Siekiera, motyka

Siekiera, motyka (Polish pronunciation: [ɕɛˈkʲɛra mɔˈtɨka], "Axe, Hoe") is a famous Polish Resistance military and street-level protest song from the period of World War II. It became the most popular song of occupied Warsaw, and then, of the entire occupied Poland.[1] The song was inspired by an old humorous folk-tune performed already in 1917 with different and constantly changing lyrics, adapted for the army in a 1938 publication under a different title.[2]


The wartime lyrics of the song were created around August 1942 in Warsaw,[2] by a member of ZWZ Anna Jachnina, young wife of an army captain from before the invasion.[3] It quickly spawned many variants.[1] In 1943 it was published in print by the Polish resistance underground presses, in the Posłuchajcie ludzie... [Listen, folks], book, one of the bibuła publications of Propaganda Commission (Komisja Propagandy) of Armia Krajowa (Home Army).[1][2] The music - and in part the lyrics - was based on an existing melody and the words of older songs.[2]

Performance and influenceEdit

Germans from late 1942 penalized singing of that song (and similar ones), but sung poetry, ballads and other patriotic songs would remain popular in occupied Poland throughout the period. Siekiera, motyka would remain the most popular patriotic, occupation period street song of occupied Poland.[1]

The song tells about the life in occupied Warsaw. A notable theme of the song, particularly strong in some variants, was the description of German practice of łapanka, the street round-ups of random passers-by.[4]

The song was reprinted in several books and discs after the German occupation ended.[2] The song was also featured in a movie Zakazane piosenki (Forbidden Songs) made in Poland in 1946.


Siekiera, motyka
Axe, hoe
Siekiera, motyka, bimber, szklanka, Axe, hoe, moonshine, drinking glass,
w nocy nalot, w dzień łapanka, air raid by night, roundup by day,
siekiera, motyka, światło, prąd, axe, hoe, lights on, power,
kiedyż oni pójdą stąd. when will they get out of here.
Już nie mamy gdzie się skryć, We have no more place to hide,
hycle nam nie dają żyć. dogcatchers don't let us live.
Po ulicach gonią wciąż, they are running through the streets,
patrzą, kogo jeszcze wziąć. looking who else can be snatched.
Siekiera, motyka, piłka, linka, Axe, hoe, hand saw, rope line,
tutaj Prusy, tam Treblinka here's Prussia, there's Treblinka
siekiera, motyka, światło, prąd, axe, hoe, lights on, power,
drałuj, draniu, wreszcie stąd. run, you bastard, away right now.
Siekiera, motyka, styczeń, luty, Axe, hoe, January, February
Hitler z Ducem gubią buty, Hitler and Duce lose their shoes,
siekiera, motyka, linka, drut, axe, hoe, rope line, wire,
już pan malarz jest kaput. Mr. Painter is kaputt.
Siekiera, motyka, piłka, alasz Axe, hoe, hand saw, liqueur
przegrał wojnę głupi malarz, stupid painter lost the war,
siekiera, motyka, piłka, nóż, axe, hoe, hand saw, knife,
przegrał wojnę już, już, już. he lost the war just now, now, now.


  1. ^ a b c d Stanisław Salmonowicz, Polskie Państwo Podziemne, Wydawnictwa Szkolne i Pedagogiczne, Warszawa, 1994, ISBN 83-02-05500-X, p.255
  2. ^ a b c d e (in Polish) "Siekiera, motyka", Biblioteka Polskiej Piosenki 2011. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  3. ^ Hejna, Katarzyna & Sowińska, Hanka (June 28, 2010). "Zabić wojnę śmiechem. Opowieść o Annie Jachninie - autorce słów piosenki "Siekiera, motyka..."". Gazeta Pomorska. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
  4. ^ Instytut Historii (Polska Akademia Nauk), Acta Poloniae Historica, 1983, ISSN 0001-6829 Google Print, p.160

External linksEdit