Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- will go on’: ça, contr. of cela, that (⟨ce, this, + là, there); ira, 3d pers. sing. fut. (associated with aller, go: see alley), ⟨ L. ire, go.] The earliest of the popular songs of the French Revolution of 1789. Its refrain (whence the name), “Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira,” is said to have been suggested by the frequent use of this phrase by Franklin in Paris with reference to the American Revolution. The original words (afterward much changed) were by Ladré, a street-singer; and the music was a popular dance-tune of the time composed by Bécourt, a drummer of the Grand Opera.
GNU Webster's 1913
- The refrain of a famous song of the French Revolution.
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