A Travellerspoint blog


Location: Asia
Capitol: Jerusalem
Geographic coordinates: 31 30 N, 34 45 E

Area total: 20,770 sq km
land: 20,330 sq km
water: 440 sq km
Border: total: 1,017 km
border countries: Egypt 266 km, Gaza Strip 51 km, Jordan 238 km, Lebanon 79 km, Syria 76 km, West Bank 307 km

Coastline: 273 km
Population: 6,029,529 (July 2002 est.)

Density of population: person/km sq
Nationality: noun: Israeli(s)
adjective: Israeli
Languages: Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language
Ethnic groups: Jewish 80.1% (Europe/America-born 32.1%, Israel-born 20.8%, Africa-born 14.6%, Asia-born 12.6%), non-Jewish 19.9% (mostly Arab) (1996 est.)
Religions: Jewish 80.1%, Muslim 14.6% (mostly Sunni Muslim), Christian 2.1%, other 3.2% (1996 est.)
Life expactancy at birth
total population: 78.86 years
male: 76.82 years
female: 81.01 years (2002 est.)
Currency: new Israeli shekel (ILS)
Government: parliamentary democracy

National Anthem

Hatikvah or Hatikva (Hebrew: התקווה "The Hope"') is the national anthem of Israel.
The Hatikvah text was written by the Galician poet Naphtali Herz Imber in Zloczow (Ukraine) in 1878 as a nine-stanza poem named Tikvatenu ("Our Hope").

In 1897, at the First Zionist Congress, it was adopted as the anthem of Zionism; later it was arranged by the composer Paul Ben-Haim, who based the composition partly on ukrainian Jewish folk tunes.

Later the text was edited by the settlers of Rishon LeZion and it underwent a number of other changes until 1948, when the state of Israel was created, and it was proclaimed as the national anthem of Israel.

In its modern version, the anthem text only has the first stanza and chorus of the original poem. The most important addition in those parts is that the hope is no longer to return to Zion, but to be a free nation in it.

It is an interesting, but not widely known fact, that the Tikva was never offically declared as or chosen to be the national anthem of Israel.

The music for Hatikva is based on a folk song of unknown origin. The earliest known appearance in print was early 17th century Italy as "The Dance of Mantua". It has also been recognized in Spanish religious music as the Catholic song "Virgen de la Cueva" ("Virgin of the Cave") and the Jewish song "Prayer for the Dew". It's also recognizable as the Polish folk song Pod Krakowem.

The folk song was also used by a English-Jewish cantor named Meier Leon, who used the stage name Michael Leoni to perform secular and Christian music such as Handel's Messiah. Leon adapted the song into the Jewish hymn Yaigdal for his synagogue. This hymn was later adapted by Welselyan minister Thomas Oliver into the hymn To The God of Abraham Praise.

Bedrich Smetana likely adapted the melody from a Swedish version of the melody, "Ack, Värmeland" and used it for his symphonic poem "The Moldau", part of Má Vlast. This later became a Czech folk song, "Kočka leze dírou".

The modern adaptation of the music for Hatikvah was probably composed by Samuel Cohen in 1888. It's possible that he took the melody from Smetana's work, or that he got the melody from a Romanian version of the folk song, "Carul cu boi" ("Carriage and Oxen").

Hatikvah is written in a minor key, one that may seem depressing or mournful to some people. However, as the title ("The Hope") would indicate, the mood of the song is uplifting.

The great Al Jolson recorded the original lyrics circa 1929. It is still obtainable I believe


כל עוד בלבב פנימה
נפש יהודי הומיה,
ולפאתי מזרח קדימה
עין לציון צופיה -

עוד לא אבדה תקותנו,
התקוה בת שנות אלפים,
להיות עם חופשי בארצנו
ארץ ציון וירושלים.


Kol 'od balevav P'nimah -
Nefesh Yehudi homiyah
Ulfa'atey mizrach kadimah
Ayin l'tzion tzofiyah.

'Od lo avdah tikvatenu
Hatikvah bat shnot alpayim:
Li'hyot am chofshi b'artzenu -
Eretz Tzion vi'Yerushalayim


As long as in the heart, within,
A Jewish soul still yearns,
And onward toward the East,
An eye still watches toward Zion.

