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‘The Greatest National Anthem in the World, Ever’: La Marseillaise



On Tuesday, historian Simon Schama explained to the Today programme how the power and emotion of La Marseillaise makes it the ‘greatest national anthem in the world’, while artist and animator Andrew Park reimagined Delacroix’s iconic painting Liberty Leading The People.

The slot was in advance of an act of solidarity in the wake of the Paris attacks, where France’s national anthem was sung by English as well as French fans as the two nations’ football teams met at Wembley. Listen to Schama and see Park’s drawing emerge here.

La Marseillaise first verse and chorus

Allons enfants de la Patrie, (Arise, children of the Fatherland)

Le jour de gloire est arrive! (The day of glory has arrived!)

Contre nous de la tyrannie, (Against us tyranny’s)

L’etendard sanglant est leve (repeat) (Bloody banner is raised)

Entendez-vous dans les campagnes (Do you hear, in the countryside)

Mugir ces feroces soldats? (The roar of those ferocious soldiers?)

Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras (They’re coming right into your arms)

Egorger vos fils, vos compagnes! (To cut the throats of your sons, your women!)

Chorus: Aux armes, citoyens, (To arms, citizens)

Formez vos bataillons, (Form your battalions)

Marchons, marchons, (Let’s march, let’s march)

Qu’un sang impur (Let an impure blood)

Abreuve nos sillons (repeat) (Water our furrows)