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Tomorrow Belongs to Me

Posted By Andrew Hamilton On November 11, 2011 @ 11:57 am In North American New Right | 14 Comments

[1]1,659 words

It is fun to trace the process by which “Tomorrow Belongs to Me,” a popular song written by a pair (though not a “couple”) of homosexual Jews for the play and movie Cabaret, was later transformed by Ian Stuart Donaldson (also known as Ian Stuart), lead singer-songwriter of the English white power band Skrewdriver and, later, white nationalist Swedish singer Saga, into positive pro-white covers. Musically, both musicians changed the song substantially as they (independently) reworked it more than once.

Readers desiring background information about Ian Stuart or the pseudonymous Saga should check out two articles on this website, “Skrewdriver” [2] and “Voice of Swedish Nationalism: Saga and Her Music.” [3]

In the present article I have brought together nine interpretations of “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” that are available in audio format online.

In the course of the song’s many alterations by different singers, the lyrics remain essentially constant, but the musical presentations change substantially. Ironically, as I note later, I believe it is the music rather than the lyrics that make the song.

For those with limited interest in the subject, I recommend listening to Saga’s two very different versions, rock (#5) and ballad (#8). If only one, then the ballad, which may be the best recording of the song by any artist. (I like both, though.)

Next, Skrewdriver’s rock version from Hail the New Dawn (#3), since Stuart is responsible for importing the song into the white nationalist musical genre. Saga’s versions were inspired by his initial innovations.

Alex Harvey’s rendition (#9), and the version sung by the original Broadway cast (#2), are also worthwhile. Harvey, a mainstream Scottish pop singer, was not pro-white.

Be aware that the “photo essays” or other imagery accompanying the songs in the video clips were created by the various individuals who posted them, not the performers or producers of the music, or anyone at Counter-Currents.

1972 Movie Version: Cabaret

Songwriter John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb wrote “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.”

For 40 years Kander and Ebb were famous for their stage musicals, though they also scored several movies. Notable Kander-Ebb hits include “All That Jazz,” “Cabaret,” and “New York, New York.”

I’ve never had any inclination to see the movie Cabaret (1972), directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York, and Jewish actor Joel Grey, so it came as a surprise to me that Skrewdriver’s song was a cover of a number from the film.

Cabaret‘s producer, Cy Feuer, was Jewish, as were actively-involved studio heads Manny Wolf and Marty Baum. Filmed on location in Germany, the movie won eight Academy Awards.

Cabaret is classified as “LGBT-related”—lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. It was loosely based upon the 1966 Broadway musical of the same name; both musicals were derived from Englishman Christopher Isherwood’s autobiographical The Berlin Stories (1946) about homosexual life in Weimar Germany during the period of the National Socialist rise to power and John Van Druten’s play I Am a Camera.

1.  “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” beer garden scene from Cabaret (1972)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs5bnVoZK4Q [4] [3:13]

 “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” (film lyrics)

The sun on the meadow is summery warm
The stag in the forest runs free
But gather together to greet the storm
Tomorrow belongs to me

The branch of the linden is leafy and green
The Rhine gives its gold to the sea.
But somewhere a glory awaits unseen
Tomorrow belongs to me

The babe in his cradle is closing his eyes
The blossom embraces the bee
But soon says a whisper:
“Arise, arise”
Tomorrow belongs to me

Oh Fatherland, Fatherland
Show us the sign
Your children have waited to see
The morning will come
When the world is mine

Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs
To me

Oh Fatherland, Fatherland,
Show us the sign
Your children have waited to see
The morning will come
When the world is mine

Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs
To me!

Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs
To me!

Oh Fatherland, Fatherland,
Show us the sign
Your children have waited to see
The morning will come
When the world is mine

Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs
To me!

Tomorrow belongs
To me!

As presented in the film, the song is supposed to be unappealing due to distasteful elements and heavily propagandistic presentation as it proceeds from lyrical innocence to stridency.

The disapproving Michael York and his friend are bisexuals, and the boy singer is essentially homosexualized also.

One could write a short treatise on the manipulative techniques employed by the director, screenwriter, and songwriters to convey disapproval of the singers and their point of view.

The song sounded quite different in the original Broadway musical staged in 1966 by producer-director Hal Prince, with book by Joe Masteroff and music and lyrics by Kander and Ebb (all of whom were Jewish). The play won the Tony for Best Musical and ran for 1,165 performances.

Though designed to achieve the same thematic objectives on stage, the Broadway version is closer in spirit to later white nationalist presentations than is the movie’s.

2. Sung by the original Broadway cast: Cabaret (1966)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aApL1iN5XMs [5]  [2:15]

The photographic images the creator of this video chose to illustrate his upload demonstrate how whites naturally respond to this song. Stuart’s and Saga’s instincts are representative in that regard, though racially explicit rather than implicit.

Covers by Ian Stuart and Saga

Ian Stuart’s introduction of the song to the white power music scene demonstrates his willingness to rework material that struck his fancy from virtually any source. Stuart responded viscerally to something basic or essential, then changed and adapted it for his own purposes.

He radically changed “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” by substituting a driving rock beat for the ballad format of the original—a surprising decision. He also eliminated the song’s sinister, repulsive, anti-white overtones.

