According to legend, "Ça ira" was inspired by Benjamin Franklin during his stint as Ambassador to France. When asked about the American war of independence, he would reportedly reply: "Ah! Ça ira! Ça ira!" (Ah! It'll be fine!) The music existed before the lyrics and was played upon the harpsichord by Marie Antoinette, who was particularly fond of this tune, on special occasions at Versailles. The initial words were quite harmless, basically a refrain of "It will be fine," over and over. But in 1790 they were changed to, "Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira. Les aristocrates à lanterne. Ah! Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira, Les aristocrates, on les pendra!" (Ah! It'll be fine, it'll be fine, it'll be fine. The aristocrats - to the lamp-post. Ah! It'll be fine, it'll be fine, it'll be fine. The aristocrats, we'll hang them!"). The song thus became the rallying cry of the Parisian sans-culottes in the Revolutionary riots.

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