The French Revolution 1792

The War Song of the Army of the Rhine
(La Marseillaise)

Source: Chansonnier Révolutionnaire, edition de Michel Delon & Paul-Edouard Levayer. Paris, Gallimard, 1989;
Translated: for by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2007.

Words and Music by Rouget de Lisle.

Come, children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived.
Against us, tyranny
Has raised its bloody standard.
Do you hear in the countryside
The roaring of these ferocious soldiers?
They are coming among you
To slaughter your children, your wives.

To arms, Citizens!
Form your battalions!
March, march!
May impure blood
Water our furrows.

What does this horde of slaves,
Of traitors, of plotting kings want?
Who are these ignoble chains for,
These irons so long prepared?
For we Frenchmen! What outrage
What transports must it excite?
It is we who they dare think
To return to ancient slavery!

What? Foreign cohorts
Will lay down the law in our homes?
What? Mercenary phalanxes
Will lay low our brave warriors?
Good God! By chained hands
Our heads will bow under the yoke?
Vile despots will make themselves
The masters of our destiny?

Tremble tyrants! And you perfidious ones
The shame of all men
Tremble! Your parricidal plans
Will finally receive their due.
All are soldiers to combat you;
If they fall – our young heroes -
The earth will bring forth new ones
All ready to fight against you.

Frenchmen! As magnanimous warriors
Deliver or hold back your blows,
Spare those sad victims
Who unwillingly arm themselves against you.
But the bloody despot
But the accomplices of Bouillé,
All those tigers who, without pity
Tear open their mother’s breast?

Sacred love of the Fatherland
Lead, support our avenging arms.
Liberty, beloved liberty
Fight along with your defenders.
Beneath our flags, may victory
Run to your manly tones,
May your dying enemies
See your triumph and our glory.