Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gotta hand it to the French

Arise, you children of the fatherland!
The day of glory has arrived.
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised.
Can't you hear the sounds in the fields,
The howling of these fearsome soldiers?
They are coming into our midst,
To cut the throats of your sons and your mates. 


To arms, citizens!
Form your battalions!
Let us march, let us march!
Let their impure blood
Water our furrows.


To arms, citizens!
Form your battalions!
Let us march, let us march!
Let their impure blood
Water our furrows.


What do they want, this horde of slaves
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?
For whom are 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 heroes,
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 will 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 concerned about surviving them,
Than of sharing their coffins.
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or of 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!


To arms, citizens!
Form your battalions!
Let us march, let us march!
Let their impure blood
Water our furrows.

Gotta hand it to the French - they can sure knock together a scary national anthem.

http://www.marseillaise.org/audio/mireille_mathieu_-_la_marseillaise.mp3

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2 Comments:

Blogger Fignatz said...

...Meanwhile, our home is girt by sea.
And mort by gage, too.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Pip said...

I don't mind the "girt by sea" bit as much as many people seem to. But I'm not sure about the 2nd verse, which I learned at school but I think most Aussies don't know:

When gallant Cook from Albion sail'd,
To trace wide oceans o'er,
True British courage bore him on,
Till he landed on our shore.
Then here he raised Old England's flag,
The standard of the brave;
With all her faults we love her still,
"Britannia rules the waves!"

11:32 AM  

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