“À la Bastille!” Again!

Once again, with apologies to Pierre Ranger[It’s a tradition, we know… – Ed]  Indeed!  Play La Marseillaise!

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  • SeaanUiNeill

    “Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
    les aristocrates à la lanterne!
    Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
    les aristocrates on les pendra!”

    A version of this tune was played by Orange fife bands during the nineteenth century under the title “The Downfall of Paris.”

  • cynic2

    Is that a call to the OO to storm the Maze?

  • Damian O’Loan

    If NI had a popular campaign now based on the values of le quatorze juillet, what might it be?

  • wild turkey

    Monsieur Pierre,

    Liberté, égalité, fraternité. Mais, qui. N’est ce pas?

    J’espère que vous avez un bon été.


    merci beaucoup

  • Pete Baker

    Something like that, wt. 😉

    And have a good summer yourself.

  • Harry Flashman

    Well ok if it’s a tradition then let me make my traditional comment.

    The best national anthem in the world by a long chalk.

    The anthem of one of the greatest nations on earth.

    Unfortunately it celebrates and glorifies one of the worst political episodes in the history of the world.

    Most of the evils of the modern world stem from the French Revolution.

    However in the spirit of the day that’s in it let me offer an even better rendition of La Marseillaise, even if it does glamourise the jumped up little Corsican thug.


    Vive La France.

  • Harry Flashman

    Ah now you’ve got me checking out national anthems on YouTube.

    This one’s quite good, pity about the connotations.


    Not really a national anthem but another cool movie clip (ignore the fatuous “moderated content” warning from YouTube).


    But my current favourite, of a much-maligned but lovely nation with the world’s nicest people (and far and away the best-looking too).

  • Harry Flashman

    Sorry second link should be, curse you cut and paste.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hello Harry, thank you for the links. Did you ever see the Abel Gance’s 1927 silent classic “Napoleon” with the score by Carl Davis? I was at Kevin Brownlow’s first showing of the 1980 version of the restored film in the early 1980s at the Empire Leister Square! Not a dry eye in the house at the end, and enthusiastic applause for almost twenty minutes! Kevin took a phone (on a long lead, no mobiles in the 1980s) along the audience so that Gance could hear the applause of a London audience honouring both him and “the jumped up little Corsican thug.”

    Napoleon always claimed that the finest general France had ever produced was Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne. Turenne in turn claimed that should he wish for a fearless warrior to conquer the world, he would pick his aide, the Duke of York (the future James II & VII, and the true founder of the original British army of the Restoration) whose personal courage was legendary. Interesting thought just a few days after July 12th, n’est-ce pas?

  • Harry Flashman

    No never saw that movie Seaan. As a young man I was a great admirer of Boney but as I’ve got older and wiser I’ve come to see him as the usurping little chancer that he was, using Europe as place to play out a Corsican vendetta and installing his ghastly family in the thrones of Europe. Waterloo was the best thing to happen to France and Europe, ushering in half century of peace and progress.

    I did once read that James, Duke of York was a great soldier in the service of France, it’s strange he was so hapless when it came to fighting for his own crown.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hello Harry, James was also a great soldier (& sailor) in the service of his brother, check out the Battle of Lowestoft, where he successfully commanded the action against the national enemy:


    and in the process invented the tactics of naval warfare that would dominate the next two hundred years of sail.

    Unfortunately the Quislings of 1688 let the poor man down so badly his only option was not to fight, but to follow his father along the same path he’d trod forty years before when he found himself in the power of other rebels. And as the “jumped up little Corsican thug” once said, “It requires more courage to suffer than to die.”

  • Harry Flashman

    Yes Seaan but as the emperor himself said a general must not merely be good he must be lucky and to paraphrase Wilde, for the Stuarts to lose the crown of England once might be regarded as unfortunate for them to do so twice can only be regarded as carelessness.

    It really does take ineptitude of the highest order to have one’s family booted off the throne twice in half a century and surely indicates, no matter where your sympathies might lie, that they were simply not fit for the job of being kings.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And the Hanoverians, the very personifications of “Old King Log” were better kings? Or the notoriously corrupt Whig parliaments of the eighteenth century who helped the Hanoverians loose the first British Empire? (Those same embrionic “Liberals” who drove a suffering Ireland to revolution in 1798?) In this Harry, we will have to seriously disagree, but the full arguement requires far, far too much space and, to the probable relief of other posters, it will have to wait until my Stuart book finally comes out!

    But please check out the real de jure/de facto issues as set out in my comments over on “North Belfast kicks off…”

  • Harry Flashman

    Casting judgement on the relative merits and demerits of European royal houses is somewhat above my humble paygrade Seaan, and frankly I don’t have a dog in the fight.

    However from a purely objective historical perspective one can only say that England/Britain under the dull stolid rule of the Hanoverians witnessed two centuries of staggering growth, progress and prosperity, winning great battles, carving out a huge empire, leading the world in scientific, medical, political, agricultural, financial, industrial and intellectual development.

    This culminated in the zenith of British history the sixty years of rule under that epitome of the sensible Hanoverian hausfrau Victoria which saw Britain become the biggest empire the world had ever seen and is ever likely to see again.

    Contrast this with the seventy odd (very odd) years of rule by the dashing mercurial Stuarts which saw decades of turmoil, civil war, bankruptcy, military defeat, dictatorship, regicide, coup d’etats and invasion.

    I enjoy revisionist history as much as the next man and admire a contrarian historian prepared to stand against the received wisdom of history but comparing the Hanoverians and the Stuarts, seems to me it’s a no-brainer.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hiya Harry, “objective historical perspective” uses facts that have been researched from primary sources, not pseudo-patriotic fairy tales. Ever since Herbert Butterfield fully exploded “The Whig Interpretation of History” in his 1931 book of the same name, the version of history you are so vividly describing has been steadily retreating to the pages of penny shocker romances such as “Our Island Story.” Its chief importance now is helping historians of culture make some sense of the less imagenitive historical fiction. Or letting the “intellectuals” of the OO feel that they have some historical foundation in addition to being one of the lost tribes of Israel, the “Dannites”.

    While the Stuarts held back the tide of crude, lawless exploitation that parliament was really demanding (under the cover of a call for “justice”) for almost a century, and essayed a decent stab at modern-style tolerance under James II, the Hanoverian usurpers did not themselves “rule” in any meaningful sense. They were effectivly simply subjects of a powerful parliament who maintained the myth that the ongoing acts of parliament they passed were given the royal ascent! As tacapall so emphatically tells us on other threads, it was the bankers and grafting politicians who ruled the roost from 1688, the ancestors of the same boys who now skin us all to build their bonuses. And to whom I privately dedicated my first posting on this thread! “les aristocrates (read banksters) à la lanterne!”

    Little Vicky herself, Queen and Empress, was a rather committed Jacobite! Just not enough of a Jacobite to actually surrender the throne to Francis I or Mary IV & III!

    Harry, Harry, this is not revisionist history I’m presenting, its “History” as opposed to “propaganda that gulls the credulious” with the rancid self-congratulations of the corrupt eighteenth century Whigs, those hypoctitical proto “liberals” who I would always have assumed were just as obnoxious to the honest Tory I have always assumed you to be as they are to myself!!!

    But, as I said last time, you will have to wait for the book…..

  • Harry Flashman

    Look forward to it Seaan, be sure and let me know when it comes out.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Certainly Harry, I will have a signed copy reserved for you just as soon as Four Courts stop fluffing about….