La Marseillaise

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« La Marseillaise »
English: The Marseillaise
The Marseillais volunteers departing, sculpted on the Arc de Triomphe

National anthem of  France
Also known as« Chant de Guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin » (English: "War song for the Army of the Rhine")
LyricsClaude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, 1792
MusicClaude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Adopted14 July 1795
Readopted1870
Relinquished1799
Audio sample
"La Marseillaise" (instrumental)

"The Marseillaise" (say: mar-say-YEZ) is the national anthem of France. The song was made by Rouget de Lisle in Strasbourg on 26 April 1792, after France declared war against Austria. It was first called "Chant de guerre pour l'armée du Rhin" (meaning "Marching Song of the Rhine Army").

It was first adopted in 1795 as the national anthem of the French First Republic by the French National Convention.

History[change | change source]

La Marseillaise (1907).

As the French Revolution roared on, monarchies from countries next to France grew worried that the ruckus would come into their territories. To stop the French Revolution from spreading, the War of the First Coalition began, in which Coalition armies invaded France. On 25 April 1792, Strasbourg mayor Baron Philippe-Frédéric de Dietrich asked his freemason guest Rouget de Lisle to compose a song "that will rally our soldiers from all over to defend their homeland that is under threat."[1][2] That evening, Rouget de Lisle wrote "Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin,"[3] which he dedicated to Baravian Marshal Nicolas Luckner.[4][5] De Dietrich was executed, however, the next year during the Reign of Terror.[6]

The tune of the song became an "anthem" for the French Revolution. The name of the song was then changed to the title "La Marseillaise", after it was first sung on the streets by volunteers from the city of Marseille at the end of May. They were entering the capital city of Paris on 30 July 1792, and troops adopted it as the marching song of the National Guard of Marseille.[3][7]

"La Marseillaise" is France's first ever anthem and was accepted as the French national anthem by the National Convention on 14 July 1795.[8] It later lost its status under Napoleon I, and the song was banned by Louis XVIII and Charles X. It regained its status as national anthem right after the July Revolution of 1830.[9] During Napoleon I's reign, "Veillons au salut de l'Empire" (meaning "Let's Ensure the Salvation of the Empire") was the unofficial anthem of his reign, and under Napoleon III's control, it was "Partant pour la Syrie" (meaning "Leaving for Syria"). Eventually, the French government brought back "La Marseillaise" to try to spread patriotism to the French people during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. A year later, after that war ended, "La Marseillaise" was adopted by the Paris Commune, although it had new lyrics under the title "La marseillaise de la Commune" (meaning "The Marseillaise of the Commune"). Eight years later, in 1879, it was one again the national anthem of France, and has remained so ever since.[9]

Lyrics[change | change source]

The lyrics mention about the time when France was being invaded by Prussia and Austria, while it was written. The city of Strasbourg in eastern France was attacked a few days later. The invading forces were kicked out of France following their defeat in the Battle of Valmy. As the majority of Alsatians did not speak French, a German version titled "Auf, Brüder, auf dem Tag entgegen" was published in October 1792 in Colmar.[10]

Only the first stanza (and sometimes the fourth and sixth) and the first chorus are sung today in France. There are some slight historical variations in the words of the song; the following is the version listed at the official website of the French presidency.[11]

Original lyrics[change | change source]

Words of the song in French English Transliteration Pronunciation of these words using the IPA Words of the song in English[12]

Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
𝄆 L'étendard sanglant est levé, 𝄇
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes !

Refrain:
Aux armes, citoyens,
Formez vos bataillons,
Marchez, marchez !
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons !

Aux armes, citoyens,
Formez vos bataillons,
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 ? 𝄇
Français, pour nous, ah ! quel outrage
Quels transports il doit exciter !
C'est nous qu'on ose méditer
De rendre à l'antique esclavage !

Refrain

Quoi ! des cohortes étrangères
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers !
Quoi ! Ces phalanges mercenaires
𝄆 Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers ! 𝄇
Grand Dieu! Par des mains enchaînées
Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres de nos destinées !

