Most national anthems are bland and predictable in praise of nations or their leaders but "La Marseillaise", the long-standing national anthem of France is different. Written in 1792 as "Song of War for the Rhine Army" by Rouget de Lisle, it became a battle cry for the French peasantry during the country's revolution. Here is the opening verse with chorus in French:-
Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé
Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!
Aux armes citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons
But what does it mean? Here, the translation demonstrates that this is not your average national anthem. It's quite literally about fighting for justice and liberty. If you read the other verses there are further reference to blood, fighting and suppression of enemies. No wonder the French sing it with such passion. How different from "God Save The Queen", England's bland and subservient national anthem. I wish instead that we had an anthem like this one:-
Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts