I was walking home on Friday and passed by a long string of military trucks and tanks, and I thought to myself, "What is going on?" Then I thought, 'Perhaps they should be doing that on the German border instead.' But it seems the typical 14 Juillet celebrations in France involve military parades and fireworks, and the president of the republic talks to the press about the state of the country and holds a garden party, although Sarkozy seems to have dropped the ball on his end of the events this year.
Last night I went to James and Sandrine's new apartment for their fête for la Fête Nationale. Their new apartment is in a high rise with views of the city, so we could all could view the fireworks (feu d'artifice). Sandrine joked beforehand that we should bone up on the Marseillaise. Oh dear! Of course I only have heard it when watching 'Casablanca'.
If you think the US national anthem is violent, it ain't got nothing on the Marseillaise. Here is one translation I found online:
Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts
To arms citizens
Form your battalions
Let impure blood
Water our furrows