Georges Brassens 30 years later

One of French pop’s most known songwriters and singers, Georges Brassens, is a brilliant manipulator of language. Although translations and covers of his songs have been done in many countries, he is not as well known outside of the French-speaking world as Piaf or Brel, who was actually one of his best friends. But in France, his sound is immediately recognised! He created a unique style based on simple guitar melodies and texts which are each poetic masterpieces in their own right. Another unique trait: his voice. Originally from Sète in the south France, Brassens has an articulate accent (Southerners pronounce every syllable) and a velvety tone. Ideal for learning French!

Brassens was a humanist and also a bit of an anarchist. He is known for his subversive humour and his songs often satirise the ‘bourgeoisie’ (upper middle class), religion, social conformity and hypocrisy in general.  One of my favourite songs is La mauvaise réputation – “the bad reputation”. The chorus says: “Mais les braves gens n’aiment pas que l’on suive une autre route qu’eux” (But the good folks don’t like it if you take a different road than they do.)

Listen to France Info radio news report on Brassens’ international aura:

The Sétois (people from his home town of Sète) celebrate Brassens, 30 years after his death:

And also: Radio Brassens – anything Brassens, 24/7.