La Marsellaise, if you have ever read the words, is unlike most any other national anthem. It is an anthem to freedom, a call to stand against tyranny, a battle cry.
I think the most important verse in light of the recent senseless acts of violence in Paris is this one:
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 !
Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,
Bear or hold back your blows!
Spare these sad victims,
Regretfully arming against us. (repeat)
But not these bloodthirsty despots,
But not these accomplices of Bouillé,
All of these animals who, without pity,
Tear their mother’s breast to pieces!
What I take from this verse is in emotionally charged times actions, while needing to be decisive, most importantly must not be divisive. We need to avoid tarring our friends and neighbours with the same brush as those who perpetrate these senseless acts, simply because of who they pray to.
My friend JC who is French said it exactly when he said:
“I felt quite sad and angry, what a disgrace.”
And that’s what it is, a disgrace.
Viva la France