French National Anthem


The National Anthem of France commonly known as "La Marseillaise" was composed and written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle Strasbourg, a captain of the engineers and amateur musician, in the year 1792. The song acquired its name after being sung in Paris by the volunteers from Marseille who were marching towards the capital. The original name of the song was "Chant de Guerre pour I'Armee du Rhin”, which means "War Song for the Army of the Rhine". The National Anthem of France is considered significant for the citizens.

La Marseillaise was composed in a single night during the time of French Revolution. It originally had six verses and a seventh verse which was not written by Claude Joseph was added later. Only the first and sixth verses are customarily sung at public occasions. This revolutionary song was written to mobilize the citizens. It served as an exhortation to fight against tyranny and foreign invasion. The spirited and majestic song was first sung in April 1792. It reached Marseille with the troops three months later. The basic theme of the song was rousing which ultimately contributed to its popularity. This was quite a brutal song written to motivate the French for fighting against Prussian invasion that followed the French Revolution.

The French National Convention accepted La Marseillaise in a decree passed on July 14, 1795. There have been frequent calls for revising the words of the national anthem as they appear inappropriate in today's context. It was banned under Napoleon and for much of the 19th century. Later, it was permanently adopted in the year 1879.

In the year 1792, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle Strasbourg composed and wrote the National Anthem of France that is La Marseillaise. It is a common belief that this song was dedicated to French Officer Marshal Nicolas Luckner. The original name of the song was ‘Chant de guerre pour I’Armee du Rhin. More commonly, it portrays the attack by the foreign militia in France.

La Marseillaise was actually separated into 7 stanzas along with a chorus verse. The first stanza and the chorus part are more recognizable. The French national anthem has its own significance and is considered enormously special to the citizens of France.

The English translation of the French National Anthem is given below –

French National Anthem in English

Come, children of the Fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us tyranny's
bloodied banner is raised, (repeat) Do you hear in the countryside
The roar of those ferocious soldiers?
They come right here into your midst
To slit the throats of your sons and wives!

To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let's march, let's march!
May a tainted blood
Drench our furrows!
What does this horde of slaves,
Of traitors and conspiring kings want?
For whom are these vile chains,
These long-prepared irons? (repeat)
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What an insult
What fury it must arouse!
It is we whom they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!

To arms, citizens...
What! Foreign cohorts
Would rule our homes!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would cut down our proud warriors! (repeat)
Great God ! By chained hands
Our heads would bow under the yoke
Vile despots would become
The masters of our destinies!

To arms, citizens...
Tremble, tyrants and traitors
The shame of all good men,
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will finally receive their just reward! (repeat)
Against you, we are all soldiers,
If our young heroes fall,
The earth will bear new ones,
Ready to join the fight against you!

To arms, citizens...
Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,
Bear or hold back your blows!
Spare these sorry victims,
Armed against us against their will. (repeat)
But not these blood-thirsty despots,
These accomplices of Bouillé,
All these tigers who mercilessly
Slash their mother's breast!

To arms, citizens...
Sacred patriotic love,
Lead and support our avenging arms Liberty, cherished liberty,
Fight back with your defenders! (repeat)
Under our flags, let victory
Hurry to your manly tone,
So that your dying enemies,
See your triumph and our glory!

To arms, citizens...
(Children's Verse)

We shall enter the (military) career
When our elders are no longer there,
There we shall find their dust
And the mark of their virtues (repeat)
Much less jealous to survive them
Than to share their coffins,
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or following them
To arms, citizens...

French National Anthem in French

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 nos bras
Égorger nos fils, nos compagnes !

Refrain

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 ? (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 fiers guerriers ! (bis)
Grand Dieu ! par des mains enchaînées
Nos fronts sous le joug se ploiraient !
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres de nos destinées !

Tremblez, tyrans ! et vous, perfides,
L'opprobre de tous les partis,
Tremblez ! vos projets parricides
Vont enfin recevoir leur 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 !

Refrain

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 !

Refrain

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Last Updated: 9th July, 2018