The texts of modern military marches, as a rule, are full of pathos, while the historical works of this genre are often devoid of any deep meaning at all — if only they marched well. The old French march «Song of the Onion» (Chanson de l'Oignon) could claim leadership in its simplicity and obsession. In fact, all you can learn from the song is that French soldiers like fried onions, which make them as brave as lions, but not Austrian dogs, which cannot see onions.
The most common version says that the march was over 200 years old, and he appeared in the ranks of Napoleon's guard before the battle with the Austrian army at Marengo, which took place on June 14, 1800. According to legend, the emperor saw his grenadiers diligently rubbing their bread with something. Upon learning that it was an onion, Napoleon seemed to say: «Well, there is nothing better than an onion to march on the road to glory." (Très bien, il n'y a rien de meilleur pour marcher d'un bon pas sur le chemin de la gloire.) According to other sources, for the first time the motive of the new march sounded in the overture to the opera Young Henry IV, which was written in 1797 by the French composer Étienne-Nicolas Méhul.
In any case, the French won the battle of Marengo convincingly, ending the second Italian campaign with a victorious expulsion of the Austrians from Italian territory. The march is still alive, and is quite famous — for example, it is used by the French Foreign Legion, and anime fans can hear a perky onion song in the cult series “Girls und Panzer”.