Ever wondered what the lyrics for La Marseillaise meant? Here's the (brutal) translation

It is one of the most rousing in the Six Nations, but the France national anthem – La Marseillaise – has some pretty savage lyrics when it’s translated back.

What you need to remember is that this is a tune that became the anthem of France in the 1790s, around the time of the French Revolution, and was originally written in response to invading forces from elsewhere in Europe at the time. Still, if you agreed with Jim Telfer that it was time to ditch Flower of Scotland wait ’til you see these lyrics.

So break out the brass instruments and get stuck in to this national anthem. A translation of the first verse and chorus are below – just brace yourself for the line about watering French fields, though!

France national anthem lyrics

Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L’étendard sanglant est levé
L’étendard sanglant est levé
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Égorger nos fils, nos compagnes!

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

La Marseillaise translated

And here is the full translation of those lyrics above:

Arise, children of the Fatherland
Our day of glory has arrived
Against us the bloody flag of tyranny
is raised; the bloody flag is raised.
Do you hear it, in the countryside
The roar of those ferocious soldiers?
They are coming right into your arms
To cut the throats of your sons, your comrades!

To arms, citizens!
Form your battalions
Let’s march, let’s march!
That their impure blood
Should water our fields!

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