Here’s looking at you, Rouget de Lisle

I should write something soon about Casablanca, a film that has France’s national anthem, la Marseillaise, running through it from the very first second.

But, until then, here’s a piece I recently recorded for the BBC on the secret – and somewhat naughty – life of Rouget de Lisle, the man who wrote the song.

If you’re in the UK, you can also listen to it on iPlayer until 2099 so no need to rush!

The picture at the top of this post is of Rouget’s statue in his beautiful hometown of Lons-le-Saunier (Instagrammed by @asmarshall). It was sculpted by Frédéric Bartholdi, the man who did the Statue of Liberty. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t get as many visitors as that does. Maybe the town should get it redone twenty times the size!

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