Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Through the Opera Glasses - 44 - La Dessalinienne

As is surely the case with all of you, my mind is on Haiti this week, as I go about my days.

I'd like to share with you the national anthem of Haiti.

La Dessalinienne was written in honor of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Haiti's first Haitian-born, non-colonial ruler. At a time like this, when their country lays in ruins, the melody and words of their anthem pulses within the hearts of Haitians, burning with the strength of what can never crumble or shatter into dust.

In the clip it's being sung in French:

Pour le Pays, Pour les ancêtres,
Marchons unis, Marchons unis.
Dans nos rangs point de traîtres!
Du sol soyons seuls maîtres.
Marchons unis, Marchons unis
Pour le Pays, Pour les ancêtres,
Marchons, marchons, marchons unis,
Pour le Pays, Pour les ancêtres.

The English translation:

For our country,
For our forefathers,
United let us march.
Let there be no traitors in our ranks!
Let us be masters of our soil.
United let us march
For our country,
For our forefathers.

The Haitian anthem is also sung in Creole:

Pou Ayiti peyi Zansèt yo
Se pou-n mache men nan lamen.
Nan mitan-n pa fèt pou gen trèt
Nou fèt pou-n sèl mèt tèt nou.
Annou mache men nan lamen
Pou Ayiti ka vin pi bèl.
Annou, annou, met tèt ansanm
Pou Ayiti onon tout Zansèt yo.

- lyrics by Justin Lhérisson, music by Nicolas Geffrard