The winger of eight-eight and nine
Was aching cold, it chilled the very soul
They came from the country in twos and threes
A trickle, a river, a torrent, a sea,
Driven by hunger, driven by pain
A hundred thousand reached the barricade

Three hundred dead
Shot down like rats
Three hundred lives
Snuffed out like that
Have a care if you treat your people like vermin
You could end up with bloodstained ermine
But soft
As ever in the ebb and flow
Sweet reason, deft and incorrupt
Adoring of the human kind illuminates man's plight
Should be embrace
The brute and base
Tilt blindly at the carousel
Or note, at least, the other voice
And entertain the choice
Between the darkness and the light?

"To laugh is to know how to live"

Marie Marianne:
To laugh is to know how to live
To see is to know everything
To read is to hold the key that you need
The key you need to set you free

All the world can see that in this great library
There's a good medicine against tyranny
And the movement of the heavens
Though it may last forever
sees no right, no wrong, no weak, no strong
And the star you see in the sky and the moon and the sun
Shine on prince and pauper alike and favour no one

Children's Choir:
The politics of the Rights of Man
Is the sharing of apples with an even hand
To plant a tree were birds may sit
But who in France will nurture it

"Slavers, Landlords, Bigots at your door"

Revolutionary Priests:
Slaves, Landlords, Bigots at your door
Aristocrats, Democrats, survivors of the North American war
Some with heart, some without hate
Some with faith in the human race
And so the loan sharks
Selling dreams in honeyed tones like skylarks
And rats who speak like cats of sacred rights
The sacred rights of the family

Marie Marianne:
And al those brave souls both brave enough and crazy enough
To spill their blood for truth alone
That one or two ideas survive, always survive
Writ in blood on paving stones

Children's Chorus:
And the noble class who rule
Having been to all the best schools
Have thought it through and are good enough
To explain what is best for us
It came to them in a dream
In a blinding flash of light
Equality, fraternity and not just in the afterlife
And they promise us reading
And they promise us reading
If we kneel before the King

All Soloists:
And on the street corners
The broadsheets all carry the usual story
A people dying to believe in some benign authority
To lead them down a road that’s paved with glory
To lead them down a road that’s paved with glory

Lyrics submitted by thedanman344

Ca Ira - Act I - Scene 4: France in Disarray song meanings
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