1934 – 17th segment: Workers, Let's Go (Hej rup!)

Photo: Supraphon

In this series we introduce 100 songs that have gone down in the history of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. Vote in the big poll of the 100 Hits of the Republic and pick the greatest hit today. We continue with the year 1934.


On January 3rd, 142 miners died as a result of an explosion in the Nelson III coal mine in Osek near Duchcov, in Northern Bohemia.

On May 24th, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk was elected for the fourth time as the President of the Czechoslovak Republic.

On June 30th, the so-called “Night of the Long Knives” took place in Germany, a "purge" against Nazi party members who were seen as a direct threat to Hitler's power.

The year 1934 brought two great hits. The first was the publication of Vejvoda's polka “Wasted Love.” Although it was well-received domestically, its airing around the world did not begin until much later. Along with other songs of the Allied Armies, it returned to us long after the end of World War II and we will come back to it in our series later. So what is the other big hit from 1934?

It is a marching song from the repertoire of the Liberated Theatre from the play, “The Executioner and the Fool.” Soon after, the song title was adopted by the whole film trio of Voskovec, Werich and Ježek: it is the key to “Workers, Let's Go.”

Photo: Supraphon
Marching songs were popular and the high levels of unemployment at the time filled it with a new relevant message. This message caused the song to spread throughout all layers of society. “Workers, Let's Go” became a spontaneous expression of civic-democratic perspectives and unlike the dogmatic attempts of communist song-writers, it became universally promoted among Czech youth.

To this day, the song “Workers, Let's Go” remains as an evergreen in Czech music.