Friday, July 14, 2017
La Marseillaise from Casablanca. Vive La France
What does this horde of slaves,
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings want?
For whom are these vile chains,
These long-prepared irons? (repeat)
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What fury it must arouse!
It is us they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!
The Marseillaise was a revolutionary song, an anthem to freedom, a patriotic call to mobilize all the citizens and an exhortation to fight against tyranny and foreign invasion. The French National Convention adopted it as the Republic's anthem in 1795. It acquired its nickname after being sung in Paris by volunteers from Marseille marching to the capital. The song is the first example of the "European march" anthemic style. The anthem's evocative melody and lyrics have led to its widespread use as a song of revolution and its incorporation into many pieces of classical and popular music.
We need to reclaim our own songs for their original intent as a protest against oppression and greedy, tyrannical government. This version from the movie Casablanca is still one of the most moving renditions, set as it was during WW II and as a hymn of resistance to the Nazis. Ironic to think that the director and the actors had no idea how how important and what a classic this movie would become.