A time to sing Belgium’s anthem?

People start writing on the ground of #brussels center in solidarity with the victims. #onassignment @lemondefr

A post shared by virginie nguyen hoang (@virginie_nguyen_hoang) on

After last year’s Paris attacks, la Marseillaise was everywhere: sung across France, in the States, even by French-hating Little Englanders.

After today’s Brussels attacks, I doubt Belgium’s anthem, la Brabançonne, is going to get anywhere near as much of an airing. Even in Belgium itself.

Belgium’s long been a divided country where national symbols mean little.

Regardless, la Brabaçonne’s not exactly a song to reach for at times of crisis. Its tune’s dull, its lyrics bang on about the country’s monarchy (“For King, law and liberty” goes the ending) and it’s in three languages – French, Dutch and German – meaning if every Belgian did sing it at once, it’d be a mess.

However, there are a few lines in the French version that seem so appropriate for today I felt the need to post them here:

Ô Belgique, ô mère chérie…
Nous le jurons tous, tu vivras
Tu vivras toujours grande et belle

Oh Belgium, beloved mother…
We all swear, you shall live
You shall live, great and beautiful

Here’s hoping that stays true.

Update: Apparently the anthem was sung after today’s minute’s silence, although this photo suggests not many joined in

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