Our hope has not yet been lost,
The two thousand year old hope,
To be a free nation in our own homeland,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

Posted by airwolf09 15:58 Archived in Israel Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)


Location: Europe
Capitol: Ljubljana
Geographic coordinates: 46 07 N, 14 49 E

Area total: 20,273 sq km
land: 20,151 sq km
water: 122 sq km
Border: total: 1,334 km
border countries: Austria 330 km, Croatia 670 km, Italy 232 km, Hungary 102 km

Coastline: 46.6 km
Population: 1,932,917 (July 2002 est.)
Density of population: person/km sq
Nationality: noun: Slovene(s)
adjective: Slovenian
Languages: Slovenian 91%, Serbo-Croatian 6%, other 3%
Ethnic groups: Slovene 88%, Croat 3%, Serb 2%, Bosniak 1%, Yugoslav 0.6%, Hungarian 0.4%, other 5% (1991)
Religions: Roman Catholic (Uniate 2%) 70.8%, Lutheran 1%, Muslim 1%, atheist 4.3%, other 22.9%
Life expactancy at birth
total population: 75.29 years
male: 71.42 years
female: 79.37 years (2002 est.)
Currency: tolar (SIT)
Government: parliamentary democratic republic

National Anthem

Zdravljica" ("A Toast") is a famous poem by France Prešeren. It was written in 1844 and has been Slovenia's national anthem since 1991. The most famous is its 7th stanza, for which Stanko Premrl composed a choral composition with the same name. Only the text of this 7th stanza comprises the anthem of Slovenia. In form, the poem is a carmina figurata.

The previous national anthem of Slovenia from 1945 to 1991 was the Yugoslav Hej Slovani in Slovene.

Zdravljica was also performed in the early 1990s by the punk rock band Pankrti (the Bastards).

In 1844 censorship did not allow for the poem to be printed. Later Prešeren himself intended to include it in his Poezije (The Poetries), which is why he omitted the third strophe ("V sovražnike 'z oblakov / rodú naj naš'ga treši gróm") in order to save the rest. However, he was wrong, for censorship anticipated an overall Slavic mentality in the fourth strophe ("Edinost, sreča, sprava / k nam naj nazaj se vrnejo") and did not allow it. Prešeren believed the poem would be mutilated and therefore did not include it in Poezije. Zdravljica was printed in Novice (The News) on 26 April 1848, after the March Revolution of 1848 when censorship was abolished.


Prijatli! obrodile
so trte vince nam sladkó,
ki nam oživlja žile,
srce razjásni in oko,
ki utopi
vse skrbi,
v potrtih prsih up budi!

Komú narpred veselo
zdravljico, bratje! čmo zapét'!
Bog našo nam deželo,
Bog živi ves slovenski svet,
brate vse,
kar nas je
sinov sloveče matere!

V sovražnike 'z oblakov
rodú naj naš'ga treši gróm
prost, ko je bil očakov,
najprej naj bo Slovencov dom;
naj zdrobé
njih roké
si spone, ki jih še težé!

Edinost, sreča, sprava
k nam naj nazaj se vrnejo;
otrók, kar ima Slava,
vsi naj si v róke sežejo
de oblast
in z njo čast,
ko préd, spet naša boste

Bog žívi vas Slovenke
prelepe, žlahtne rožice;
ni take je mladenke,
ko naše je krvi dekle;
naj sinóv
zarod nov
iz vas bo strah sovražnikov!

Mladenči, zdaj se pije
zdravljica vaše, vi naš up;
ljubezni domačije
noben naj vam ne usmŕti strup;
ker zdaj vas
kakor nas,
jo sŕčno bránit kliče čas!

Živé naj vsi naródi
ki hrepené dočakat dan,
ko, koder sonce hodi,
prepir iz svéta bo pregnan,
ko rojak
prost bo vsak,
ne vrag, le sosed bo mejak!

Nazadnje še, prijatlji,
kozarce zase vzdignimo,
ki smo zato se zbratli,
ker dobro v srcu mislimo;
dókaj dni May joyful cheer
naj živí Ne'er disappear
vsak, kar nas dobrih je ljudi!