Refrain

Tremblez, tyrans et vous perfides
L'opprobre de tous les partis,
Tremblez ! vos projets parricides
𝄆 Vont enfin recevoir leurs prix ! 𝄇
Tout est soldat pour vous combattre,
S'ils tombent, nos jeunes héros,
La terre en produit de nouveaux,
Contre vous tout prêts à se battre!

Refrain

Français, en guerriers magnanimes,
Portez ou retenez vos coups !
Épargnez ces tristes victimes,
𝄆 À regret s'armant contre nous. 𝄇
Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,
Mais ces complices de Bouillé,
Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié,
Déchirent le sein de leur mère !

Refrain

Amour sacré de la Patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs
Liberté, Liberté chérie,
𝄆 Combats avec tes défenseurs ! 𝄇
Sous nos drapeaux que la victoire
Accoure à tes mâles accents,
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire !

Refrain

Aloz afa doe la Patrioe,
Loe zhur doe glwar et arive !
Kotroe nu doe la tiranioe
𝄆 Letadar saglat e loeve, 𝄇
Atade vu da le kapañoe
Muezhir se ferosoe solda ?
Il vyenoe zhueskoe da vo bra
Egorzhe vo fil, vo kopañoe !

Roefre:
Oz armoe, sitwaye,
Forme vo batayo,
Marshe, marshe !
Koe sag epuer
Abroevoe no siyo !

Oz armoe, sitwaye,
Forme vo batayo,
Marsho, marsho !
Koe sag epuer
Abroevoe no siyo !

Koe voe setoe ordoe desklavoe,
Doe tretroe, doe rwa kozhuere ?
Pur ki sez iñobloez atravoe,
𝄆 Se fer de logta prepare ? 𝄇
Frase, pur nu, a ! kel utrazhoe
Kel trasporz il dwat eksite !
Se nu kon ozoe medite
Doe radr a latik esklavazhoe !

Roefre

Kwa ! de koortoez etrazheroe
Foere la lwa da no fwaye !
Kwa ! se palazhoe mersoeneroe
𝄆 Terasoere no fye gerye ! 𝄇
Gra Dyoe ! Par de mezz asheneoe
No fro su loe zhu soe plwaere
Doe vil despotoe doevyadre
Le metroe doe no destineoe !

Roefre

Trable, tiraz e vu perfidoe
Loprobroe doe tu le parti,
Trable ! vo prozhe parisidoe
𝄆 Vot afe roeseovwar loer pri ! 𝄇
Tut e solda pur vu kobatroe,
Sil toboe, no zhoenoez ero,
La ter apro dwi doe nuvo,
Kotroe vu tu prez a soe batroe!

Roefre

Frase, a gerye mañanimoe,
Portez u roetoene vo ku !
Epar ñe se tristoe viktimoe,
𝄆 A roegre sarma kotroenu. 𝄇
Me se despotoe sagineroe,
Me se koplisoe doe bwiye,
Tu se tigroe ki, sa pitye,
Deshiroe loe se doe loer meroe !

Roefre

Amur sakre doe la Patrioe,
Kodwi, sutye no bra vazhoer
Liberte, Liberte shirioe,
𝄆 Kobaz avek te de fa soer ! 𝄇
Su no drapo koe la viktwaroe
Akur a te maloez aka,
Koe tez enoemiz ekspira
Vwa to triope notroe glwaroe !