3. Skrewdriver, “Tomorrow Belongs to Me,” Hail the New Dawn (1984). Style: Rock

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMwvpfX5BJU&feature=related [6] [2:57]

4. “Tomorrow Belong to Me” [7] [2:34] Skrewdriver, Demo ’83. (Also included on Skrewdriver’s live album, We’ve Got the Power, 1987.) Style: Rock. Very similar to the track from Hail the New Dawn.

Sixteen years later, Saga covered Stuart’s rock and roll version.

5. “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” Saga, My Tribute to Skrewdriver Volume 1 (2000). Style: Rock.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyhQeo5F9Ag&feature=related [8] [3:06]

Stuart recorded two additional performances of the song in modified pop and rockabilly formats on non-Skrewdriver albums.

6. “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” [9] [2:45] Ian Stuart & Stigger, Patriotic Ballads (1991). Style: Pop.

7. “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” [10] [2:41] The Klansmen with Ian Stuart, 44 The Complete Works [release date unknown] (on Disc 1 of 2-disc set). Style: Rockabilly.

Saga’s Ballad Version

On her third Skrewdriver tribute album Saga returned to the number, reworking it completely. She reverted to the original ballad format, employing little more than a piano for accompaniment. In the process she created what is probably the best recording of the song by any artist.

8. “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” Saga, My Tribute to Skrewdriver Volume 3 (2001).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hSpWo50gj0 [11] [3:21]

As an aside, Saga is finishing a new album, and has posted a “sneak peek” (apparently the album’s title track) online: “Impossible Battles” [12] [4:40].

Alex Harvey and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (SAHB)

Finally, mainstream Scottish pop singer Alex Harvey (1935–1982) of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (also known as SAHB) recorded a 1975 ballad version that is surprisingly congruent with white nationalist sensibilities. Although not well-known in the US, Harvey was very popular in Scotland and England.

In a 2004 British documentary, the interviewer stated that it was an “interesting risk” for Harvey to name an entire album after the song, which had “slightly neo-Nazi connotations.” Indeed, Harvey was publicly attacked for harboring such beliefs as a result. (This was a decade before Ian Stuart’s recording.) Mention was also made of the fact that the record industry, even in 1975, was “wary” of his song, and that it was surprising Harvey got away with doing it.

Interviewees sympathetic to Harvey maintained that the recording had nothing to do with Nazi Germany—it was “anti-German.” Harvey, “a life-long pacifist,” “despised Hitler and everything he stood for, and set out to parody and criticize” him (though, obviously, not in this song). He was “obsessed with the image of Hitler and the damage he had done to the Western world, and he constantly revisited that subject.”

However, this song was “so pure and beautiful” that Harvey wanted to do it.

It is obvious from the delicate handling of the topic in the documentary that Harvey’s recording still set the censorship-minded Establishment on edge 30 years after he’d made it. But it is also true that the singer changed a few key lyrics, subtly shifting the meaning away from its nationalist context.

9. “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” [13] [3:47] Alex Harvey and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Tomorrow Belongs to Me (1975).

Music versus Lyrics

In my estimation, the music in the song is better than the lyrics, which are somewhat tepid for a nationalist anthem—not bad, but not great, either. I say this despite the fact that the lyrics remain essentially unchanged across the various recordings, while the music changes significantly. Indeed, the various musical interpretations are extremely wide-ranging.

A 2006 New York Times profile of songwriter John Kander, entitled “Kander Without Ebb?,” [14] I believe reinforces my instinct. Although the article makes no mention of “Tomorrow Belongs to Me,” it does explain the psychological and personality differences between the two.

Essentially, John Kander, the music writer, sounds a lot more “white” than lyricist Fred Ebb. (As noted previously, they were both Jewish.) This distinction extends even to physical appearance: based upon photographs, I would not take Kander for a Jew, or mistake Ebb for white.

“Tomorrow Belongs to Me” clearly possesses the power to positively move white listeners. This “failure” (from the songwriters’ point of view) is probably due more to Kander than to Ebb, although the forceful, evocative, oft-repeated refrain “tomorrow belongs to me” is certainly a contributing factor.

Ian Stuart’s and Saga’s interpretations of “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” might be characterized as reverse engineering, or even reverse culture distortion: a song by Jews intended to convey an anti-white message has been transmuted into an explicitly pro-white anthem.


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URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/11/tomorrow-belongs-to-me/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/tomorrow-belongs-to-me-copy.jpg

[2] “Skrewdriver”: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/09/skrewdriver/

[3] “Voice of Swedish Nationalism: Saga and Her Music.”: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/09/saga-and-her-music/

[4] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs5bnVoZK4Q: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs5bnVoZK4Q

[5] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aApL1iN5XMs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aApL1iN5XMs

[6] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMwvpfX5BJU&feature=related: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMwvpfX5BJU&feature=related

[7] “Tomorrow Belong to Me”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdG44BrJQsc&feature=related

[8] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyhQeo5F9Ag&feature=related: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyhQeo5F9Ag&feature=related

[9] “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr_6vZ3N7JM

[10] “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NjkDv641PI

[11] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hSpWo50gj0: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hSpWo50gj0

[12] “Impossible Battles”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CjF5B8KqP4&feature=related

[13] “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ochPvx1xGMs

[14] “Kander Without Ebb?,”: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/27/theater/27gree.html?pagewanted=all

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