Favorite Songs and Hymns For School and Home, page: 0318

450 Of The World's Best Songs And Hymns, With Lyrics & Sheet music for voice & piano.

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318                         FAVORITE SONGS FOR SCHOOL AND HOME.
The Marseillaise.—Richard Grant White, in his work on patriotic national songs, gives a graphic account of the circumstances under which this most stirring of all national airs was written. He says: " This remarkable ' hymn' struck out in the white heat of unconscious inspiration, perfect in all its parts, and in six months adopted by the people, the army, the legislature and the whole nation, is a war-cry, a summons to instant battle. It has no inspiration but glory, and invokes no god but liberty. Rouget de Lisle, its author, was an accomplished officer, an enthusiast for liberty, but no less a champion for just-
ice and an upholder of constitutional monarchy. He was at Strasburg in 1792. One day Dehrich, the Mayor of the town, who knew him well, aiked him to write a martial song, to be sung on the departure of six hundred volunteers to the Army of the Rhine. He consented, wrote the song that night—the words sometimes coming before the music, sometimes the music before the words—and gave it to Deitrich the next morning. As is not uncommon with authors, he was at first dissatisfied with the fruit of his sudden inspiration, and, as he handed the manuscript to the Mayor, he said, • Here is what you asked for, but I
AWAY, AWAY.
D. F. E. Auber,1828.
fear it is not very good.' But Deitrich looked, and knew better. They went to the harpsichord with Madame and sang it; they gathered the band of the theatre together and rehearsed it; it was sung in the public square, and excited such enthusiasm, that, instead of six hundred volunteers, nine hundred left Strasburg for the army. In the course of a few months it worked its way southward and became a favorite with the Marseillais, who carried it to Paris —where the people, knowing nothing of its name, its author, or its original purpose, spoke of it simply as the' soBg of the Marseillais,' and as the Marseillaise
it will be known forever, and forever be the rallying: cry of France against tyianny. Its author, soon pro­scribed as a Royalist, fled from France and took refuge in the Alps. But the echoes of the chord that he had so unwittingly struck pursued him even to the mountain tops of Switzerland. ' What,' said he, to a peasant guide in the upper fastnesses of the bor­der range, * is this song that I hear—Allons, enfans de la patrie?' 'That? That is the Marseillaise.* And thus, suffering from the excesses that he had in­nocently stimulated, he first learned the name which, his countrymen had given to the song he had written."
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