The vintage, friends, is over,
And here sweet wine makes, once again,
Sad eyes and hearts recover
Puts fire into every vein.
Drowns dull care
And summons hope out of despair.

To whom with acclamation
And song shall we our first toast give?
God save our land and nation
And all Slovenes where'er they live,
Who own the same
Blood and name,
And who one glorious Mother claim.

Let thunder out of heaven
Strike down and smite our wanton foe!
Now, as it once had thriven,
May our dear realm in freedom grow.
May fall the last
Chains of the past
Which bind us still and hold us fast!

Let peace, glad conciliation,
Come back to us throughout the land!
Towards their destination
Let Slavs henceforth go hand-in-hand!
Thus again
Will honour reign
last! To justice pledged in our domain.

To you, our pride past measure,
Our girls! Your beauty, charm and grace!
There surely is no treasure
To equal maidens of such race.
Sons you'll bear,
Who will dare
Defy our foe no matter where.

Our hope now, our to-morrow -
The youths - we toast and toast with joy.
No poisonous blight or sorrow
Your love of homeland shall destroy.
With us indeed
You're called to heed
Its summons in this hour of need.

God's blessing on all nations,
Who long and work for that bright day,
When o'er earth's habitations
No war, no strife shall hold its sway;
Who long to see
That all men free
No more shall foes, but neighbours be!

At last to our reunion -
To us the toast! Let it resound,
Since in this gay communion
By thoughts of brotherhood we're bound
From all good hearts now gathered here.

Posted by airwolf09 15:39 Archived in Slovenia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)


Location: Capitol: Geographic coordinates:
Europe Rome 42 50 N, 12 50 E

Area total: 301,230 sq km
land: 294,020 sq km
water: 7,210 sq km

Border: total: 1,932.2 km
border countries: Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 232 km, Switzerland 740 km

Coastline: 7,600 km
Population: 57,715,625 (July 2002 est.)
Density of population: person/km sq
Nationality: noun: Italian(s)
adjective: Italian
Ethnic groups: Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)
Religions: predominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community
Life expactancy at birth
total population: 79.25 years
male: 76.08 years
female: 82.63 years (2002 est.)
Currency: euro (EUR); Italian lira (ITL)

Government: republic

National Anthem

Il Canto degli Italiani (The Song of the Italians) is the Italian national anthem. The anthem is also popularly known, from its first line, as Fratelli d'Italia (Brothers of Italy) and, after its author, as the Inno di Mameli (Mameli's Hymn).

The words were written in 1847 by the poet Goffredo Mameli as an expression of the popular struggle for the unification and independence of Italy. His poem, set to music by Michele Novaro, enjoyed widespread popularity throughout the period of the Risorgimento (Resurgence) – the 19th-century Italian movement towards unification. Following unification in (1861), the anthem of the royal house of Savoy was adopted as a national anthem. When, in 1946, Italy became a republic, Il Canto degli Italiani was provisionally chosen as the country's new national anthem. This choice has never been officially re-examined, with the result that it has remained Italy's "temporary" anthem for more than 50 years.


Note: this is the complete text of the original poem written by Goffredo Mameli, however the Italian anthem, as performed in every official occasion, is composed by the first part and the chorus, repeated twice, then ends with a loud "Sì!" ("Yes!"). The rest of the poem refers to episodes which were relevant when it was written.

Fratelli d'Italia,
l'Italia s'è desta,
dell'elmo di Scipio
s'è cinta la testa.
Dov'è la vittoria?
Le porga la chioma,
che schiava di Roma
Iddio la creò.
Stringiamoci a coorte,
siam pronti alla morte.
Siam pronti alla morte,
l'Italia chiamò.
Stringiamoci a coorte,
siam pronti alla morte.
Siam pronti alla morte,
l'Italia chiamò!


