French Revolution 1792

The Permanent Guillotine

Source: Chansonnier Révolutionnaire, edition de Michel Delon & Paul-Edouard levayer. Paris, Gallimard, 1989;
Translated: for by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2006.

Deputy Guillotin
In medicine
Quite expert and quite clever,
Made a machine
To purge the French body
Of all those with projects.
It’s the guillotine, ohe!
It’s the guillotine!
To punish treason,
High rapine
These lovers of coats of arms
These people, you can guess who: these are who we made it for
That whose effect we know
It’s the guillotine, ohe!
It’s the guillotine
For having plotted
The mutinous horde
Has gotten without thinking of it
A bad headache.
In order to cure these messieurs
One day we’ll lead them
To the guillotine, ohe!
To the guillotine.
From France we’ve chased
The noble vermin,
They’ve swept away all, crushed all
And ruined all,
But the noble, they’ve been sure
To die with the neck cut
By the guillotine, ohe!
By the guillotine.
Messieurs the noble mutineers
Every one of whom strives,
Fomenting in vain efforts
Internecine war;
If we take you truly
You’ll die very nobly
To the guillotine, ohe!
To the guillotine.
The tenth* procured us
A hearty task
The traitors abounded,
It’s worse than a plague,
Since we don’t want to miss any
We punish without uprooting
The machine remains, ohe!
The machine remains

* The 10 brumaire year II, date of the execution of the Girondins.