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Alternative title Chant de guerre pour l'armée du Rhin ("War song for the Rhine Army")
country FranceFrance France
Usage period from July 14, 1795
text Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
melody Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Sheet of music GIF
Audio files MIDI
La Marseillaise (1907).
Marche des Marseillois chantée sur diferans theaters. Early print of the Marseillaise from 1792.

The Marseillaise is the national anthem of the French Republic .


Origin of the Marseillaise

Rouget de Lisle chantant la Marseillaise : The 19th century painting by the French painter Isidore Pils shows the author of the Marseillaise in the salon of the Strasbourg mayor, Philippe-Frédéric de Dietrich .

The Marseillaise was written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle on the night of April 26, 1792, during the declaration of war on Austria in Strasbourg , Alsace . It initially had the title Chant de guerre pour l'armée du Rhin, d. H. "War Song for the Army of the Rhine ", and was the commander and governor of Strasbourg, the earlier in the year to Marshal of France appointed Count Luckner dedicated. That is why the Marseillaise still sounds daily at 12:05 p.m. from the carillon on the market square in Cham in the Upper Palatinate , the birthplace of the count.

Already towards the end of the 18th century it was denied that de Lisle was the author of the Marseillaise; In the middle of the 19th century and again in 1915, on the occasion of the transfer of de Lisle's remains to the Invalides Cathedral in Paris, newspaper and magazine articles appeared that the melody came from a German composer (a certain organist Holtzmann in Meersburg ), or at least from one old German melody go back. This claim appears again and again (mostly anecdotal or in connection with a polemic against French state symbols), although it can be considered convincingly refuted since 1922 at the latest.

In 2013, the Italian violinist Guido Rimonda presented a previously unknown Tema con Variazioni in C major for violin and orchestra as part of a complete recording of the violin concertos of the famous Giovanni Battista Viotti, who worked in Paris between 1782 and 1792 , whose theme (in its entirety) is clear is the melody of the Marseillaise; if the dating of the manuscript in Rimonda’s possession is authentic, 1781, Viotti would be the actual composer of the melody. Jean-Baptiste Lucien Grisons (1746–1815), an otherwise almost unknown conductor and organist in Saint-Omer , is sometimes regarded as the composer of the Marseillaise . In his oratorio Esther , which is said to have been written in 1787, there is an aria “Stances sur la Calomnie”, the introduction of which bears a strong resemblance to the later national anthem. It has also been suggested that the melody of the Marseillaise could come from the harpsichordist and composer Jean-Frédéric Edelmann (1749–1794), who worked in Paris for a long time , especially since he was in Strasbourg from 1789 and at the time the song was written. In this context, the similarity between the beginning of the melody and the first movement of the Flute Quintet in C major G. 420 by Luigi Boccherini from 1773 should be mentioned. Another possible predecessor of the motif is sometimes the 2nd theme of the 1st movement in Mozart's Piano Concerto KV 503 from 1786, which, however, has only a very distant relationship with the head motif of the Marseillaise and the Rouget de Lisle could not have known it since Until the time when the Marseillaise was written, it was only performed by Mozart himself in Vienna and was only published later.

National anthem in France

The song was named Marseillaise because it was sung by soldiers from Marseilles on July 30, 1792 when they entered Paris, shortly before the Tuileries Tower . The hymn soon enjoyed great fame and popularity and was sung at all major civic festivals in the young republic. In 1793 the National Convention decreed that the Marseillaise should be sung at all public events and, at the request of the deputy Jean de Bry, the National Convention declared the Marseillaise to be a "French national song " ( chant national ) by decree on July 14, 1795 (26th messidor III ) . The Marseillaise prevailed above all against Le Chant du Départ , another well-known revolutionary song.

After the coup d'état of 18th Brumaire VIII , the Marseillaise fell behind because it was considered too Jacobean and was sung for the last time on July 14, 1800 on an official occasion. At the time of the Napoleonic Empire (1804 to 1814) the song was banned and the empire's unofficial anthem was Veillons au salut de l'Empire . The ban continued to apply during the Bourbon Restoration (1815 to 1830). At the time of the July monarchy and the Second Empire of Napoleon III. The Marseillaise was not banned, but was not sung on official occasions and was considered a rebellious song of the opposition. The anthem of the July Monarchy was La Parisienne and during the Second Empire fulfilled Partant pour la Syrie the function of a national anthem. Le Chant des Girondins was the national anthem of the short-lived Second French Republic from 1848 to 1851 .