Noi fummo da secoli
calpesti, derisi,
perché non siam popoli,
perché siam divisi.
Raccolgaci un'unica
bandiera, una speme:
di fonderci insieme
già l'ora suonò.
Uniamoci, uniamoci,
l'unione e l'amore
rivelano ai popoli
le vie del Signore.
Giuriamo far libero
il suolo natio:
uniti, per Dio,
chi vincer ci può?
Dall'Alpi a Sicilia
Dovunque è Legnano,
Ogn'uom di Ferruccio
Ha il core, ha la mano,
I bimbi d'Italia
Si chiaman Balilla,
Il suon d'ogni squilla
I Vespri suonò.
Son giunchi che piegano
Le spade vendute:
Già l'Aquila d'Austria
Le penne ha perdute.
Il sangue d'Italia,
Il sangue Polacco,
Bevé, col cosacco,
Ma il cor le bruciò.


Italian brothers,
Italy has arisen,
With Scipio's helmet
binding her head.
Where is Victory?
Let her bow down,
For God has made her
The slave of Rome.

Let us form a cohort,
We are ready to die!
We are ready to die!
Italy has called!
Let us form a cohort,
We are ready to die!
We are ready to die!
Italy has called!
We for centuries
Have been downtrodden and derided,
Because we are not a people,
Because we are divided.
Let one flag, one hope
Bring us together;
The hour has struck
For us to join forces.

Let us form a cohort,
We are ready to die!
We are ready to die!
Italy has called!
Let us form a cohort,
We are ready to die!
We are ready to die!
Italy has called!
Let us unite and love one another;
For union and love
Reveal to peoples
The way of the Lord
Let us swear to free
Our native soil;
If we are united under God,
Who can conquer us?

Let us form a cohort,
We are ready to die!
We are ready to die!
Italy has called!
Let us form a cohort,
We are ready to die!
We are ready to die!
Italy has called!
From the Alps to Sicily,
Everywhere it is Legnano;
Every man has the heart
and hand of Ferruccio.
The children of Italy
Are all called Balilla;
Every trumpet blast
Sounds the (Sicilian) Vespers.

Let us form a cohort,
We are ready to die!
We are ready to die!
Italy has called!
Let us form a cohort,
We are ready to die!
We are ready to die!
Italy has called!
Mercenary swords
Are feeble reeds,
And the Austrian eagle
Has lost his plumes.
This eagle that drunk the blood
of Italy and Poland,
together with the Cossack,
But this has burned his gut.

Let us form a cohort,
We are ready to die!
We are ready to die!
Italy has called!
Let us form a cohort,
We are ready to die!
We are ready to die!
Italy has called!

Posted by airwolf09 15:35 Archived in Italy Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)


Location: Capitol: Geographic coordinates:
Europe Athens 39 00 N, 22 00 E

Area total: 131,940 sq km
land: 130,800 sq km
water: 1,140 sq km
Border: total: 1,228 km
border countries: Albania 282 km, Bulgaria 494 km, Turkey 206 km, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 246 km

Coastline: 13,676 km
Population: 10,645,343 (July 2002 est.)
Density of population: person/km sq
Nationality: noun: Greek(s)
adjective: Greek
Languages: Greek 99% (official), English, French
Ethnic groups: Greek 98%, other 2%

Religions: Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%
Life expactancy at birth
total population: 78.74 years
male: 76.17 years
female: 81.48 years (2002 est.)
Currency: euro (EUR); drachma (GRD)

Government: parliamentary republic; monarchy rejected by referendum 8 December 1974

National Anthem

The Hymn to Freedom (Ύμνος εις την Ελευθερίαν) is a poem written by Dionýsios Solomós in 1823 that consists of 158 stanzas. In 1865 the first two stanzas officially became the Greek national anthem, set to music by Nikolaos Mantzaros. It continues to be used as the national anthem of Cyprus, although this would have been replaced by a new anthem, without words, unique to Cyprus, under the Annan Plan (rejected by Greek Cypriots on April 24, 2004).

The Hymn to Freedom (Ύμνος εις την Ελευθερίαν) is a poem written by Dionýsios Solomós in 1823 that consists of 158 stanzas. In 1865 the first two stanzas officially became the Greek national anthem, set to music by Nikolaos Mantzaros. It continues to be used as the national anthem of Cyprus, although this would have been replaced by a new anthem, without words, unique to Cyprus, under the Annan Plan (rejected by Greek Cypriots on April 24, 2004).


