Has the French anthem, ‘La Marseillaise’, always been so controversial?

Jul 2017
335
Argentina
#1
Previous to last Saturday’s football match in the Russia World cup, TV guys were talking a bit about some French players not singing La Marseillaise. Diving deeper in the subject I found that since 1996, French society has had a special concern about the players of the national football team singing it or not. I’ve seen much more times the rugby and volleyball French teams, but I never found a similar problem there.
It seems that since 1996, after a statement of a far right politician, there’s been a huge problem around, only the football team singing or not the song (the national anthem) in the pre matches, in front of cameras. It also seems that the problem begins in a phrase of the chorus about “impure blood irrigating our fields”, which some take as an unacceptable racist manifestation. But it also seems that very important players, when asked about it, never straightly answered that. Instead, they said things like “I sing inside myself” or “it isn’t really a big issue”, or “if I get to score three goals, nobody cares about me singing it”.
I understand that the song has been the national anthem since 1795 and that there have been periods of prohibition. I know the lyrics are longer and only a part is sung and heard nowadays. My question to you members is…
Has it always been the cause of so much controversy in French society?

¡¡¡aguanTe Talleres!!!
 
Sep 2013
411
France
#2
The "controversy" is very recent, in fact it's not at all a "controversy" about the verses.

La Marseillaise is very popular in France, and except a few far-left extremists, nobody want to change de national anthem.

Now to talk about the football players...

Platini, for example, and for what I know, didn't sing la marseillaise, as other players at that time. Some of them didn't know the lyrics, other simply didn't want to sing. In the 80's, there were no problem about that.

But as you may know, recently, french society is quite in trouble about the migrants, and about all the french who are not from european acendency. Can we trust them ? Are they true patriots ? Something like that.

Because yes, you may think that people just want to have good football players in their team, but not in France. In France, people want their player to repeat all day long how much they are proud to play football for "la France", especially when they are black.

So since a few years, all football french players have to know and sing la Marseillaise.

After the match France-Argentina, there was an interview of M'bappe. Griesman took the micro and shout "vive la France, vive la république". Just like that. Something which would had been quite weird twenty or thirty years ago is nowadays totally normal and encouraged.
 
Oct 2015
1,120
California
#3
Previous to last Saturday’s football match in the Russia World cup, TV guys were talking a bit about some French players not singing La Marseillaise. Diving deeper in the subject I found that since 1996, French society has had a special concern about the players of the national football team singing it or not. I’ve seen much more times the rugby and volleyball French teams, but I never found a similar problem there.
It seems that since 1996, after a statement of a far right politician, there’s been a huge problem around, only the football team singing or not the song (the national anthem) in the pre matches, in front of cameras. It also seems that the problem begins in a phrase of the chorus about “impure blood irrigating our fields”, which some take as an unacceptable racist manifestation. But it also seems that very important players, when asked about it, never straightly answered that. Instead, they said things like “I sing inside myself” or “it isn’t really a big issue”, or “if I get to score three goals, nobody cares about me singing it”.
I understand that the song has been the national anthem since 1795 and that there have been periods of prohibition. I know the lyrics are longer and only a part is sung and heard nowadays. My question to you members is…
Has it always been the cause of so much controversy in French society?

¡¡¡aguanTe Talleres!!![/QUOTE

you answered your own question when you said there have been periods of prohibition. I believe it was banned by Napoleon because of its class divisiveness. So yes its always been controversial. The Race controversy is new though.
 
Sep 2013
411
France
#5
There's nothing about "race". The "impure blood irrigating our fields" is a metaphor about foreign invaders who were described as "slaves" fighting for their kings during the war of the first coalition.
 
Sep 2013
411
France
#7
I don't know the words, but La Marseillaise is the most blood-pumping national anthem there is (and I'm English!)
Before being the national anthem, it was simply "le chant de marche de l'armée du Rhin": a war songmarch for battalions from southern France.

Today in France, the national anthem is like the "tricolore" flag; something "sacred". Changing it would be percieved as changing France in its essence...
Not something to be discussed...
 
Jul 2017
335
Argentina
#8
Hey Eric.
Thanks for reading my post and answering.
Anyway....
Yo surely know very well that an important politician, whose party keeps geting some votes, treated a player as "football mercenary" because ge doesn't want to sing the anthem. The dude developed his presidential campaign around the matter and got ellected for the second round.
On the other side, those indicated players, when asked... simply evade the question.
Besides.... it looks like not all french society sees that phrase of the song as naive as you see it.
Anyway.... the controversy has these recent (three decades) players. My question is if it has been existing for longer but beyond such exhibition as it gets with the national football team.

BTW. Thanks for taking us out of the cup. We didn't deserve to pass to quarterfinals, not being such disastrous team. Well done for your young players.