In the Third French Republic , the Marseillaise was promoted by a decision of the Chamber of Deputies from 14 February 1879 again the official national anthem ( anthem national ) of France and remained so in the Fourth and Fifth French Republic. At the time of the Vichy regime (1940–1945) the song Maréchal, nous voilà held a similar rank to the Marseillaise, which it followed or even replaced.

Other versions of the Marseillaise

There are various other versions of the Marseillaise: in 1792 a version from the Republic of Mainz composed by the German Jacobin Friedrich Lehne (1771–1836) : Lied der freyen Wöllsteiner . In 1871 Jules Faure wrote the “Marseillaise of the Commune”, which was used as an anthem by the Paris Commune (see text below ). In 1892, after the Franco-Prussian War , students at a French primary school wrote a “Marseillaise for Peace” (see text below ).

In the 19th century, the Marseillaise was the anthem of many freedom movements and also of the labor movement , for example as the German Workers 'Marseillaise for the General German Workers' Association (ADAV) . It was only when the Marseillaise became the national anthem that it was replaced by the International as the song of the international labor movement .

In 1914, on the occasion of the outbreak of the First World War, a version was created that was explicitly directed against Germany.

With a Russian text " Otretschomsja ot starowo mira " ( German  Let us condemn the old world ), the Marseillaise as Марсельеза ( Marseljesa ) was also the Russian national anthem during the time of the Provisional Government of the February Revolution 1917 from February to November of that year .

Further versions are, for example, a pacifist version ( French La Marseillaise pour le désarmément ); a text for the inhabitants of the former colonies, ( French La Marseillaise des Citoyens de couleur ); a Marseillaise "for all who love life" ( La Marseillaise Bacchique ); a 1973 version by Serge Gainsbourg , Aux armes et caetera , which became a scandal for the conservatives and right-wing extremists in France or that of the singer, composer and translator Graeme Allwright (see text below ), which he shared with Sylvie in 2005 Dien wrote in response to then French President Nicolas Sarkozy's request that every child in France should learn the national anthem by heart.

Musical quotes

Numerous works cite the Marseillaise, mostly to establish a reference to France or the French armed forces.


National anthem

Original French text German translation

Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyranny
L'étendard sanglant est levé. (2 ×)
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes.

Come on, children of the fatherland, the day of glory has come!
Bloody Banner is raised against us . (2 ×)
Do you hear
these wild soldiers roaring in the fields ?
They come up to your arms,
To cut the throats of your sons, your companions.


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

(2 ×)


To arms, citizens, form
your troops,
let's march, let's march!
Unclean blood Water
our furrows!

(2 ×)

Que veut cette horde d'esclaves,
De traîtres, de rois conjurés?
Pour qui ces ignobles entraves,
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés? (2x)
Français, pour nous, ah! quel outrage
Quels transports il doit exciter!
C'est nous qu'on ose mediter
De rendre à l'antique esclavage!


What does this horde of slaves, of
traitors, of conspiratorial kings want ?
For whom are these common fetters,
These irons long prepared? (2 ×)
French, for us, alas! what shame,
what anger this must arouse!
One dares to think of
bringing Us into old bondage!


Quoi! des cohortes étrangères
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers!
Quoi! ces phalanges mercenaires
Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers. (2 ×)
Grand Dieu! par des mains enchaînées
Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient.
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres de nos destinées!


What! Foreign cohorts would
rule over our homes!
What! These mercenaries would bring down
Our proud warriors! (2 ×)
Great God! With chains on
our hands , our heads would bow to the yoke.
Vile despots would
determine our fate!


Tremblez, tyrans, et vous
perfides L'opprobre de tous les partis,
Tremblez! vos projets parricides
From enfin recevoir leurs prix! (2 ×)
Tout est soldat pour vous combattre,
S'ils tombent, nos jeunes héros,
La terre en produit de nouveaux,
Contre vous tout prêts à se battre!


