le chorale sauf le solo a le dos vers les spectateurs et ne chante pas. Apres le sole chaque groupe tourne en face des spectateurs une apres l'autres pour reprendre le refrain 'Pour dire quelques choses'. Tous crie fort le derniere ligne 'pour faire quelques choses'

Ils sont venus, Je n’ai rien dit……(repete - sop)

Group 1
Quand ils sont venus chercher les communists
Je n’ai rien dit, je n’etais pas communiste x2

Group 2
Quand ils sont venus chercher les syndicalistes
Je n’ai rien dit, je n’etais pas syndicalist x2

Group 3
Quand ils sont venus chercher les juifs
Je n’ai rien dit, je n’etais pas juifs x2

Group 4
Quand ils sont venus chercher les homosexual
Je n’ai rien dit, je n’etais pas homosexual x2

Groupe finale
Quand ils sont venus chercher les roms
Je n’ai rien dit, je n’etais pas roms
Quand ils sont venus chercher les roms
Je n’ai rien dit, je n’etais pas ......
Je n'ai rien dit

Solo
Puis ils sont venus me chercher
Ils ne restait plus personne

Group 1
Pour dire quelques choses,

Group 1 plus group 2
Pour dire quelques choses,

Group 1, 2, 3
Pour dire quelques choses,

Etc de plus en plus fort
Pour dire quelques choses,

Tout les groupes ensemble crie tres fort
Pour faire quelques choses

First they came for - Martin Niemoller

The choir divides into the number of voices which their voice range permits as each verse rises by one semi-tone. Everyone sings the first verse then group 1 turns their back to the audience and stop singing. By verse 5 only they are singing. At the solo only he/she faces the audience. The groups then turn 1 by 1 to face the audience as they start singing 'To say something'. All shout final line 'To do something'.

If you look at the movie you can see the groups turning back to face the audience at the end of the song. This was a record of the first development rehearsal and the turns were much slicker in the final production.
Note: the English words used in the subtitles and shown below in brackets are not translations but suggestions for a performance in the UK for which there are to be only 4 verses.

Sop continually sing above the groups
When they came around, I didn't say a word.

Group 1
When they came around, they wanted communists
[they wanted all the jews]
I didnt say a word, I wasnt communist [a jew] x2

Group 2

When they came around, for trade unionists
I didnt say a word, I wasnt in a union x2

Group 3
When they came around, they wanted all the jews
[they wanted muslims]
I didnt say a word, I wasnt a jew [muslim] x2

Group 4
When they came around, for homosexuals
[for demonstrators]
I didnt say a word, I wasnt homosexual
[I didn't demonstrate] x2

Last group
When they came around, they wanted gypsies
I didnt say a word, I wasnt a gypsy

Solo
Then they came round looking for me
There was nobody left x2

Groups 1 turns to face audience and sings:
To say anything, to say anything...

Groups turn and join in one after the other

To say anything, to say anything...

Everybody shouts
To do anything

To see the movie with English subtitles using different groups (for discussion) click on image below:



Original poem

In Germany, they first came for the communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist
Then they came for the Catholics
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic.
Then they came for me --
and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.