Σε γνωρίζω απο τιν κόψη

τοῦ σπαθιοῦ τὴν τρομερή,
σὲ γνωρίζω ἀπὸ τὴν ὄψι,
ποὺ μὲ βία μετράει τὴ γῆ.
Ἀπ' τὰ κόκκαλα βγαλμένη
τῶν Ἑλλήνων τὰ ἱερά,
καὶ σὰν πρῶτα ἀνδρειωμένη,
χαῖρε, ὦ χαῖρε, Ἐλευθεριά!
Ἐκεῖ μέσα ἐκατοικοῦσες
πικραμένη, ἐντροπαλή,
κ' ἕνα στόμα ἐκαρτεροῦσες,
ἔλα πάλι, νὰ σοῦ πῇ.
Ἄργειε νἄλθῃ ἐκείνη ἡ μέρα,
καὶ ἦταν ὅλα σιωπηλά,
γιατὶ τἄσκιαζε ἡ φοβέρα,
καὶ τὰ πλάκωνε ἡ σκλαβιά.
Δυστυχής! Παρηγορία
μόνη σοῦ ἔμενε, νὰ λὲς
περασμένα μεγαλεῖα,
καὶ διηγῶντάς τα νὰ κλαῖς.
Καὶ ἀκαρτέρει, καὶ ἀκαρτέρει
φιλελεύθερη λαλιά
ἕνα ἐκτύπαε τ' ἄλλο χέρι
ἀπὸ τὴν ἀπελπισιά,
κ' ἔλεες· πότε, ἄ! πότε βγάνω
τὸ κεφάλι ἀπὸ τ 'ς ἐρμιές;
καὶ ἀποκρίνοντο ἀπὸ πάνω
κλάψες, ἅλυσες, φωνές!
Τότ' ἐσήκωνες τὸ βλέμμα
μέσ' στὰ κλάϊματα θολό,
καὶ εἰς τὸ ροῦχό σου ἔσταζ' αἷμα,
πλῆθος αἷμα Ἑλληνικό.
Μὲ τὰ ροῦχα αἱματωμένα
ξέρω ὅτι ἔβγαινες κρυφά,
νὰ γυρεύῃς εἰς τὰ ξένα
ἄλλα χέρια δυνατά.
Μοναχὴ τὸ δρόμο ἐπῆρες,
ἐξανάλθες μοναχή·
δὲν εἶν' εὔκολες οἱ θύρες,
ἐὰν ἡ χρεία τὲς κουρταλῇ.
Ἄλλος σοῦ ἔκλαψε εἰς τὰ στήθια,
ἀλλ' ἀνάσασι καμμιά·
ἄλλος σοῦ ἔταξε βοήθεια,
καὶ σὲ γέλασε φρικτά!
Ἄλλοι, ὠιμέ! στὴ συφορά σου
ὁ ποὺ ἐχαίροντο πολύ,
σύρε νά βρῃς τὰ παιδιά σου,
σύρε, ἐλέγαν οἱ σκληροί.
Φεύγει ὀπίσω τὸ ποδάρι,
καὶ ὁλογλήγορο πατεῖ
ἢ τὴν πέτρα, ἢ τὸ χορτάρι,
ποὺ τὴν δόξα σου ἐνθυμεῖ.
Ταπεινότατη σοῦ γέρνει
ἡ τρισάθλια κεφαλή,
σὰν φτωχοῦ ποὺ θυροδέρνει,
κ' εἶναι βάρος του ἡ ζωή.
Ναί· ἀλλὰ τώρα ἀντιπαλεύει
κάθε τέκνο σου μὲ ὁρμή,
ποὺ ἀκατάπαυστα γυρεύει
ἢ τὴ νίκη, ἢ τὴ θανή.
Ἀπ' τὰ κόκκαλα βγαλμένη
τῶν Ἑλλήνων τὰ ἱερά,
καὶ σὰν πρῶτα ἀνδρειωμένη,
χαῖρε, ὦ χαῖρε, Ἐλευθεριά!