Tremors, tyrants and you wicked ones ,
shame of all parties,
tremble! Your wicked plans
are finally getting paid back! (2 ×)
Everyone is a soldier to fight you,
When they fall, our young heroes,
the earth will create new ones who
are ready to fight against you.


Français, en guerriers magnanimes,
Portez ou retenez vos coups!
Epargnez ces tristes victimes,
A regret s'armant contre nous. (2 ×)
Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,
Mais ces complices de Bouillé
Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié,
Déchirent le sein de leur mère!


French, you noble warriors,
deal your blows or hold them back!
Spare these sad victims
Who reluctantly arm themselves against us. (2 ×)
But these bloodthirsty despots,
But these accomplices of Bouillé ,
All those tigers who ruthlessly
tear apart their mother's breast!


Amour sacré de la Patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs.
Liberté, Liberté chérie,
Combats avec tes défenseurs! (2 ×)
Sous nos drapeaux que la victoire
Accoure à tes mâles accents,
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire!


Holy love for the fatherland,
guide, support our avenging arms.
Freedom, beloved freedom,
fight with your defenders! (2 ×)
Under our flags, so that victory
rushes to the aid of the sounds of strong men,
So that your dying enemies
see your victory and our glory!


Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n'y seront plus,
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et la trace de leurs vertus! (2 ×)
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre.


We will tread on the way of life,
When the older ones will no longer
be there , We will find their dust
and their virtues there. (2 ×)
Rather to share their coffin
Than they want to survive,
we will with sublime pride
avenge them or follow them.


The Marseillaise of the Commune

In 1871 Jules Faure wrote the "Marseillaise of the Commune" (la Marseillaise de la Commune), which was used as an anthem by the Paris Commune .

Français, ne soyons plus esclaves !,
Sous le drapeau, rallions-nous.
Sous nos pas, brisons les entraves,
Quatre-vingt-neuf, réveillez-vous. (bis)
Frappons du dernier anathème
Ceux qui, par un stupide orgueil,
Ont ouvert le sombre cercueil
De nos frères morts sans emblème.


Chantons la liberté,
Défendons la cité,
Marchons, marchons, sans souverain,
Le peuple aura du pain.

Depuis vingt ans que tu sommeilles,
Peuple français, réveille-toi,
L'heure qui sonne à tes oreilles,
C'est l'heure du salut pour toi. ( Bis )
Peuple, debout! que la victoire
Guide au combat tes fiers guerriers,
Rends à la France ses lauriers,
Son rang et son antique gloire.


Les voyez-vous ces mille braves
Marcher à l'immortalité,
Le maître a vendu ses esclaves,
Et nous chantons la liberté. (bis)
Non, plus de rois, plus de couronnes,
Assez de sang, assez de deuil,
Que l'oubli dans son froid linceul
Enveloppe sceptres et trônes.


Plus de sanglots dans les chaumières
Quand le conscrit part du foyer;
Laissez, laissez, les pauvres mères
Près de leurs fils s'agenouiller. (until)
Progrès! que ta vive lumière
Descende sur tous nos enfants,
Que l'homme soit libre en ses champs,
Que l'impôt ne soit plus barrière.


N'exaltez plus vos lois nouvelles,
Le peuple est sourd à vos accents,
Assez de phrases solennelles,
Assez de mots vides de sens. (bis)
Français, la plus belle victoire,
C'est la conquête de tes droits,
Ce sont là tes plus beaux exploits
Que puisse enregistrer l'histoire.


Peuple, que l'honneur soit ton guide,
Que la justice soit tes lois,
Que l'ouvrier ne soit plus avide
Du manteau qui couvrait nos rois. (to)
Que du sien de la nuit profonde
Où l'enchaînait la royauté,
Le flambeau de la Liberté
S'élève et brille sur le monde!


"Peace Marseillaise"

Teachers' associations circulated the text of the Marseillaise for Peace, written by pupils from the primary school of Cempuis ( Oise ) in 1892 after the Franco-Prussian War .

Deuxième couplet Second stanza

Quoi! d'éternelles représailles
Tiendraient en suspens notre sort!
Quoi, toujours d'horribles batailles
Le pillage, le feu, et la mort (2 ×)
C'est trop de siècles de souffrances
De haine et de sang répandu!
Humains, quand nous l'aurons voulu
Sonnera notre délivrance!