Refrain

[a.lõ.z‿ɑ̃.fɑ̃ də la pa.tʁi.ə]
[lə ʒuʁ də glwaʁ ɛ.t‿a.ʁi.ve]
[kõ.tʁə nu də la ti.ʁa.ni.ə]
𝄆 [le.tɑ̃.daʁ sɑ̃.glɑ̃.t‿ɛ lə.ve] 𝄇
[ɑ̃.tɑ̃.de vu dɑ̃ le kɑ̃.pa.ɲə]
[my.ʒiʁ se fe.ʁɔ.sə sɔl.da]
[il vjɛ.nə ʒys.kə dɑ̃ vo bʁa]
[e.gɔʁ.ʒe vo fil vo kõ.pa.ɲə]

[ʁə.fʁɛ̃]:
[o.z‿aʁ.mə si.twa.jɛ̃]
[fɔʁ.me vo ba.ta.jõ]
[maʁ.ʃe maʁ.ʃe]
[kœ̃ sɑ̃.g‿ɛ̃.pyʁ]
[a.bʁœ.və no si.jõ]

[o.z‿aʁ.mə si.twa.jɛ̃]
[fɔʁ.me vo ba.ta.jõ]
[maʁ.ʃõ maʁ.ʃõ]
[kœ̃ sɑ̃.g‿ɛ̃.pyʁ]
[a.bʁœ.və no si.jõ]

[kə vø sɛ.tə ɔʁ.də dɛs.kla.və]
[də tʁɛ.tʁə də ʁwa kõ.ʒy.ʁe]
[puʁ ki se.z‿i.ɲɔ.blə.z‿ɑ̃.tʁa.və]
𝄆 [se fεʁ de lõg.tɑ̃ pʁe.pa.ʁe] 𝄇
[fʁɑ̃.sɛ puʁ nu a kɛl u.tʁa.ʒə]
[kɛl tʁɑ̃s.pɔʁ.z‿il dwa.t‿ɛk.si.te]
[sɛ nu kõ.n‿o.zə me.di.te]
[də ʁɑ̃.dʁ‿a lɑ̃.tik ɛs.kla.va.ʒə]

[ʁə.fʁɛ̃]

[kwa de ko.ɔʁ.tə.z‿e.tʁɑ̃.ʒɛ.ʁə]
[fə.ʁe la lwa dɑ̃ no fwa.je]
[kwa se pa.lɑ̃.ʒə mɛʁ.sə.nɛ.ʁə]
𝄆 [tɛ.ʁa.sə.ʁe no fje gɛ.ʁje] 𝄇
[gʁɑ̃ djø paʁ de mɛ̃.z‿ɑ̃.ʃ(e).ne.ə]
[no fʁõ su lə ʒu sə plwa.ɛ.ʁe]
[də vil dɛs.pɔ.tə də.vjɑ̃.dʁe]
[le mɛ.tʁə də no dɛs.ti.ne.ə]

[ʁə.fʁɛ̃]

[tʁɑ̃.ble ti.ʁɑ̃.z‿e vu pɛʁ.fi.də]
[lɔ.pʁɔ.bʁə də tu le paʁ.ti]
[tʁɑ̃.ble vo pʁɔ.ʒe pa.ʁi.si.də]
𝄆 [võ.t‿ɑ̃.fɛ̃ ʁə.sə.vwaʁ lœʁ pʁi] 𝄇
[tu.t‿ɛ sɔl.da puʁ vu kõ.ba.tʁə]
[sil tõ.bə no ʒœ.nə.z‿e.ʁo]
[la tɛ.ʁ‿ɑ̃ pʁɔ.dɥi də nu.vo]
[kõ.tʁə vu tu pʁɛ.z‿a sə ba.tʁə]

[ʁə.fʁɛ̃]

[fʁɑ̃.sɛ ɑ̃ gɛ.ʁje ma.ɲa.ni.mə]
[pɔʁ.te.z‿u ʁə.tə.ne vo ku]
[e.paʁ.ɲe se tʁis.tə vik.ti.mə]
𝄆 [a ʁə.gʁe saʁ.mɑ̃ kõ.tʁə nu] 𝄇
[me.se dɛs.pɔ.tə sɑ̃.gi.nɛ.ʁə]
[me.se kõ.pli.sə də bwi.je]
[tu.se ti.gʁə ki sɑ̃ pi.tje]
[de.ʃi.ʁə lə sɛ̃ də lœʁ mɛ.ʁə]

[ʁə.fʁɛ̃]

