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

We know it is one of the most rousing pre-match songs in the Six Nations, but the France national anthem – La Marseillaise – has some surprisingly brutal lyrics when it’s translated into English.

This is a song that became the anthem of the French republic in the 1790s, near the time of the French Revolution, and was originally penned in response to invading forces from around Europe back then. Still, if you thinkJim Telfer had it right saying it was time to ditch Flower of Scotland then wait until you cop a load of the French lyrics.

So join the brass band and get stuck in to this national anthem. A translation of the first verse and chorus are below – just prepare 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!

Which is your favourite of the Six Nations national anthems? Let us know your thoughts via rugbyworldletters@futurenet.com or on our social media channels.

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