Transliteration I
Sé ḡnorízo apo tền kopsi
toỹ spaṭioỹ tền tromerế.
Sè ḡnôrízô apò tền ópsê
poỳ mè ḇià metráei tề ḡễ.
Ap' tà kókkala ḇḡalménê
tỗn Hellếnôn tà hierà
kaì sàn prỗta anḏreiôménê
ḳaĩre, ỗ ḳaĩr' eleyṭeriá.

Transliteration II (Modern)
Se gnorízo apó tin kópsi
toy spathioý tin tromerí.
Se gnorízo apó tin ópsi
poy me via metráei ti ḡi.
Ap' ta kókkala vḡalméni
ton Ellínon ta ierá
kai san próta andreioméni
ẖaíre, o ẖaír' eleyftheriá.

Phonetic Transcription (I & II)
[sɛ ɣnoˈrizo aˌpo tiˈ-g-opsi
tu spaˈθçu ti-d-romɛˈri
sɛ ɣnoˈrizo aˌpo tin ˈopsi
pu mɛ ˈvʝa mɛtrˈaɪ ti ˈɣi
ˌap-ta ˈkokala vɣalˈmeni
ton ɛˈlinon ta jɛˈra
cɛ saˈ-b-rota anðrjoˈmeni
ˈçerɛ, o ˌçer-ɛlɛfθɛˈrʝa]


Literal English translation
I know you from the edge
Of your terrible sword
I know you from the countenance
Which with force surveys the earth
Rising from the bones
Of the Greeks, the sacred ones
And, as formerly, courageous
Hail, oh hail, liberty!

Poetic English translation
I shall always recognise you
By the magnificent sword you hold,
As the earth, with searching vision,
You survey, with spirit bold.
Twas the Greeks of old whose dying
Brought to birth our spirit free.
Now, with ancient valour rising,
Let us hail you, oh Liberty!

A different English translation by Rudyard Kipling (1918)
We knew thee of old,
Oh, divinely restored,
By the lights of thine eyes,
And the light of thy Sword.
From the graves of our slain,
Shall thy valour prevail,
As we greet thee again,
Hail, Liberty! Hail!

Posted by airwolf09 15:31 Archived in Greece Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)


Location: Europe
Capitol: Paris
Geographic coordinates: 46 00 N, 2 00 E

Area total: 547,030 sq km
land: 545,630 sq km
water: 1,400 sq km

Border: total: 2,889 km
border countries: Andorra 56.6 km, Belgium 620 km, Germany 451 km, Italy 488 km, Luxembourg 73 km, Monaco 4.4 km, Spain 623 km, Switzerland 573 km

Coastline: 3,427 km
Population: 59,765,983 (July 2002 est.)
Density of population: person/km sq
Nationality: noun: Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women)
adjective: French
Languages: French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
Ethnic groups: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities
Religions: Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%
Life expactancy at birth
total population: 79.05 years
male: 75.17 years
female: 83.14 years (2002 est.)
Currency: euro (EUR); French franc (FRF)

Government: republic

National Anthem

"La Marseillaise" is a song written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle at Strasbourg on April 25, 1792. Its original name is "Chant de guerre de l'Armée du Rhin" ("Marching Song of the Rhine Army). It became the rallying call of the French Revolution and was so-called because it was first sung on the streets by troops (fédérés) from Marseille upon their arrival in Paris.

Now the national anthem of France, it was in its earliest years the anthem of the international revolutionary movement. After the rise of centralised Communism, the song was largely replaced by "The Internationale" as the unifying song of the international Left. It was the anthem of the Paris Commune. Because great numbers of people on the left around the world, particularly anarchists, took inspiration from the Commune, it became an international symbol of leftism. For instance, in Chicago, Illinois, the Haymarket Martyrs went to their deaths singing the song. In 1917, after the collapse of the tsarist regime "La Marseillaise" and "The Internationale" were both used as national anthems of Russia. However, in a couple years "The Internationale" gradually prevailed and became the only anthem. The Russian lyrics of "Marseillaise", "Otrechemsya ot starogo mira", are very different from the French lyrics; both French and Russian lyrics were sung in Russia.

The song was banned in Vichy France and German occupied areas during World War II and singing it was an act of resistance (see also Chant des Partisans). It was also banned under the French Empire, France either used different anthems or no anthem at all for the period of 1799 to 1870.

