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Friday, 1 April 2016

La Marseillaise

The famous France national anthem was written during the French Revolution. On April 24, 1792 Dietrich, Mayor of Strasbourg, remarked that the French soldiers had no spirited marching song. That night, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, a young captain of engineers, picked up his violin and composed the words and music of a stirring song.

De Lisle sung his tune titled "Chant de Guerre pour l'armee du Rhin," ("War Song of the Army of the Rhine") for the first time at the home of Dietrich, during a patriotic banquet (see below).

In June volunteers from Marseilles sang "Chant de Guerre pour l'armee du Rhin" as they marched to Paris after a young volunteer from Montpellier called Fran├žois Mireur had sung it at a patriotic gathering. These volunteers sung it as they were making their entrance into the city of Paris on July 30, 1792. The Parisians, ignorant of the tune's origin, called it the Song of Marseilles, or "La Marseillaise."

Although "La Marseillaise" was banned by Napoleon I, Louis XVIII, and Napoleon III, it was reinstated in 1879.

"La Marseillaise" was sung by Charles de Gaulle at the liberation of Paris in 1944, and was made the official national anthem in the constitution of the Fourth Republic in 1946 and the Fifth Republic in 1958 .

It is not only the National Anthem of France but is also used in French Guiana, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Reunion, St. Pierre-Miquelon and Wallis & Futuna Islands.

The evocative lyrics and recognizable tune of the French national anthem have led to its use as a revolutionary song and have inspired many pieces of classical music and pop culture. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, for instance, quotes "La Marseillaise" to represent the invading French army in his 1812 Overture (1882).The Beatles also used its opening bars fat the beginning of "All You Need Is Love".

"La Marseillaise"  appears in many English language films, including twice in the 1942 classic movie Casablanca.

"La Marseillaise" was performed across the globe in solidarity with France in the days after the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris including during the following weekend's Premier League football games in England.

Sources Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia

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