Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bastille Day

Today is the Fête Nationale in France known also as "le quatorze juillet" or Bastille Day.

This is the day in 1789 when French citizens stormed and captured the Bastille—a Royalist fortress in Paris. It marks the symbolic beginning of the French revolution although the real beginning is when the Third Estate transformed itself into the National Assembly on June 17, 1789 [Tennis Court Oath].

Ms. Sandwalk and I visited the site of the Bastille (Place de la Bastille) when we were in Paris last year. There's nothing left of the former castle but the site still resonates with meaning and history.

One of Ms Sandwalk's ancestors, William Playfair participated in the storming of the Bastille.

In honor of the French national day I invite you to sing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise. An English translation is provided so you can see that La Marseillaise is truly a revolutionary call to arms. (A much better translation can be found here.)




Check out Uncertain Principles for another version of La Marseillaise—this is the famous scene in Casablanca.

1 comment :

  1. For some Canadian content, try the excellent version of La Marseillaise featuring Ben Heppner. It's from his CD Airs francais. The single track is available from iTunes.

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