Marseillaise Day

This day honors the national anthem of France, the Marseillaise, on the anniversary of the day it was first sung in Paris in 1792 by five hundred men from Marseilles, hence the title.

The Official National Anthem 'La Marseillaise' was initially established as a national song of the (First) Republic by decree on 14 July, 1795, but was banned under the First Empire, and the Restoration. A return to grace at the time of the July Revolution in 1830 was followed by a resurgence in popularity until it was again abolished under Napoleon III's 2nd Empire. It was not until 1879, under the Third Republic that it was re-established as the official national anthem. In 1887, an 'official version' was agreed upon and adopted by the War Ministry. Since then it has remained the tune played at all official state ceremonies or sporting events.
There are actually seven verses but only the first and sixth are are usually sung at official ceremonies.

Claude Rouget de Lisle, an officer and composer born in Lons-le-Saunier, wrote La Marseillaise, which was actually written in Strasbourg rather than Marseille. He was Captain of the engineering corps at the Garrison in Strasbourg in 1791, and in April of the following year, when war was declared against Austria, the Mayor, Baron de Dietrich asked Rouget de Lisle to write the verses and compose the melody of a Chant de guerre pour l'armée du Rhin. It was adopted by the volunteers from Marseille when they entered Paris on the 30th of July 1792, later assuming the title of the La Marseillaise and becoming famous throughout the world.
Composed at a time in history when revolutionary spirit and the love of one's country were becoming one, La Marseillaise was made the national anthem by decree on the 14th of July 1795. Banned under the Empire and the Restoration, it was to reappear during the Revolutions of 1830 and 1848, and again became the national anthem under the Second Republic in 1879.
The history of the numerous variations and orchestral harmonizations of La Marseillaise is a complex one. In 1830, Hector Berlioz arranged it in a version for choir and orchestra and again in 1848, in a second version for solo tenor, choir and piano. 'For anyone who has a heart, a voice and blood in their veins', he wrote at the top of the score.