July 14, 2009

Vive la France! Vive la république!

Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L’étendard sanglant est levé, (bis)
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Egorger vos fils, vos compagnes !

Aux armes, citoyens,
Formez vos bataillons,
Marchons, marchons !
Qu’un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons !

La Marseillaise, 1907, from youtube.

Bonne Fête Nationale!

Fête Nationale or Bastille Day is the national French holiday which commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 which in turn signaled the beginning of the French Revolution.

The Bastille was a medieval fortress-like prison that had come to be associated in the minds of the French citizens with the harsh rule of the Bourbon monarchy. The capturing of the Bastille was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern French nation; the people had signaled that the king's power was no longer absolute – the ancien régime was at an end.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way” Charles Dickens.

Claude Monet. Rue Montorgueil, Paris, Festival of June 30, 1878. 1878. Oil on canvas. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France.
Although not Bastille Day, this painting by Monet gives an Impression of a joyous celebration.


Brian Miller said...

it's all french to me...lol. the pics are great. love the aircraft witht he colored smoke...

giulia said...

Merci, Mme Pup. You have taken the pressure off moi.:) Also, I always like to point out, as a former resident of Strasbourg, that la Marseillaise was written there...& was Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin originally...

People used to ask me, what do the French eat on B.D. (it's rarely called that there, as you correctly state the name above)?

The answer: whatever they want. There really isn't a "dish" or "menu"...street food, yes, etc.

Have fond memories of firehouses in smallish towns opening up & giving these dances--sometimes the night before. There's a whole lot of partying going on the night of the 13th, too. It's a lot of fun.

So if someone isn't in Paris, it's a blast (ha) anywhere in France. (& I try to forget what happens later that year, & years after...oh well. The French argue about this too...& it's also very fun & French. About the arguing...)Oh, & I see that Brian comments on the aircraft. One year back in the early 90s, a friend's son was one of the pilots of the flyover in Paris. Exciting! (I wasn't there but she reported & it was a huge honor, of course.)

xo Susan

Poetikat said...

I cannot think of this day without envisioning Madame Defarge at her knitting!

Vive la France!


Margaret Gosden said...

And I cannot listen to the Marseilaise without remembering the film Casablanca and how it was sung with such fervour in the face of the enemy!

Alaine said...

Clever Monet - love that painting.

California Girl said...

Informative interesting post with nice illustrations and a pretty cool 102 year old film on video.

When I hear Le Marseillaise, I think always of the scene in "Casablanca".

willow said...

This brings to mind that marvelous scene in "Casa Blanca". It always gives me goosebumps.

Premium T. said...

Ah, merci, mon amie!
What a great video!

Yesterday we play La Marsellaise on the i-pod and I marched around the living room. Silly! (But I couldn't help it.)

And I just read the Dickens aloud.

Rousing post!

Polly said...

This is a wonderful painting! You can almost hear the noise and feel the heat of the day...

K. said...

Love the wig!

FYI, I posted the Casablanca scene on my blog here.

Ima Wizer said...

Stunning photo! Terrific post and quotes.

Miiicha said...

cool cool

Candie Bracci said...

Merci Hazel ;)