(3 syl.). A red Republican song and dance in the first French revolution; so called from Carmagnola, in Piedmont, the great nest of the Savoyards, noted for street music and dancing. The refrain of “Madame Veto,” the Carmagnole song, is “Dansons la Carmagnole- vive le son du canon!” The word was subsequently applied to other revolutionary songs, such as Ça ira the Marseillaise, the Chant du Depart. Besides the songs, the word is applied to the dress worn by the Jacobins, consisting of a blouse, red cap, and tri-coloured girdlle; to the wearer of this dress or any violent revolutionist; to the speeches in favour of the execution of Louis XVI, called by M Barrière des Carmagnoles; and, lastly, to the dance performed by the mob round the guillotine, or down the streets of Paris.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894