La Congolaise

“The Congolese” (Kongo: “Besi Kôngo”), also known as “La Congolaise,” serves as the official national anthem of the Republic of the Congo. Its adoption took place in 1959, following the country’s independence from France. However, it was briefly replaced by “Les Trois Glorieuses” in 1969 before being reinstated in 1991. The talented collaboration of Jacques Tondra and Georges Kibanghi resulted in profound lyrics, while the music was skillfully composed by Jean Royer and Joseph Spadilière.


LyricsJacques Tondra and Georges Kibanghi
MusicJean Royer and Joseph Spadilière
Preceded byLes Trois Glorieuses” (1969–1991)

Official version in French

En ce jour le soleil se lève
Et notre Congo resplendit.
Une longue nuit s'achève,
Un grand bonheur a surgi.
Chantons tous avec ivresse
Le chant de la liberté.

Refrain :
Congolais, debout fièrement partout,
Proclamons l'union de notre nation,
Oublions ce qui nous divise,
Soyons plus unis que jamais,
Vivons pour notre devise:
Unité, travail, progrès,
Vivons pour notre devise:
Unité, travail, progrès!

Des forêts jusqu'à la savanne,
Des savannes jusqu'à la mer,
Un seul peuple, une seule âme,
Un seul cœur, ardent et fier,
Luttons tous, tant que nous sommes,
Pour notre vieux pays noir.


Et s'il nous faut mourir, en somme
Qu'importe puisque nos enfants,
Partout, pourront dire comme
On triomphe en combattant,
Et dans le moindre village
Chantent sous nos trois couleurs.


English translation

On this day the sun rises
And our Congo stands resplendent.
A long night is ended,
A great happiness has come.
Let us all, with wild joyfulness, sing
The song of freedom.

Arise, Congolese, proud every man,
Proclaim the unity of our nation.
Let us forget what divides us
And become more united than ever.
Let us live our motto:
Unity, work, progress.
Let us live our motto:
Unity, work, progress!

From the forest to the savannah,
From the savannah to the sea,
One people, one soul,
One heart, ardent and proud.
Let us all fight, every one of us,
For our black country.


And if we have to die,
What does it really matter? Our children
Everywhere will be able to say how
Triumph comes through battle,
And in the smallest village
Sing beneath our three colours.


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