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Video: Damien Saez' rousing political anthem to Resistance: "Sons of France"

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"Fils de France" (Sons of France) is one of the most powerful political anthems I've heard, and it's modern. Its composer, Damien Saez, is a man to watch. He's one of the best of this generation's singer-songwriters, and a powerful political voice.

I'll have more of his work in future posts.

"Fils de France" was written during the French 2002 presidential election, when Jean-Marie Le Pen (the far-far-right candidate) defeated the center-left candidate, Lionel Jospin, in the first round to enter the final round against Jacques Chirac, who won.

The victory by the racist Le Pen in reaching the second round shocked France and the world.

Couple that with the fact that 40% of French youth didn't vote — 40% — and you can see why Saez is upset. Saez is one of them, of that generation. The song opens with a reference to that lack of engagement by youth (a constant Saez theme).

Saez is always trying to engage the youth politically — something we should be doing here as well. In my own personal and most humble opinion, of course.

Notice please the emphasis on la Resistance (resistance!), with the raised fist. If you come here often, you know I'm a big fan of raising a ruckus, exerting your will, getting in the way of the machine — being effective, in other words.

But maybe that's just me and my "playing to win" fetish.

Listen and watch as Damien Saez performs "Fils de France" live at the Zenith in Paris in 2002. After that, a taste of the lyrics, to get you started.

Enjoy the music. Every time I listen, I can't get the song out of my head.

A taste of the lyrics:

Fils De France
Sons of France

Announcer: "40% of 18–25-year-olds didn't vote. Unimaginable!"

J'ai lu, les larmes aux yeux,
les nouvelles ce matin
    I read, with tears in my eyes,
    the news this morning.

20% pour l'horreur,
20% pour la peur.
    20% voted for horror
    20% voted for fear

Ivre d'inconscience,
tous, Fils de France.
    Drunk with unawareness,
    all of them, Sons of France.

Au pays des lumières,
amnésie suicidaire.
    In the land of the Enlightenment
    suicidal forgetfulness.

Non Non Non Non.

Nous sommes, nous sommes la Nation des Droits de l'Homme.
    We are the Nation of the Rights of Man [a document]
Nous sommes, nous sommes la Nation de la Tolérance.
    We are the nation of Tolerance.
Nous sommes, nous sommes la Nation des Lumières.
    We are the nation of the Enlightenment.
Nous sommes, nous sommes à l'heure de la Résistance.
    We are at the hour of Resistance.

Pour les rêves qu'on a fait, et pour ceux qu'on fera.
    For the dreams that we have done,
    and the dreaming we will do.
Pour le poing qu'on a levé, pour celui qu'on lèvera.
    For the fist that we have lifted,
    and the fist we're going to raise.
Pour un idéal, pour une utopie.
    For an ideal, for utopia.
Allons marchons ensemble enfants de la Patrie,
Fils de France.
    Let us march together, children of the country,
    Sons of France.

[The last is a quote from La Marseillaise, the French national anthem: "Allons enfants de la Patrie..."]


Y a ces ombres derrière nous, y a ces idées vendues,
    Behind us there are shadows,
    the traitors and their plots,
y a ces drapeaux qui flottent et des hymnes dessus,
    the banners that they fly,
    their anthems and their shouts,
et puis y a toi mon frère, oui toi qui n'y croit plus
    and then there is you, my brother,
    yes, you who have lost your faith
et puis y a nos prières et nos causes perdues.
    and then there are all our prayers
    and all lost causes too.

Honte a notre pays, honte à notre Patrie,
    Shame on our country, shame on us,
Honte à nous la jeunesse, honte à la tyrannie,
    Shame on us the young, shame on the tyranny,
Honte à notre pays, revoilà l'ennemi,
    Shame on our country; look, the old enemy,
Allons marchons ensemble enfants de la Patrie,
Fils de France.
    Let us march together, children of the country,
    Sons of France.
"The old enemy" is a revolutionary France–era reference to being surrounded by kings who wanted the French Republic to go away — threat as it was to their "divine right" doctrine. They put armies in the field to say so.

We know how that ended (they lost to the Republican army), but it always comes back, that battle. The "old enemy" is rule by elites, as Saez obviously knows. He's quite the rebel, one I really like.

Nous sommes à l'heure de la Resistance. We're at the hour of Resistance.

If you think, as I do, that we're at a global tipping point — true that in spades.

À la Resistance, fils du Monde — Resist, children of the world. It really will be your world soon enough.

Remembering Saez' words: "You who have lost your faith" — do not lose your faith yet.


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