[a.muʁ sa.kʁe də la pa.tʁi.ə]
[kõ.dɥi su.tjɛ̃ no bʁa vɑ̃.ʒœʁ]
[li.bɛʁ.te li.bɛʁ.te ʃe.ʁi.ə]
𝄆 [kõ.ba.z‿a.vɛk te de.fɑ̃.sœʁ] 𝄇
[su no dʁa.po kə la vik.twa.ʁə]
[a.kuʁ a.te mɑ.lə.z‿a.kɑ̃]
[kə.te.z‿ɛ.nə.mi.z‿ɛks.pi.ʁɑ̃]
[vwa tõ tʁi.õ.pe nɔ.tʁə glwa.ʁə]

Refrain

Let’s go, children of the Motherland
The day of glory has arrived!
All the tyranny are against us
Their blood-spattered banners arise
Can you hear now out in the country
Their blood-thirsty soldiers ablare?
They’re coming right into your hands
To cut throats to sons of yours, your women!

Chorus:
To arms, compatriots
Form up your battle corps
March on, march on!
Let blood impure
Onto our furrows pour!

To arms, compatriots
Form up your battle corps
March on, march on!
Let blood impure
Onto our furrows pour!
 
What do they want, this horde of slaves
Of traitors and king conjurors?
For who are these ignoble vile chain
Balls and chain have long been prepared?
French people, ah, for us! A disgrace!
What outburst it must then arouse!
It’s us they dare to conspire
To drag back to stagnant slavery old days!
 
Chorus
 
How can it be that foreign cohorts
Would be the law in our lands!
How come that mercenary soldiers
𝄆 Would shoot at our rebellious lads! 𝄇
Great God of Mine! With those chained hands
We’d yield ourselves to the yoke
Vile despots would have us provoked
To make them the rulers of our fortune!
 
Chorus
 
Shake over, tyrants and you, traitors-
Disgrace to all parts of the earth.
Fear, your vile schemes parricidal
𝄆 Will at last get what they’re worth! 𝄇
All here are for a great combat
If our young heroes die
Our land will give us other ones
Ready to put up a fight against you!
 
Chorus
 
French people in majestic battle force,
Stand up to and then return the blows!
Spare all those victimized soldiers
𝄆 Who regret fighting against us 𝄇
But spare none of bloody despots
No pity on Bouillé’s satraps
Those tigers without any qualm
Would rip open their mother’s bosom!
 
Chorus
 
The sacred love to our Motherland,
Lead and support our avenging arms
Liberty, Liberty, our Dear
𝄆 Come on fight by your defenders’ side! 𝄇
Under our flags and victory
Will haste to our courageous men
And dying foes will have to face
All your triumph and all of our glory!
 
Chorus

Children's verse (1792)
French IPA transcription English translation[13]

Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n'y seront plus,
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et la trace de leurs vertus
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre.

[nu ɑ̃.tʁə.ʁɔ̃ dɑ̃ la ka.ʁjɛʁ]
[kɑ̃ no ɛ.ne ɛ.ni.ɡʁɛk sə.ʁɔ̃ ply]
[nu i.ɡʁɛk tʁu.vʁɔ̃ lœʁ pu.sjɛʁ]
𝄆 [e la tʁas də lœʁ vɛʁ.ty] 𝄇
[bjɛ̃ mwɛ̃ ʒa.lu də lœʁ syʁ.vi.vʁə]
[kə də paʁ.ta.ʒe lœʁ sɛʁ.kœj]
[nu o.ʁɔ̃ lə sy.blim ɔʁ.ɡœj]
[də le vɑ̃.ʒe u də le sɥi.vʁə]

We too shall enlist
When our elders' time has come
To add to the list of deeds
Inscribed upon their tombs
We are much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them

Additional verses

These verses were removed from the national anthem.

French English

Dieu de clémence et de justice
Vois nos tyrans, juge nos coeurs
Que ta bonté nous soit propice
𝄆 Défends-nous de ces oppresseurs 𝄇
Tu règnes au ciel et sur terre
Et devant Toi, tout doit fléchir
De ton bras, viens nous soutenir
Toi, grand Dieu, maître du tonnerre.

