Since I recommended reading the Declaration of Independance on
July 4, I decided to recommend reading (or, better, singing) La Marseillaise on July 14, Bastille Day.
It isn’t as strong of a recommendation; the writing really
isn’t as good, nor are the sentiments as elevating.
But you really have to understand 19th century European
nationalism to have any shot at understanding the way the world
is still organized in the 21st century. So you should read this
as well as the patriotic songs of other countries. And for
understanding why you should oppose war on almost all occasions,
there still isn’t any text better than Psalm
site has several versions of translations into English. The
one done by a French committee is interesting — I’d love to see a
summary of the discussion that led to “patrie” being translated “Motherland”.
If you’re in this area, we’ll sing all or most of the verses
tonight at the Cantabile Band