The Brabançonne

The Brabançonne

Idea  From 1830 

Categories: Poetry & Song

Lyrics: Louis-Alexandre Dechet (?-1830) and Charles Rogier (1800-1885). Music: François van Campenhout (1779-1848).

Historical Background
The Belgian national anthem was most likely written by a Louis-Alexandre Dechet, better known as Jenneval, toward the end of 1830. Actor at the Théâtre de la Monnaie at Brussels, he joined, on 25 August 1830, the revolution which resulted in the independence of Belgium from the Netherlands. He was killed near Lierre on 18 October of that same year. Before his death, Jenneval composed three versions of the "Chant national belge" ("Belgian National Song"), versions that he adapted to the change of events.

In 1860, the song was adapted again, this time by Prime Minister Charles Rogier, who heavily edited out many violent lyrics addressed by Jenneval to the Dutch Prince of Orange William of Nassau. It is this reproduced version that is still in use today.

As for the music of the "Brabançonne," it was written during the revolutionary days by François van Campenhout. The first performance of the national anthem took place at the Théâtre de la Monnaie at the beginning of October 1830. The primitive partitions were also modified to adapt to the lyrics of Charles Rogier.

However, an official version of the "Brabançonne" does not actually exist. Different commissions have been established to examine the words and melody of the song and establish an official version. Yet, all of their efforts had been in vain. Nevertheless, an official circulation of the Ministry of the Interior on 8 August 1921 decreed that only the fourth verse of the text of Charles Rogier should be considered official, in its French and Dutch (Flemish) versions. Today, there still stands a "Monument to the Brabançonne" in Brussels at Surlet de Chokier Plaza. Both the French and Dutch (Flemish) words are engraved there.

Original French Words
O Belgique, ô mère chérie
A toi nos coeurs, à toi nos bras
A toi notre sang, ô Patrie
Nous le jurons tous, tu vivras
Tu vivras toujours grande et belle
Et ton invincible unité
Aura pour devise immortelle
Le Roi, la Loi, la Liberté
(repeat previous two lines)
Le Roi, la Loi, la Liberté

The above information was provided by, which now seems to have folded.

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The Brabançonne

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The Brabançonne

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