Refrain

Peuple français, connais ta gloire ;
Couronné par l'Égalité,
Quel triomphe, quelle victoire,
𝄆 D'avoir conquis la Liberté ! 𝄇
Le Dieu qui lance le tonnerre
Et qui commande aux éléments,
Pour exterminer les tyrans,
Se sert de ton bras sur la terre.

Refrain

Nous avons de la tyrannie
Repoussé les derniers efforts ;
De nos climats, elle est bannie ;
𝄆 Chez les Français les rois sont morts. 𝄇
Vive à jamais la République !
Anathème à la royauté!
Que ce refrain, partout porté,
Brave des rois la politique.

Refrain

La France que l'Europe admire
A reconquis la Liberté
Et chaque citoyen respire
𝄆 Sous les lois de l'Égalité ; 𝄇
Un jour son image chérie
S'étendra sur tout l'univers.
Peuples, vous briserez vos fers
Et vous aurez une Patrie !

Refrain

Foulant aux pieds les droits de l'Homme,
Les soldatesques légions
Des premiers habitants de Rome
𝄆 Asservirent les nations. 𝄇
Un projet plus grand et plus sage
Nous engage dans les combats
Et le Français n'arme son bras
Que pour détruire l'esclavage.

Refrain

Oui ! Déjà d'insolents despotes
Et la bande des émigrés
Faisant la guerre aux Sans-culottes
𝄆 Par nos armes sont altérés ; 𝄇
Vainement leur espoir se fonde
Sur le fanatisme irrité,
Le signe de la Liberté
Fera bientôt le tour du monde.

Refrain

O vous ! Que la gloire environne,
Citoyens, illustres guerriers,
Craignez, dans les champs de Bellone,
𝄆 Craignez de flétrir vos lauriers ! 𝄇
Aux noirs soupçons inaccessibles
Envers vos chefs, vos généraux,
Ne quittez jamais vos drapeaux,
Et vous resterez invincibles.

Refrain

Couplet des enfants :
Enfants, que l'Honneur, la Patrie
Fassent l'objet de tous nos vœux !
Ayons toujours l'âme nourrie
𝄆 Des feux qu'ils inspirent tous deux. 𝄇
Soyons unis ! Tout est possible ;
Nos vils ennemis tomberont,
Alors les Français cesseront
De chanter ce refrain terrible :

Refrain

God of mercy and justice
See our tyrants, judge our hearts
Your goodness be with us
𝄆 Defend us from these oppressors 𝄇
You reign in heaven and on earth
And before you all must bend
In your arms, come support us
You, great God, lord of thunder.

Refrain

French people know thy glory
Crowned by equality,
What a triumph, what a victory,
𝄆 To have won Liberty! 𝄇
The God who throws thunder
And who commands the elements,
To exterminate the tyrants
Uses your arm on Earth.

Refrain

Of tyranny, we have
Rebuffed its last efforts;
It is banished from our climes;
𝄆 Among the French the kings are dead. 𝄇
The Republic may live forever!
Anathema to royalty!
May this refrain, sung everywhere,
Protect politics from kings.

Refrain

France that Europe admires
Has regained liberty
And every citizen breathes
𝄆 Under the laws of equality, 𝄇
One day its beloved image
Will extend throughout the universe.
Peoples, you will break your chains
And you will have a fatherland!

Refrain

Trampling on the rights of man,
the soldierly legions
of Rome's first inhabitants
𝄆 enslaved nations. 𝄇
A larger project, and wiser,
Engages us in battle
And the Frenchman only arms himself
In order to destroy slavery.

Refrain

Yes! Already insolent despots
And the band of emigrants
Waging war on the sans-culottes
𝄆 By our weapons are withered; 𝄇
Vainly their hope is based
On piqued fanaticism
The sign of liberty
Will soon spread around the world.

