CARMAGNOLE (from Carmagnola, the town in Italy), a word first applied to a Piedmontese peasant costume, well known in the south of France, and brought to Paris by the revolutionaries of Marseilles in 1798. It consisted of a short skirted coat with rows of metal buttons, a tricoloured waistcoat and red cap, and became the popular dress of the Jacobins. The name was then given to the famous revolutionary song, composed in 1792, the tune of which, and the wild dance which accompanied it, may have also been brought into France by the Piedmontese. The original first verse began: -
"Monsieur Veto (i.e. Louis XVI.) avait promis
D'être fidèle à sa patrie."
and each verse ends with the refrain: -
"Vive le son, vive le son,
Dansons la Carmagnole,
Vive le son
The words were constantly altered and added to during the Terror and later; thus the well-known lines,
"Madame Veto avait promis
De faire égorger tout Paris
On lui coupa la tête," etc.,
were added after the execution of Marie Antoinette. Played in double time the tune was a favourite march in the Revolutionary armies, until it was forbidden by Napoleon, on becoming First Consul.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)