Marseillaise

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The Marseillaise is the national hymn of the French republic. It is named thus because it was first made popular by soldiers from the city of Marseilles (don't confuse the spellings!), who were coming north to help defend the young republic in 1792. It had been written a couple of monthe earlier by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760–1836) under the title of Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin ('War song for the Rhine Army') in Strasbourg, while it was awaiting attack from the Prussian and Austrian armies. It was soon also known as La Marche des Marseillois ('The March of the Men from Marseilles'), and l'hymne des Marseillais ('the hymn of the people of Marseilles'). The modern standard form La Marseillaise only appeared in 1832.

The text of all seven verses in French, with an English translation and various details of music, history and so on, can be found at the French website 'www.midi-france.info' [[1]], or at wikipedia [[2]]. The text, adopted as the anthem of France in 1795, was banned during the various post-Revolution Empires because of its inflammatory nature. It was finally adopted in 1879, and is currently named by article 2 of the French Constitution of 1958: "L'hymne national est la « Marseillaise»" ('The National Anthem is the "Marsellaise"').

Etymological note: The noun La Marseillaise appears to mean 'the woman from Marseilles', being the feminine form of the adjective meaning 'of, or from, Marseilles' used absolutely, as is common in French. In fact, it is probably a truncated form of La marche marseillaise, 'the Marseilles March' (marche is a feminine noun in French, and so the adjective must be in the feminine form).