(French, derived from the name of Carmagnola, Italy)

1. Carmagnole

A type of workman's jacket, commonly used in Carmagnola, in the Piedmont. The jacket, which was short, with wide lapels and metal buttons, gained popularity among the revolutionary marchers in Marseilles, during the early years of the French Revolution. It was introduced to Paris during 1792.

2. Carmagnole

A popular song of the Revolutinary era, authorship unknown. The Carmagnole was sung at more or less every one of the executions of 1792 and 1793.

Although the text of the Carmagnole was constantly being revised to fit the changing political circumstances, the first verse remained mostly unchanged:

Madame Veto avait promis
De faire égorger tout Paris,
Madame Veto avait promis
De faire égorger tout Paris,
Mais son coup a manqué,
Grâce à nos canonniers.
Dansons la carmagnole,
Vive le son, vive le son,
Dansons la carmagnole
Vive le son du canon!

Madame Veto1 had promised
To cut the throats of all Paris,
Madame Veto had promised
To cut the throats of all Paris,
But her blow missed,2
Thanks to our gunners.
Let us dance the Carmagnole,
Long live the sound, long live the sound,
Let us dance the Carmagnole,
Long live the sound of the cannon!

When Napoleon Bonaparte became First Consul, he banned the singing of the Carmagnole.

3. Carmagnole

A dance, that goes with the Carmagnole (2, above).

4. Carmagnole

A general term for all French Revolutionary songs, such as the Carmagnole (2, above), the Marseillaise, Ça Ira and Le Chant du Départ

5. Carmagnole

An inclusive term for a costume common during the Revolution: a carmagnole (1, above), worn with wide black trousers, a red ("Phrygian" or "Jacobin") cap, and a tricoloured sash. Since this outfit was often worn with the carmagnole the name grew to be applied to the whole costume, not just the jacket.

6. Barère des Carmagnoles

A term used during the French Revolution for speeches which called for the execution of Louis XVI.

7. Carmagnole

A colloquial term for a French soldier of the Revolutionary era.

8. Carmagnole

A colloquial term for an exaggerated military report, particularly when applied to the French Navy's reports, which were notorious for their cavalier attitude to accuracy.


1 "Madame Veto" was a popular epithet for Marie Antoinette, because she supposedly coaxed the king into using his veto power. Correspondingly, Louis XVI was "Monsieur Veto" (and yes, there's a verse or two about him, too).

2 Possibly a subtle pun: coup ("blow") and couper ("cut", as in guillotine). Marie Antoinette was guillotined.

Car`ma`gnole" (?), n. [F.]

1.

A popular or Red Rebublican song and dance, of the time of the first French Revolution.

They danced and yelled the carmagnole. Compton Reade.

2.

A bombastic report from the French armies.

 

© Webster 1913.

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