Word Origin & History

"Fr. national republican song," 1826, from fem. of adj. Marseillais "of Marseilles." The tune originally was "War Song for the Rhine Army," composed by royalist officer Capt. Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle; current name is because it was sung enthusiastically by soldiers from Marseilles advancing on the
Tuileries, Aug. 10, 1792.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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