Category Archives: National Pride

The Marseilles Hymn

“Grandsires” is an older form of “grandfathers”, “hoary” means “white with age”, “affright” means “frighten” and “insatiate” means “unable to be satisfied”. In the hymnal, after “To arms! to arms!”, the song reads “etc”. Perhaps the song was well enough known in the States that the rest of the verse did not need to be printed. I looked up the rest of the verse on Wikipedia.org. “Mete and vend the light and air” refers to the monarchy’s complete control of its subjects, even to meting out light and charging for air.

Verse 1:
Ye sons of France, awake to glory!
Hark! hark! what myriads bid you rise!
Your children, wives, and grandsires hoary:
Behold their tears, and hear their cries:
Behold their tears, and hear their cries:
Shall hateful tyrants mischief breeding,
With hireling hosts, a ruffian band,
Affright and desolate the land,
While peace and liberty lie bleeding.
To arms! to arms! ye brave!
The avenging sword unsheath,
March on, march on!
All hearts resolv’d
On to victory or death!

Verse 2:
With luxury and pride surrounded
The vile, insatiate despots dare,
Their thirst for gold and power unbounded,
To mete and vend the light and air:
To mete and vend the light and air:
Like beasts of burden would they load us,
Like gods would bid their slaves adore;
But man is man, and who is more?
Then shall they longer lash and goad us:
To arms! to arms! ye brave!
The avenging sword unsheath,
March on, march on!
All hearts resolv’d
On victory or death!

Verse 3:
Oh, liberty! can man resign thee,
Once having felt thy generous flame?
Can dungeons, bolts, and bars confine thee?
Or whips thy noble spirit tame?
Or whips thy noble spirit tame?
Too long the world has wept bewailing
That falsehood’s dagger tyrants weild;
But freedom is our sword and shield,
And all their arts are unavailing.
To arms! to arms! ye brave!
The avenging sword unsheath,
March on, march on!
All hearts resolv’d
On to victory or death!

Rouget de Lisle

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The Star-Spangled Banner

In Verse 3, “vauntingly” means “in a boasting cock-sure fashion”. “Hireling and slave” refer to the mercenaries paid to fight and to the soldiers who lived under the British Crown. The idea is that they did not have as much to fight for since one group fought for money and the other fought to benefit someone other than themselves. In contrast, the Americans fought for their homes, families and way of life–all that we consider to be a part of freedom.
When this volume was published, we had just begun to extend the blessings of freedom to those who had been enslaved in this country. I cannot imagine with what emotion they sang the third and fourth stanzas in light of their recent emancipation.

Verse 1:
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts, we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Verse 2:
On the shore dimly seen thro’ the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner; oh, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Verse 3:
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footsteps’ pollution:
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Verse 4:
Oh, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and wild war’s desolation;
Blest with vic’try and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Francis S. Key/John Arnold

America

“Let rocks their silence break,” in Verse 3 refers to Luke 19:40 where Jesus replies to the Pharisees who want Him to silence the crowd praising Him, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out”(KJV).
A really fun thing about this song is that it is sung to the same tune as “God Save the Queen” is in Great Britain.

Verse 1:
My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountain side
Let freedom ring!

Verse 2:
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.

Verse 3:
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees,
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Verse 4:
Our father’s God, to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!

Rev. S.F. Smith/English Air, arr.