We all know and thrill to the tune of the Marseillaise, but how many of us anglophones know, or even can translate, all its revolutionary words, even those of the first verse? We can do the first two lines, probably, and perhaps the first couplet of the refrain, and of course Marchons! Marchons!; but how much more?
Here they are, to enable us all — especially our Australian and New Zealand mates — to sing along with the French team at the start of the Rugby World Cup semi-finals next weekend:
Allons ! Enfants de la Patrie !
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L'étendard sanglant est levé ! (Bis)
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 !
Arise! Children of our homeland!
Our day of glory is here!
Against us the bloodstained banner
Of tyranny has been raised! (repeat)
Do you hear in our fields
These fierce soldiers bellowing?
They came right here into your midst
To cut the throats of your sons, your companions.
To arms, citizens!
Form your battalions!
March on, march on!
Let their impure blood
Water our fields!
Sung by the immortal Mireille Mathieu :