WAIT, WAIT, DON’T GUILLOTINE ME! Question 6
Test – and refresh – your knowledge of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror with this simple multiple-choice quiz!
6. The national Anthem of France is:
A. “You Went the Wrong Way, Old King Louie.”
B. “La Vie En Rose”
C. “La Marseillaise”
Answer: C. “La Marseillaise”
“La Marseillaise” was composed in one night (April 24, 1792) during the French Revolution by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, a captain of the engineers and amateur musician. It was performed at a patriotic banquet at Marseilles, and printed copies were given to the soldiers who were marching to Paris. They entered Paris singing this song, and it became a popular marching tune. It was originally called “Chant de guerre de l'armee du Rhin” (War Song of the Army of the Rhine) but the Parisians called it “La Marseillaise” because it was sung by the soldiers from Marseilles. (And it's a lot easier to say.)
The composer himself was not a revolutionary. He wrote the song to encourage the French troops who were fighting France's enemies abroad. But he never supported the Revolution at home. In fact, he spent some time in prison and just barely escaped the guillotine. Ironically, his song became the anthem of the revolution, and in 1795, the national anthem.
It was so revolutionary, in fact, that Napoleon and Louis XVIII both banned it. It was briefly restored after the July Revolution of 1830 but was banned again by Napoleon III. It was not allowed until 1879 and didn't become the official national anthem again until 1946.
March 8 – 24, 2019