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April 30, 2012 10:44 PM   Subscribe

Mireille Mathieu sings La marseillaise in front of the Eiffel Tower in 1989 Lyrics in English
posted by The Whelk (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I never realized how violent and war-glorifying La Marseillaise was. Makes sense in the context of the Revolution, but if I were a French citizen, I'd probably want to retire it.

The American anthem is also about a battle, but it's at least a bit more detached than "so that the impure blood waters our fields".
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 11:24 PM on April 30, 2012


Magnifique!
posted by stbalbach at 11:26 PM on April 30, 2012


war-glorifying.. "so that the impure blood waters our fields"

In reference to the Prussian and Austrian armies who invaded France in 1792. France won at the Battle of Valmy, after which the newly-assembled National Convention was emboldened enough to formally declare the end of monarchy in France and the establishment of the First French Republic. As Wikipedia says "Valmy permitted the development of the Revolution and all its resultant ripple effects, and for that it is regarded as one of the most significant battles of all time." One might read the lyrics symbolically about the blood allowing something new to grow. The "impure" part I suppose is troublesome but could easily just mean 'foreign'. National anthems are usually about the founding of nations, which often come about violently.
posted by stbalbach at 11:44 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that. I saw her perform in Paris when I was a child and was so overcome with the intensity of her voice that ever since I've been irrationally drawn to any woman with a similar hairstyle.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:08 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


IMMA LET YOU FINISH BUT RICK PERMITTED THE BEST VERSION OF THAT SONG
posted by Jofus at 12:09 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Or should that be…

RICK

RICK

RICK

THE BLOOD OF THE IMPURE RUNNING IN THE FIELDS
OF OUR HOMELAND IS HOW I FEEL INSIDE RICK

)
posted by Jofus at 12:11 AM on May 1, 2012


I never realized how violent and war-glorifying La Marseillaise was. Makes sense in the context of the Revolution, but if I were a French citizen, I'd probably want to retire it... The American anthem is also about a battle, but it's at least a bit more detached than "so that the impure blood waters our fields".

The symbolism of national anthems is a fascinating topic. The first national anthem composed as such, according to Wikipedia, was the anthem of the Netherlands, Wilhelmus, which contains the lyrics
O Father, do not sanction
Their wicked, foul design,
Don't let them wash their hands in
This guiltless blood of mine.


The Italian national anthem truncates a poem that has the lines
The blood of Italy
and the Polish blood
It drank, along with the Cossack,
But it burned its heart.


I think it's fair to say that quite a few national anthems have lyrics which refer to the necessity of spilling the blood of our enemies, the importance of not spilling our own blood, the willingness to spill our blood if the threat is great enough, and the general significance of common blood.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:37 AM on May 1, 2012


you know who really need to upgrade their national anthem?
posted by valdesm at 2:11 AM on May 1, 2012


This video contains content from EMI, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.

Copyright on a national anthem? Really? How the hell does that work?

The first national anthem composed as such, according to Wikipedia, was the anthem of the Netherlands, Wilhelmus

It may be old, but oddly enough it has only been the national anthem since 1932, to replace the racist 'Wien Neerlands Bloed', which contains the sentence, roughly translated:
Whoever has Dutch blood flowing in their veins, Free of foreign blemishes
posted by charles kaapjes at 2:34 AM on May 1, 2012


Copyright on a national anthem? Really? How the hell does that work?

Not the anthem, the performance recording. That's how that works.
posted by dabitch at 3:04 AM on May 1, 2012


God Save the Queen is a dreadful dirge, which we probably won't be subjected to too often during the Olympics. We're more or less stuck with it for now, but it' still not as bad as Flower of Scotland. God that song is awful.
posted by das1969 at 3:05 AM on May 1, 2012


Can I just say the quality of the video, after being (I'm guessing) filmed from a screen, then compressed and whatnot by YouTube, is pretty abysmal?
posted by newdaddy at 3:43 AM on May 1, 2012


God Save the Queen is a dreadful dirge, which we probably won't be subjected to too often during the Olympics.

'Confound their politics/Frustrate their knaving tricks' certainly ranks in a top 5 of national-anthem couplets however.
posted by ersatz at 4:31 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a soft spot for the national anthem of Uruguay, officially the longest national anthem. It has an overture, and sounds a bit like it belongs in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

As far as "God Save the Queen" is concerned, I think the different nations in the union should ditch it, and have their own anthems. This is mainly because I think "Jerusalem" is an amazing song, especially when sung by a crowd, but Scotland could have "Scotland the Brave" or something similar, and I'm sure Wales has a good patriotic song they could use (or just "Delilah").



you know who really need to upgrade their national anthem?

Now I want to see Trololo Guy perform the Spanish national anthem. Maybe for Euro 2012?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:51 AM on May 1, 2012


And now for a completely different (and still controversial, in some parts) take on the French national anthem.
posted by stannate at 5:20 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


God Save the Queen is a dreadful dirge

Disagreement.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:34 AM on May 1, 2012


I still think the best rendition I've heard is this one - Jessye Norman singing it at the finale of the French Bicentennial parade. Her singing is amazing, but also the whole staging of the thing is brilliant. She's lifted from below a stage in the center of the Place de la Concorde, at the base of the Obelisk... she's draped in an enormous tricolor robe that's billowing perfectly in the breeze... the song arrangement is slow, stately and dramatic instead of martial. The whole effect is breathtaking.
posted by dnash at 12:37 PM on May 1, 2012


OK, French Mefites: who can explain to me why she trills her r's, when spoken (Parisian) French uses a guttural r?

Is it dialectical? The guttural r didn't come along until (IIRC) the 15th-c or so; French dialects before then, all the way back to Franciens (the just-post-Latin language) used a short trilled r or tapped r (single trill).

Or is it stylistic of songs? IIRC French preserves archaic forms in poetry, much as 19th-c English did (think the Romantics thee/art/invalid rhymes).
posted by IAmBroom at 4:46 PM on May 1, 2012


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