"La Marseillaise" was re-arranged by Hector Berlioz around 1830.

In France itself, the anthem (and particularly the lyrics) has become a somewhat controversial issue since the 1970s. Some consider it militaristic and xenophobic, and many propositions have been made to change the anthem or the lyrics. However, "La Marseillaise" has been associated throughout history with the French Republic and its values, making a change unlikely.

Recently, and despite the lyrics, it was largely sung by anti-racist protesters after the accession of Jean-Marie Le Pen to the second turn of presidential election in 2002.


French lyrics

Couplet I
Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L'étendard sanglant est levé, (bis)
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Egorger vos fils et vos compagnes!
Aux armes, citoyens,
Formez vos bataillons,
Marchons, marchons!
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons!
Couplet II
Que veut cette horde d'esclaves
De traîtres, de rois conjurés?
Pour qui ces ignobles entraves
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés? (bis)
Français, pour nous, ah! quel outrage
Quels transports il doit exciter?
C'est nous qu'on ose méditer
De rendre à l'antique esclavage!
Couplet III
Quoi ces cohortes étrangères!
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers!
Quoi ! ces phalanges mercenaires
Terrasseraient nos fils guerriers! (bis)
Grand Dieu ! par des mains enchaînées
Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres des destinées.
Couplet IV
Tremblez, tyrans et vous perfides
L'opprobre de tous les partis
Tremblez ! vos projets parricides
Vont enfin recevoir leurs prix! (bis)
Tout est soldat pour vous combattre
S'ils tombent, nos jeunes héros
La France en produit de nouveaux,
Contre vous tout prêts à se battre
Couplet V
Français, en guerriers magnanimes
Portez ou retenez vos coups!
Épargnez ces tristes victimes
A regret s'armant contre nous (bis)
Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,
Mais ces complices de Bouillé
Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié
Déchirent le sein de leur mère!
Couplet VI
Amour sacré de la Patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs
Liberté, Liberté chérie,
Combats avec tes défenseurs! (bis)
Sous nos drapeaux que la victoire
Accoure à tes mâles accents,
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire!
Couplet VII
Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n'y seront plus,
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et la trace de leurs vertus (bis)
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre!


Verse I
Arise children of our fatherland,
[For] the day of glory has arrived!
Against us, tyranny,
Has raised its bloody flag, (1)
Do you hear in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers?
They are coming into your midst (2)
To slit the throats of your sons and wives!
To arms, citizens!
Form your battalions!
March, march!
Let impure blood (of our enemies)
Soak the furrows (of our fields)
Verse II
What does this horde of slaves want,
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?
For whom these vile chains
These long-prepared irons?
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What methods must be taken?
It is us they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!
Verse III
What! These foreign cohorts!
They would make laws in our courts!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would cut down our warrior sons
Good Lord! By chained hands
Our brow would yield under the yoke
The vile despots would have themselves be
The masters of destiny
Verse IV
Tremble, tyrants and traitors
The shame of all good men
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will receive their just reward
Against you we are all soldiers
If they fall, our young heroes
France will bear new ones
Ready to join the fight against you
Verse V
Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors
Bear or hold back your blows
Spare these sad victims
That they regret taking up arms against us
But not these bloody despots
These accomplices of Bouillé
All these tigers who mercilessly
Ripped out their mothers' wombs
Verse VI
Sacred patriotic love
Lead [and] support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished liberty
Fight [back] with your defenders
Under our flags, let victory
Hurry to your manly tone
So that your enemies, in their last breath [before death]
See your triumph and our glory!
Verse VII
We shall enter the career (3)
When our elders will no longer be there
There we shall find their ashes [lit. dust]
And the mark of their virtues
[We are] Much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins
[For] We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining [lit. following] them

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(1) The sentence (in French) is inverted, the non-literal translation is : "The bloody banner of tyranny is raised against/before us"
(2) Here and in the next line, this is often sung as "nos" ("our") rather than "vos" ("your"); "vos" remains official.
(3) "la carrière" ("the career"), that is, of being in the army.

Posted by airwolf09 15:26 Archived in France Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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