Résumé : Gainsbourg’s 1979 release Aux armes et cætera, an album entirely recorded in Kingston with legendary reggae musicians, takes French song where it had never geographically or musically gone before. In retrospect, we might be tempted to dismiss this cover of the French national anthem ; after all, Gainsbourg had already borrowed other musical genres like jazz and disco. Yet, while Gainsbourg’s previous work had earned him recognition as a major innovator of French song somewhat because of his playful and provocative eccentricities, this song was met with a scathing, overtly anti-Semitic and nationalist backlash. Gainsbourg’s play with genres (national anthem, French song, and reggae) touched on sour spots of French identity. 20 years later, Big Red recovers Gainsbourg’s cover of the national anthem on his release Big Redemption. While Gainsbourg only minimally alters the words of « La Marseillaise » letting the genre itself perform the critique, Big Red’s release remilitarizes and desexualizes the cover while inverting and re-inscribing the roles of revolutionary and oppressor in the contemporary dynamics of popular culture and postcoloniality. His recovery of the national anthem becomes a performance of the « empire singing back ».