La Marseillaise

from BBC

Composed April 24, 1792 during the French Revolution by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle at Strasbourg and played at a patriotic banquet at Marseilles, distributed to the revolutionary forces that entered Paris July 30 singing the song. It was originally entitled Chant de Guerre pour l'armee du Rhin, "War Song of the Army of the Rhine," but soon was called "La Marseillaise" because of its popularity with soldiers from Marseilles. It was banned by Napoleon in 1799 and by Louis XVIII in the Second Restoration 1815 because of its revolutionary associations, restored after the July Revolution of 1830 but again banned by Napoleon III and not reinstated until 1879. It was banned by the Vichy government in 1940, but sung by Charles de Gaulle at the liberation of Paris in 1944, and made the official national anthem in the constitution of the Fourth Republic in 1946 and the Fifth Republic in 1958

English version:

Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts


To arms citizens
Form you battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows


What do they want this horde of slaves
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?
For whom these vile chains
These long-prepared irons?
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What methods must be taken?
It is we they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!


What! These foreign cohorts!
They would make laws in our courts!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would cut down our warrior sons
Good Lord! By chained hands
Our brow would yield under the yoke
The vile despots would have themselves be
The masters of destiny


Tremble, tyrants and traitors
The shame of all good men
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will receive their just reward
Against you we are all soldiers
If they fall, our young heros
France will bear new ones
Ready to join the fight against you


Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors
Bear or hold back your blows
Spare these sad victims
Who with regret are taking up arms against us
But not these bloody despots
These accomplices of Bouill
All these tigers who pitilessly
Are ripping open their mothers' breasts (womb)


Sacred Love for the Fatherland
Lead and support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished liberty
Join the struggle with your defenders
Under our flags, let victory
hasten to you virile (or manly) force
So that in death your enemies
See your triumph and our glory!


We shall enter into the pit
When our elders will no longer be there
There we shall find their ashes
And the mark of their virtues
We are much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them

French version

Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arriv !
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
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