How? This perpetual retribution
pulls our fate into limbo
How, always the terrible battles
The pillage, the fire and the death (2 ×)
That is too much, centuries of suffering,
of hatred and of shed blood!
People, if we wanted to
, we can usher in salvation!

Graeme Allwright, Sylvie Dien

Pour tous les enfants de la terre
Chantons amour et liberté.
Contre toutes les haines et les guerres
L'étendard d'espoir est levé
L'étendard de justice et de paix.
Rassemblons nos forces, notre courage
Pour vaincre la misère et la peur
Que règnent au fond de nos cœurs
L'amitié la joie et le partage.
La flamme qui nous éclaire,
Traverse les frontières
Partons, partons, amis, solidaires
Marchons vers la lumière.

Graeme Allwright, Sylvie Dien

German translation

Let us sing love and freedom,
For all the children of our earth.
Against all hatred and all wars,
the flag of freedom is raised,
the flag of justice and peace.
Let us gather our strengths and courage to
conquer despair and fear so
friendship, joy and justice may reign at the bottom of our hearts .
The flame that shines for us
overcomes the limits,
let's set out, friends, faithful,
let's march towards the light.


The only known recording of Bismarck's voice from 1889. He recites parts of the English song In Good Old Colony Times , the ballad Schwäbische Kunde by Ludwig Uhland , the song Gaudeamus igitur and the Marseillaise ; then he gives advice to his son.
  • In the film Casablanca , Victor László orders Rick's bar to play the Marseillaise to drown out German soldiers singing Die Wacht am Rhein .
  • In the only surviving sound document of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck , the 74-year-old declaimed from the Marseillaise in 1889 .
  • The Marseillaise sounds every lunchtime from the town hall tower in Cham (Upper Palatinate) .

See also


Web links

Commons : La Marseillaise  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Marseillaise  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Wikisource: La Marseillaise  - Sources and full texts (French)


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Edgar Istel : Is the Marseillaise a German Composition? (The History of a Hoax). In: The Musical Quarterly. Vol. 8 (1922), pp. 213-226, ISSN  0027-4631 .
  2. Performance with Guido Rimonda and the Camerata Ducale on Youtube (accessed June 26, 2019)
  3. published by Decca together with Viotti's concerts nos. 12 and 25, see website of: . (accessed June 26, 2019)
  4. Romaric Godin: "La Marseillaise, un Hymne à l'histoire tourmentée", in: La Tribune , November 20, 2015, online (French, accessed June 26, 2019)
  5. Guido Rimonda in the Italian TV program Voyager on December 18, 2017, on Youtube: "La Marsigliese è stata composta da un italiano?" (Italian, accessed June 26, 2019)
  6. ^ " La Marseillaise, ce symbole de l'identité nationale ... née á Saint-Omer ", in: Dailynord , December 3, 2009 (French; accessed June 28, 2019)
  7. Excerpt from Grisons' Esther , played by François Bocquelet on the organ of the Cathedral of Saint-Omer, on Youtube (accessed June 28, 2019)
  8. Jean-Marc Warszawski: "Jean-Frédéric Edelmann" , February 27, 2009 (French; accessed June 28, 2019)
  9. See Flute Quintet II on IMSLP
  10. During Mozart's lifetime, i.e. until the end of 1791, only the following concerts appeared in print: KV 175 + KV 382, ​​KV 413-415, KV 453 and KV 595. See: HC Robbins Landon (ed.): Das Mozart-Kompendium , Droemer Knaur, Munich 1991, pp. 495-496.
  11. ^ Ministère des Armées: The Marseillaise Memorial
  12. a b c La Marseillaise: national anthem. Website of the French National Assembly, accessed on 14 July 2020 (French).
  14. Deutschlandfunk , Radionacht , Folk- und Lied- Geschichte (n) , Clarisse Cossais: Magier des Chansons - Graeme Allwright. A French protest singer with New Zealand roots
  15. a b La Marseillaise de Graeme Allwright .
  16. La Marseillaise de la Paix ( Memento of February 15, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  17. Sensational sound recordings - this is how Bismarck sounded! on one day ( Spiegel Online ) from January 31, 2012.