Refrain

To you! Let glory surround
Citizens, illustrious warriors,
Fear in the fields of Bellona,
𝄆 Fear the sullying of your laurels! 𝄇
To dark unfounded suspicions
Towards your leaders, your generals,
Never leave your flags,
And you will remain invincible.

Refrain

Children's verse:
Children, let honour and fatherland
be the object of all our wishes!
Let us always have souls nourished
𝄆 With fires that might inspire both. 𝄇
Let us be united! Anything is possible;
Our vile enemies will fall,
Then the French will cease
To sing this fierce refrain:

Refrain

Adaptations into regional languages[change | change source]

France is a country made up of various ethnicities on which they have historically settled. As such, many regional languages are spoken to this day. These languages include Alsatian (a German dialect spoken in the east of France), Basque (a language isolate spoken in the southwest of France), Breton (a Celtic language spoken in the northwest of France), Catalan (a language intelligible between French and Spanish, spoken in the south of France), Corsican (a language similar to Italian, spoken in the Mediterranean), Occitan (a language similar to Catalan, also spoken in the south of France), and Walloon (a language similar to French, spoken in the Wallonia region in Belgium).

The popularity of this anthem has spread across the globe. It has been translated into several languages by known poets over the course of its existence.

Basque variant[change | change source]

The Basque poet Joan Batista Arxu published a version in his 1848 collection Kantu patriotak (meaning "Patriotic songs").

Wallon variant[change | change source]

The French national anthem has been the basis of a couple patriogic songs written in the Walloon language as part of the Walloon Movement.[14][15]

Other variants based on "La Marseillaise"[change | change source]

There have been many different variants of the song, including:

Russian variant[change | change source]

In Russia, "La Marseillaise" was used as a republican revolutionary anthem by Russian French speakers in the 18th century. In 1875 Peter Lavrov wrote the original Russian text (not translated from the French lyrics) to the same tune, known as the "Worker's Marseillaise", which became very popular in Russia and was used in the Russian Revolution of 1905. After the February Revolution, it was used as the semi-official national anthem of the Russian republic, and after the October Revolution, it was official along with The Internationale.[16]

Quotation in music[change | change source]

Composers have often quoted "La Marseillaise" in their music; for example, Tchaikovsky uses it in the 1812 overture.

References[change | change source]

  1. Dictionnaire Universelle de la Franc-Maçonnerie page 601 - Jode and Cara (Larousse - 2011)
  2. [https://web.archive.org/web/20120515104621/http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/english/la_marseillaise.asp La Marseillaise (2012-05-15). National Assembly of France.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870–1914 (1 June 1976). Weber, Eugen. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-1013-8, pp. 439.
  4. Story of La Marseillaise (January 1896). Stevens, Benjamin F. Oliver Ditson Company. The Musical Record. Boston, Massachusetts. Issue 408, pp. 2.
  5. Plaque Frédéric De Dietrich. Archi-Wiki.
  6. Frederic de Dietrich, premier maire de Strasbourg (1857). Spach, Louis. Strasbourgh, Vve. Berger-Levrault & fils.
  7. General François Mireur
  8. The Routledge Dictionary of Cultural References in Modern French (2011). Mould, Michael. Taylor & Francis. New York. ISBN 978-1-136-82573-6, pp. 147.
  9. 9.0 9.1 La Marseillaise Archived 2014-08-14 at the Wayback Machine (1997). Halsall, Paul. Internet History Sourcebooks Project
  10. Wochenblatt, dem Unterricht des Landvolks gewidmet, Colmar 1792 [1] Archived 2017-06-30 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. (archived) La Marseillaise. l'Elysée.
  12. French National Anthem La Marseillaise (2016-06-22). sandring via LyricsTranslate.
  13. La Marseillaise - English lyrics
  14. « La Marseillaise des Wallons » ratournaedje da Jean-Pol Pirson
  15. Li Marseyesse e walon rortografiaedje da Lucyin Mahin
  16. (archived) Соболева, Н.А. 2005. Из истории отечественных государственных гимнов. Журнал "Отечественная история", 1. P.10-12

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