Just in: French National Assembly burst into spontaneous song

For the first time since its meeting on 11 November 1918, at the end of the First World War, the French legislature burst into the Marsellaise after observing one minute’s silence for the 17 victims of last week’s attacks.

Watch here. The silence begins at 00:40 (broken only by numbskull photographers). It is not known who started the anthem.


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  • I have to say that I was rather moved by this spontaneous expression of French idealism and solidarity. It seems somehow absolutely appropriate.

  • The text of the Marseillaise has an unexpected relevance to the recent terrorism:

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

    To arms, citizens,
    Form your battalions,
    Let’s march, let’s march!
    Let the impure blood
    Water our furrows!

    • Except for the “impure blood” of course which, for us Frenchmen (and -women), had always a strange ring to it.

      Of course, hommage is due not only to the journalists/cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo, but also to the three policemen and four citizens who were murdered, but I can’t help thinking that, in a Heaven they did no believe in (neither do I), the 9 Charlies are laughing their asses out watching the French Parliament singing the Marseillaise in their honour.

  • Impressive! Italians might be able to top that performance, provided they could ever agree on anything. In my native Finland probably half of the MP:s don’t even know the words of our national anthem.

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