How did the anal fistula of Louis XIV lead to the creation of the British anthem "God Save the Queen"?











What connection can there be between the affection suffered by the sun king and the hymn of the perfidious Albion? Professor Jean-Noël Fabiani tells this astonishing story to Daniel Fievet in the "Tête au carré".


The history of medicine is both frightening and incredible. These are the feelings that prevail when we listen to Professor Jean-Noel Fabiani, head of the service at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris, evoke in the Tête au carré, his great figures, his key stages and his great advances .

The most famous anal fistula in the world
We are in 1686. A fistula has appeared on the royal bed.

To put it simply, a fistula is an abscess. And we must recognize that it is at best misplaced since it is between an anal gland and the rectum. Misplaced, certainly, but not surprising. His doctors often lavish enemas on the king. For this, they use a clystère metal (which, by the way, is not sterilized as Nicolas Appert "will invent" sterilization in 1810).


Fagon, the king's doctor, advises him to drink mineral water. Not only does not please the king, but it does not help his problem. It was Louvois, one of the principal ministers of Louis XIV, who, in the face of his worsening condition, persuaded him to see his barber-surgeon.



Small historical-medical point: until the middle of the Middle Ages, the medical-surgical practice was the prerogative of religious until the Church realized that the people came to see the priests more for the salvation of their bodies only for the salvation of their souls. At the end of the Council of Tour (1163), the following decree is published: "the Church hates blood". Consequence: the prohibition of any member of the clergy to practice surgery.

Jean-Noël Fabiani says: "Barbers are rushing into this profession of surgeons because they are the only ones in the Middle Ages to have blades that cut pretty well to make bleeding, abscess, amputations .. .














The barbers thus perform the surgery, but under the instructions of the doctors of medicine, it is at this time that one passes from monastic medicine to scholastic medicine, with the creation of the great universities of the late Middle Ages. . "


Charles-François Félix The "barber-surgeon" of Louis XIV is called Charles-François Felix. After examining the king, he has these words: "Sire I worry a little, because the operation that I will have to do is crucial." To which the king answers:Train Felix. All my galleys and all my prisons are open to you.

Felix is ​​going to train. Several months. And will even develop special instruments to be able to treat the royal behind.

The operation takes place in Fontainebleau on November 18, 1686. It lasts 3 hours. The king, it is said, showed much courage. Remember that there is no anesthesia.

"Felix performs an operation which, explains Jean-Noel Fabiani," flatten out "this fistula so as to cure it.It must be said adds the professor, that Felix had an unstoppable recipe, he was dressing with Burgundy wine! !! "

God save the king To support her husband, Madame de Maintenon asks Lully to compose a hymn. The text is written by Madame de Brinon, superior of the Royal House of Saint-Louis created by the Marquise. During the operation, the Demoiselles de Saint-Cyr sing this composition. She will then interpret it on each visit of the King to the Royal House of St. Louis.











How did this air become the British anthem?
Two theses clash:

In 1714, Handel, then official composer of British King George I, visited Versailles. He hears Lully's hymn. He notes it, makes adapt the text in English and submits it to the king. Huge success. The anthem is now played in all ceremonies where the king is present and is imposed over time as the national anthem.

The other track comes from Stuart House. James Stuart, who reigned in England under the name of James II, lived in exile in France from 1689. He would have heard the hymn and decided to adopt it when he would return to the throne. This never happened since he died in exile in 1701. His son, James III, tried several times to recover his throne. In a final attempt, in August 1745, his followers sang the famous song.

Whatever the journey, God save the King is today the most famous hymn in the world.

I leave the last word to Jean-Noël Fabiani:

The English have today, without certainly knowing it, as a national anthem, an air that was composed for the ass of King Louis XIV!


Diverted into a recreational drug in the 1960s, LSD had a major influence on many of the art movements of the time, and until today. Music, because it lends itself particularly to synaesthetic effects (the meanings that mix) is surely the art that will be most affected. For the 80 years of its synthesis, here is a playlist to awaken the senses of our readers.

Some of these songs were banned from the airwaves when they were released, such as the Byrds 'Eight Miles High in 1966, or Beatles' Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The BBC decided in 1967 that it was an incentive to consume LSD, which the group will still deny.


Revolver: The Beatles make their "acid album"
"If Rubber Soul was the grass album, Revolver is acid," said John Lennon. Released in 1966, the year after the Beatles first LSD experiments, this radically innovative album is a psychedelic journey for the listener. Tomorrow never knows refers to a text from the sulphurous "Pope of LSD", Timothy Leary.


Beach Boys vibrate under LSD
In October 1966, the Beach Boys released their masterpiece Pet Sounds for a few months when they unveiled a new single: Good Vibrations. Brian Wilson, 24, has just spent six weeks in the studio finishing this piece of incredible complexity.

At the time, he does not hide his passion for LSD, cheerfully consumed during long sessions in the studio. "First, my creativity has grown beyond my expectations. On the other hand, it blew up my brain, "says Brian Wilson in 2011 with mental disorders.


Alice in Land of LSD, with Jefferson Airplane
When singer Grace Slick writes "White Rabbit" for her first band, The Great Society, LSD is living its last months of legality in San Francisco. The song will be picked up by Jefferson Airplane when she joins the band. She will even become one of her classics, with her references to Alice in Wonderland and, as Slick puts it, "all those children's stories where you have to take some sort of stuff to have an adventure".

The Who, the Magic Bus and the acid tests
In this title released in 1968, the British evoke a well-known "magic bus" of the psychedelic counter-culture: that of the Merry Pranksters and the writer Ken Kesey (author of Flight over a cuckoo's nest) who traveled the United States aboard the multi-colored vehicle. Convinced that the LSD allowed to reach higher levels of consciousness, the "happy lurons" organize "acid tests" where doses are distributed free of charge.


Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett and the cruel absence
The recording of the album Wish You Were in 1974 is in the wake of the huge success of Dark Side of The Moon. Pink Floyd is no longer the small group of beginnings, it's a rock monster. As if to keep in touch with the past, and with their former leader Syd Barrett - burnt by excessive consumption of LSD - the group dedicates this album to the absence of their friend, "hoping he was there". Barrett will even go to the recording studios, but he was so cut off from reality that it will not do anything musically. Roger Waters will remember this passage in Shine on You Crazy Diamond when he writes: "Now your eyes look like black holes in the sky" ("And now your eyes, look like black holes in the sky" ).


Bobby Beausoleil and the dark side of psychedelism
As he said a few years ago in Libération, Bobby Beausoleil considers himself "a musician, before being a murderer". In 1970, the young man gravitated around Charles Manson's family. For stabbing a man to death, he is sentenced to life imprisonment. It was there that he took over the instruments and composed, in the 1980s, the soundtrack for Kenneth Anger's short film, Lucifer Rising. A music that could as well be the soundtrack of the gloomy side of psychedelism, when the "flower power" fades and reveals a less colorful reality.

L $ D: A $ AP Rocky and psychedelic rap
In 2015, the American rapper unveils an unambiguous ode to LSD. In her text, the psychedelic drug takes on the appearance of an attractive woman. The video is inspired by the colorful aesthetic of Enter the Void by French director Gaspard Noé.

Substances and dependencies
Every day, millions of people from all walks of life, of all ages, take thousands of substances, with multiple origins and fabrications, some of which are illegal. But the drugs banned today were not yesterday, and may not be so tomorrow.