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"Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse" (English: "Sambre-et-Meuse Regiment") is a French poem and military march by Robert Planquette and Paul Cezano.

"Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse"
March by Robert Planquette
Sambre-et-Meuse music sheet.jpg
Sheet music cover
English"The Regiment of the Sambre and Meuse"
Textby Paul Cezano
DateMarch 3, 1870
PerformersLucien Fugère



Cezano penned the lyrics to "Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse" following the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, Planquette setting them to music shortly thereafter.[1] Cezano was one of a number of French artists of the period who sought to reconcile the defeat of France with memories of its historic victories, with the song describing the achievement of human immortality through heroic death.[1]

Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse performed by the Ohio State University Marching Band before a 2016 American football game against the University of Nebraska, followed by the singing of Buckeye Battle Cry.
1905 recording of Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse sung by Pierre d'Assy

It was first publicly performed by the baritone Lucien Fugère in a Paris cabaret on March 3, 1870.[2] Quickly finding favor as a popular song, it became a part of the music curriculum in schools during the French Third Republic, and was used at other important moments in French history during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[1] It was performed to accompany Alfred Dreyfus' degradation ceremony of 1895 and, during the First World War, to accompany the execution of traitors, though it later fell out of favor.[1]

Use outside FranceEdit

Since 1936, the Ohio State University Marching Band has performed Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse as part of its pregame show during the script Ohio formation.[3][4] It is also a staple of the repertoire of the West Point Band, where it is known by the name French National Defile.[3]

Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse is often used for marches of the Belgian military schools in Brussels (KMS) and Sint-Truiden (KSOO) because of the historic link of this song with Belgium. Also in the most southern part of The Netherlands, Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse, is played often, because of the historic link of this region with Belgium.

Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse is also used for marches of Chilean Army during the Great Military Parade to resemble the historic influences from French Army.

Use in fictionEdit

In Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers, the character Sergeant Zim leads his soldiers in the singing of "oldies ... like Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse and Caissons".[5]


French English

1er couplet:

Tous ces fiers enfants de la Gaule
Allaient sans trêve et sans repos
Avec leur fusil sur l'épaule
Courage au cœur et sac au dos
La gloire était leur nourriture
Ils étaient sans pain, sans souliers
La nuit, ils couchaient sur la dure
Avec leur sac pour oreiller


Le régiment de Sambre et Meuse
Marchait toujours au cri de "Liberté"
Cherchant la route glorieuse
Qui l'a conduit à l'immortalité

1st verse:

All these proud children of Gaul
Marched without respite or ease
With their rifles on their shoulders
Courage in their hearts and packs on their backs
Glory was their nourishment
With neither bread nor shoes
They slept on the hard ground
With their packs beneath their heads.


The regiment of "Sambre et Meuse"
Always marched to the call of freedom
Seeking the path of glory
That led them to immortality


  1. ^ a b c d Sweeney, Regina (2001). Singing Our Way to Victory: French Cultural Politics and Music During the Great War. Wesleyan University Press. pp. 1–2. ISBN 0819564737.
  2. ^ Macy, Laura (2008). The Grove Book of Opera Singers. Oxford University Press. p. 172. ISBN 0195337654.
  3. ^ a b Tyler, Don (2016). Music of the First World War. ABC-CLIO. p. 245. ISBN 1440839972.
  4. ^ Fairman, Jonathan (2004). Script Ohio: 125 Years of the Ohio State University Marching Band. Kappa Kappa Psi. ISBN 0976421305.
  5. ^ Heinlein, Robert (1959). Starship Troopers. Penguin. p. 72.

External linksEdit