La Marseillaise: French National Anthem with English Lyrics

La Marseillaise is the French national anthem and is one of the most famous national songs in the world. The lyrics open with: “Allons enfants de la Patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrivé !” (Arise, children of the fatherland The day of glory has arrived.). The anthem came to symbolize French Revolution. At the bottom of the post you can watch a YouTube video La Marseillaise with French/English lyrics and translation.

Bonne fête nationale!
Happy Bastille Day! Become an expert on Bastille Day, France’s national holiday which falls every year on July 14th. This post covering Bastille Day our site provides all the information and insights on the history and celebrations that occur on France’s national day!

Brief history of La Marseillaise

The song was first written 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle and was originally called “Chant de guerre pour l’Armée du Rhin” or “War Song for the Army of the Rhine”.

The song was written in Strasbourg at the start of an invasion of north-western France by Prussia and Austria.

In 1795, La Marseillaise was adapted as the anthem of the First Republic. The song got its name when pro-revolutionary marchers called fédérés from Marseille sung the song in Paris.

During the early 19th century the song lots importance under Napoleon I,  Louis XVIII and Charles X.

However, in 1897 the song was adopted as France’s official national anthem. Over the years the song has come to symbolize the French revolution and revolutions worldwide.

La Marseillaise: French and English lyrics to the French national anthem

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, vos compagnes!

Arise, children of the Fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us tyranny
Raises its bloody banner (repeat)
Do you hear, in the countryside,
The roar of those ferocious soldiers?
They’re coming right into your arms

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Aux armes, citoyens,
Formez vos bataillons,
Marchez, marchez!
Qu’un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons!

To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
March! March!
That an impure blood
Waters our furrows!

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!

Sacred love of the Fatherland,
Lead, support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished Liberty,
Fight with thy defenders! (repeat)
Under our flags, shall victory
Hurry to thy manly accents,
That thy expiring enemies,
See thy triumph and our glory!

Aux armes, citoyens…

To arms, citizens…

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!

What does this horde of slaves,
Of traitors and conjured 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!

Aux armes, citoyens…

To arms, citizens…

Quoi! des cohortes étrangères
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers!
Quoi! Ces phalanges mercenaires
Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers! (bis)
Grand Dieu! Par des mains enchaînées
Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres de nos destinées!

What! Foreign cohorts
Would make the law in our homes!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would strike down our proud warriors! (repeat)
Great God ! By chained hands
Our brows would yield under the yoke
Vile despots would have themselves
The masters of our destinies!

Aux armes, citoyens…

To arms, citizens…

Français, en guerriers magnanimes,
Portez ou retenez vos coups!
Épargnez ces tristes victimes,
À 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!

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,
You bear or hold back your blows!
You spare those sorry victims,
Who arm against us with regret. (repeat)
But not these bloodthirsty despots,
These accomplices of Bouillé,
All these tigers who, mercilessly,
Rip their mother’s breast!

Aux armes, citoyens…

To arms, citizens…

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About David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site, FrenchLearner.com, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.