Episode Air Date: June 1, 2015
Strasbourg, 1792, the thick of the French Revolution. Rouget de Lisle, a soldier and parttime musician, is given less than one day to compose a little tune for battle-bound troops. The result: Chant de Guerre pour l’Armée du Rhine or War Song for the Army of the Rhine. It was wildly popular among troops and the public alike. The title was later changed to “La Marseillaise”, and the piece was adopted as France’s national anthem in short order. Here’s La Garde Republicaine Band from 1911.
Did we fool any Beatles fans? The Fab Four used the opening bars of “La Marseillaise” as an intro to their 1967 single “All You Need Is Love”. Funny when you consider the brutal lyrics…