Les Horribles Cernettes

Les Horribles Cernettes

This picture of Les Horribles Cernettes was the first photographic image published on the World Wide Web in 1992. From left to right: Angela Higney, Michele de Gennaro, Colette Marx-Neilsen, Lynn Veronneau.

Les Horribles Cernettes (French pronunciation: ​, "The Horrible CERN Girls") was an all-female parody pop group, self-labelled "the one and only High Energy Rock Band", founded by employees of CERN which performed at CERN and other HEP related events. Their musical style is often described as doo-wop. The initials of their name, LHC, are the same as those of the Large Hadron Collider which was later built at CERN.[1][2][3] Their humorous songs are freely available on their website.


  • History 1
  • Titles 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Les Horribles Cernettes was founded in 1990 by Michele de Gennaro, a graphic designer at CERN, whose romantic relationship with a physicist was made difficult by his numerous shifts. She attracted attention by stepping on stage during the CERN Hardronic Festival,[4] singing "Collider", a melancholy song about the lonely nights endured by the girlfriend of a high energy physicist (excerpt):

I gave you a golden ring to show you my love
You went to stick it in a printed circuit
To fix a voltage leak in your collector
You plug my feelings into your detector
You never spend your nights with me
You don't go out with other girls either
You only love your collider
Your collider.

The group was subsequently formed with the help of Silvano de Gennaro, an analyst in the Computer Science department at CERN, who wrote additional songs. The fame of Les Horribles Cernettes grew and they were invited to international Physics conferences and The World'92 Expo in Seville, as well as celebrations such as The New York Times, The Herald Tribune, La Tribune de Genève, and the CERN Courier.[5] The band's lineup has changed over time, but they were performing under the same name until 21 July 2012, when the band had its final performance, which was at CERN's Hardronic Festival in Switzerland.[6][7]

Les Cernettes were the subject of the first photo on the Web:[8][9]

"Back in 1992, after their show at the CERN Hardronic Festival, my colleague Tim Berners-Lee asked me for a few scanned photos of "the CERN girls" to publish them on some sort of information system he had just invented, called the "World Wide Web". I had only a vague idea of what that was, but I scanned some photos on my Mac and FTPed them to Tim's now famous "info.cern.ch". How was I to know that I was passing a historical milestone, as the one above was the first picture of a band ever to be clicked on in a web browser!"

Silvano had taken the picture above on July 18, 1992.[10]

The band went into hiatus when Silvano and Michele moved away from the CERN area and officially disbanded in late July 2012, after performing at the CERN Hardronic Festival on the 21st. However, Lynn Veronneau has since embarked upon a serious solo career, recording French language versions of popular standards.


See links for lyrics and media:

  • Liquid Nitrogen [11]
  • Daddy's Lab [12]
  • My Sweetheart is a Nobel Prize [13]
  • Surfing on the Web [14]
  • Antiworld [15]
  • Collider [16]
  • Strong Interaction [17]
  • Computer Games [18]
  • Microwave Love [19]

New 2007 songs presented for the first time in the CERN 2007 Hardronic festival:

  • Big Bang
  • Mr. Higgs
  • Every Proton of You [20]

See also


  1. ^ James Gillies (1998-11-03). "Making a song and dance about physics". CERN Courier (CERN). Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  2. ^ Malcolm W Brown (1998-12-29). "Physicists Discover Another Unifying Force: Doo-Wop" (PDF).  
  3. ^ Heather McCabe (February 10, 1999). "Grrl Geeks Rock Out" (PDF).  
  4. ^ CERN Hardronic Festival
  5. ^ Press Info: Press Features Les Horribles Cernettes
  6. ^ A Real Smash Hit!
  7. ^ This is it! Les Horribles Cernettes
  8. ^ Silvano de Gennaro. "LHC: The First Band on the Web". CERN MusiClub. CERN. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  9. ^ Abraham Riesman. "'"Crossdressing, Compression, and Colliders: 'The First Photo on the Web. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  10. ^ How the first photo was posted on the Web 20 years ago, Andrew Hough, The Telegraph, 11 July 2012

External links

  • Les Horribles Cernettes Home Page
  • Cernettes Band Profile on YouTube
  • The CERN MusiClub
  • Heather McCabe (1999-02-09). "Grrl Geeks Rock Out".  
  • James Gillies, CERN (1998-11-03). "Making a song and dance about physics". Cern Courier.  Band history and evolution