- This article is about the anthem "La Marseillaise". A sculpture popularly called "La Marseillaise" is part of the sculptural programme of the Arc de Triomphe.
"La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of France.
"La Marseillaise" is a song written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle at Strasbourg on April 25, 1792. Its original name is "Chant de guerre de l'Armée du Rhin" ("Marching Song of the Rhine Army). It became the rallying call of the French Revolution and was so-called because it was first sung on the streets by troops (fédérés) from Marseille upon their arrival in Paris.
Now the national anthem of France, it was in its earliest years the anthem of the international revolutionary movement. After the rise of centralized Communism, the song was largely replaced by "The Internationale" as the unifying song of the international Left. It was the anthem of the Paris Commune. Because great numbers of people on the left around the world, particularly anarchists took inspiration from the Commune, it became an international symbol of leftism. For instance, in Chicago the Haymarket Martyrs went to the deaths singing the song. In 1917, after the collapse of the tsarist regime "La Marseillaise" became the national anthem of Russia, the Russian lyrics ("Otrechemsya ot starogo mira") being very different from the French lyrics. It was soon replaced with "The Internationale" by the Bolsheviks.
The song was banned in Vichy France and German occupied areas during World War II and singing it was an act of resistance (see also Chant des Partisans).
"La Marseillaise" was re-arranged by Hector Berlioz around 1830.
In France itself, the anthem (and particularly the lyrics) has become a somewhat controversial issue since the 1970s. Some consider it militaristic and xenophobic, and many propositions have been made to change the anthem or the lyrics. However, "La Marseillaise" has been associated throughout history with the French Republic and its values, making a change unlikely.
Recently, and despite the lyrics, it was largely sung by anti-racist protesters after the accession of Jean-Marie Le Pen to the second turn of presidential election in 2002.
The song was part of a famous scene in the film Casablanca in which French resistance sympathizers used the song to drown out the Nazi soldiers who were singing "Die Wacht am Rhein". These two songs were juxtaposed in exactly the same way five years earlier, in Jean Renoir's 1937 film Grand Illusion.
There are various versions of the music. Sheet music can be found at . An official version from the website of the French President can be accessed as a RealAudio File (116 KB), Wave File (660 KB), or Marseillaise.mid.
Note only the first verse (and sometimes the 6th and 7th) and the first chorus are sung nowadays in France.
- Allons enfants de la Patrie,
- Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
- Contre nous de la tyrannie,
- L'étendard sanglant est levé, (bis)
- Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
- Mugir ces féroces soldats?
- Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
- Egorger vos fils et vos compagnes!
- Aux armes, citoyens,
- Formez vos batallions,
- Marchons, marchons!
- Qu'un sang impur
- Abreuve nos sillons!
- Que veut cette horde d'esclaves
- De traîtres, de rois conjurés?
- Pour qui ces ignobles entraves
- Ces fers dès longtemps préparés? (bis)
- Français, pour nous, ah! quel outrage
- Quels transports il doit exciter?
- C'est nous qu'on ose méditer
- De rendre à l'antique esclavage!
- Quoi ces cohortes étrangères!
- Feraient la loi dans nos foyers!
- Quoi ! ces phalanges mercenaires
- Terrasseraient nos fils guerriers! (bis)
- Grand Dieu ! par des mains enchaînées
- Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient
- De vils despotes deviendraient
- Les maîtres des destinées.
- Tremblez, tyrans et vous perfides
- L'opprobre de tous les partis
- Tremblez ! vos projets parricides
- Vont enfin recevoir leurs prix! (bis)
- Tout est soldat pour vous combattre
- S'ils tombent, nos jeunes héros
- La France en produit de nouveaux,
- Contre vous tout prêts à se battre
- Français, en guerriers magnanimes
- Portez ou retenez vos coups!
- Épargnez ces tristes victimes
- A regret s'armant contre nous (bis)
- Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,
- Mais ces complices de Bouillé
- Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié
- Déchirent le sein de leur mère!
- Amour sacré de la Patrie,
- Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs
- Liberté, Liberté chérie,
- Combats avec tes défenseurs! (bis)
- Sous nos drapeaux que la victoire
- Accoure à tes mâles accents,
- Que tes ennemis expirants
- Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire!
- Nous entrerons dans la carrière
- Quand nos aînés n'y seront plus,
- Nous y trouverons leur poussière
- Et la trace de leurs vertus (bis)
- Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
- Que de partager leur cercueil,
- Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
- De les venger ou de les suivre!
- 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 your midst
- To cut the throats of your sons and your wives
- To arms, citizens!
- Form your battalions!
- March, march
- Let the impure blood (of our enemies)
- Soak the furrows (of our fields)
- 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 us 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 heroes
- 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
- That they regret taking up arms against us
- But not these bloody despots
These accomplices of Bouillé
- All these tigers who mercilessly
- Ripped out their mothers' wombs
- Drive on sacred patriotism
- Support our avenging arms
- Liberty, cherished liberty
- Join the struggle with your defenders
- Under our flags, let victory
- Hurry to your manly tone
- So that in death your enemies
- See your triumph and our glory!
- We shall enter into the career
- 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
Official French government sites
Last updated: 05-07-2005 14:15:11
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04