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            Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760-1836)

                  Chant de Guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin

    Rise up children of the Revolution,
The day of glory has arrived.
Against us, the bloody
Flag of tyranny is raised,
The bloody flag is raised.
Do you hear in the countryside
The roar of savage soldiers?
They come right into your arms
To cut the throats of your sons, your companions.

To arms, citizens!
Form your battalions,
Let us march, let us march!
Nothing but their foul blood
Should water our fields.

      Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé.
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L'étendard sanglant est levé,
L'étendard sanglant est levé.
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes.

Aux armes, citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!
Marchons, marchons,
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons.


The Chant de Guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin (War Song of the Army of the
Rhine) was written on April 24, 1792. It became known as La Marseillaise as the
troops from Marseille sang it while they entered Paris on July 30, 1792. It was chosen
as French national anthem in 1795, and has been used as such (with several interruptions)
ever since.

Only the first (the most commonly used) of the seven verses is shown above. While not
exact, the translation should capture the spirit of the verse fairly well.