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la Marseillaise


mint

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If there's one thing I envy the French, it's their national anthem.

Last night, glued to the TV, sleepless, tearless, dry-mouthed, nauseated, heart-thumping, yes, I guess you could say I was in shock and horror......

But, when the people were filing out of the stade, singing the Marseillaise, there was that dread and unmistakable prickling behind the eye-lids.  I could have howled.

I have always loved the tune, the words not so much, even when my first French teacher explained the background to the words and how it was a song born of revolution.

Now Hollande tells us it's war and that no pity will be shown to the perpetrators.  So, perhaps the words still mean something to French people?

I have often wished that we had a more stirring and upbeat national anthem and one that doesn't leave everything to God and that, in any case, He is only being asked to save one single human being.  Why not everyone else as well?[:-))]

At least the French anthem is a call to action from ALL the citizens.

Fortunately for me, I could "borrow" my husband's Land of my Fathers!  THAT I do find a suitably jolly and bravado sort of a tune!

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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 your 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 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 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

That they regret taking up arms against us

But not these bloody despots

These accomplices of Bouillé

All these tigers who pitilessly

Ripped out their mothers' wombs

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

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!
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Well, I suppose we do have "Land of Hope and Glory" as a second-string anthem, though it' snot very bloodthirsty.

We had a French friend staying in London, who went with my daughter to the open-air relay of the Last Night of the Proms in Hyde Park one year. She was staggered to hear that song, and to feel the fervour with which it was sung by everyone around her.

Angela
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I agree with Rabbie. Fatherland = La Patrie.

Our youngest daughter (of course half French/English) and her boyfriend (good blood stock English Rugbyman) went to watch France-Italy during the last Rugby World Cup. They learned La Marseillaise and sang to their heart content "le moment venu".

Theren't many other National Anthems that wake you up in such a manner. Some of them are so slow and uninspiring.

My wife (English) thinks Jerusalem would be a good anthem for England.
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Yes the Marseillaise is a good rousing song, which is IMHO what a national anthem should be, you can sing it with passion.

Land Of Our Fathers / Hen Wlad fy Nhadau is a good rousing song too and also has a fair dollop of blood in it.

Would one get one's head chopped off for saying that God Save The Queen drags on like a dirge and sends me to sleep?
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[quote user="EuroTrash"]Yes the Marseillaise is a good rousing song, which is IMHO what a national anthem should be, you can sing it with passion. Land Of Our Fathers / Hen Wlad fy Nhadau is a good rousing song too and also has a fair dollop of blood in it. Would one get one's head chopped off for saying that God Save The Queen drags on like a dirge and sends me to sleep?[/quote]

And the words keep changing too .... one day it's Our King ....then next day Our Queen ...... How confusing for the non initiated!

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[quote user="EuroTrash"] ..... " Good grief how old are you ericd, how many changes have there been in your lifetime???[/quote]

I have only ever known the existing one (bound to change sometime soon ?) .... and you guys will have to re-learn the whole song again.

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I managed the change without problems at the age of 7 and I doubt there will be any problems when another change is needed.

Perhaps the UK should follow the example of Norway and have a Nation Anthem and a special song for the King. Funnily enough the Norwegian king's song has the the same tune as our national anthem.

We should have a completion firstly for a good rousing tune for our new British Anthem and then one for the words.

As a start perhaps the English rugby supporters could find something from nearer home to replace the American spiritual they sing now.
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