Sunday, 6 May 2012

Alphabetical List of my Brassens Songs


Please click on the song title to access your chosen song
  
Please note that when the title of the song begins with the definite article, I get the alphabetical order from the initial noun

A brutal and tragic tale involving a beautiful young prostitute, her pimp, and her elderly client

Complications that arise from extra-marital relationships


A self-pitying song of a man surprised in the house of another man's wife
His view of the prudes who are offended by couples smooching on park benches.
Brassens loves of yesteryear did not have the fame and wealth of the women in Villon’s poem, but Brassens celebrates them.

A hymn to his loyal band of buddies.  This is a song that he wrote for René Clair's "La porte des lilas" - the only film in which Brassens had an acting part - the clip from the film is on YouTube

In the comfort and affluence of middle age, Brassens is nostalgic about the ease and pleasures of his former years in Jeanne’s slum
Brassens puts to music Villon’s very famous poem in which he reflects on human mortality while thinking of great and famous women of the past.

A peasant woman faces up to her tasks and her memories as her husband lies dying, but she has one final thing to do, to settle things in the lifelong relationship that is ending

Margot's public breastfeeding of her kitten causes ructions in the village


The (mock) solemn song he wrote when his beloved Jeanne’s pet duck died suddenly.

A man who went badly wrong makes an enlightening discovery later in life about fundamental human goodness

In grateful praise for those who showed him kindness when he was ostracised,

A  tale starring Cinderella of passionate love which unusually for Brassens appears lasting

A song on the theme of the transitory pleasures of childhood and youth, followed by “Mistral Gagnant”, Jean Bertola’s song on the same theme, sung by the beautiful Vanessa Paradis.

A cuckolded husband pleads to her lovers for a little respect

Les Croquants       



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Colombine
Brassens targets the daughters from toffee-nosed families who marry for money and praises a free-spirited girl who does it her way. His language is sometimes strong.
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Brassens sets to music this melodic poem of Paul Verlaine, about the characters of the Italian mime theatre.


Song dedicated to the loyalty of his close friends who joined Brassens on boating trips from Sète




How a date turned out that had seemed to offer true love.  Again it's the problem of reciprocity in love.

A light charming song of a nymph-like girl swimming unclad in a forest pool.

A great womaniser is captivated by an unlikely girl, who puts him in the shade.

Brassens sings Paul Fort’s poem, of the funeral of  the great poet, Paul Verlaine- one of the most outstanding days of the Belle Époque in Paris

A surprising re-appraisal of  loyalties in Brassens declining years.  He is telling of a real event in his life


An encounter with a ghost gives Brassens a foretaste of delights in the afterlife

The wife of a friend, so warmly praised in this song is probably Jeanne



Brassens sings of the unreliable solace available to men when they find themselves in situations where they are deprived of women.

The poet makes death a spectator as he and the widow of an old school friend make love at his wake.

True love blossoms in the most discouraging and squalid circumstance.  Could this possibly represent the initiation of his lifelong love for Jeanne?

This Brassens song is based on a poem by Victor Hugo, inspired by a Spanish folksong about a beautiful Moorish girl, Sabine, and her final choice of husband.

"Le Gorille," was Georges Brassens’ first single to appear.  It is an attack on capital punishment made at a time when murderers still faced the guillotine.


His struggle to give his grandad a proper funeral faced with the indifference and even contempt of the better off



An anti-war song, which satirically claims the 1914- 1918 war as the ideal war


Brassens sings Francis Jammes's poem about all the trials and tribulations that all of God's creatures must suffer but at the end mentions life's joys
For this song, Brassens collaborated with the famous composer, Georges Delerue to provide the theme tune for the last film of the great French comic, Fernandel.

The lyrics of this song are taken from a very famous poem by Louis Aragon (1897-1982). It tells of deep love and the betrayals that occur.

This song tells of two young people who are both making love for the first time. This was the one song that Brassens included in every performance he gave.

A young man’s all absorbing love for his passionate girl-friend. Brassens placed this in his list of songs, inspired by his love of Joha Heiman - his “Puppchen”

Brassens pays tribute to the generosity and boundless compassion of Jeanne Planche, who played a very major role in his life.

Georges Brassens describes how he has totally subordinated himself to his partner ( Joha Heiman).  Some see this as a love poem.

A frank account of an early sexual encounter in his youth.  This time with a delectable girl called Margot.

Brassens puts to music Victor Hugo’s famous poem of the horrific divine punishment inflicted on a nun and her lover, according to Church Legend, for falling in love in breach of her vows.
A touching account of the poor wedding of the parents of Georges Brassens

Scandal in a parish when a simple daisy fell from a priest’s prayer book.

Paul Fort's engaging poem telling how sailor's manage to conduct their love lives in the time limits of shore leave

A jolly song about a hapless lover for whom everything goes wrong
This song consists mainly of the love poem which the great classical playwright, Pierre Corneille, wrote in 1658 with the hope of seducing Moliere's famous actress: “Marquise.”  Her imagined reply is earthy.

Brassens sings his famous song in which he sees himself as  a social outcast.

In this famous song Brassens tells the ways in which he is an outsider to conventional society

A tale of false moral values of modern society where sex is for sale
Brassens' trial of Blaise Pascal's religious code, leads him to conclude that there is little to choose morally between believers and non-believers

This song , which may shock, describes the complexities in the lovemaking of a sexually dysfunctional couple


If it is necessary for us to be bullied into dying for the great ideologies, Brassens pleads that we should not be expected to rush for the final sacrifice.
A humorous song about an old gentleman's obsession to see the belly button of a policeman's wife

How a conventional married life would destroy the real quality of his relationship with his partner.

Kind hopes for active love in the afterlife for one of life’s eccentrics who has been violently taken from them by a violent death

An extraordinary thunderstorm brings him together with another man’s wife for a night of extraordinary passion.

A shared umbrella gives him a chance meeting with an attractive woman.

This song based on a sensitive poem by Antoine Pol speaks of the passing acquaintances of life who linger in the memory.  This is a song beloved by many people

One of life’s eccentrics who expected very little of life and was granted it.

How the world of fantasy and imagination can bring tangible solace to the lonely


A song composed from six verses by one of France’s very greatest poets, Alphonse de Lamartine ( 1790 – 1869) – After the final parting, undying love can only be manifested within an endless awareness of loss.

A catchy song from Paul Fort’s famous poem tells how a white horse brought a brief experience of beauty to a bleak world.

A tale of how the the King sought to ennoble his talented flautist, who was head of his music and how the humble man responded.  The song is Brassens' statement about the acceptance of honours from the ruling elite.

A charming song from the poem of Jean Richepin describing what became of the son that (philistine) middle class parents had determinedly brought up to be a lawyer.

Brassens is entrapped by public expectations to produce material that shocks.  To those who condemn the morality of his works, Brassens invites a comparison with true evil, perpetrated historically by Church and State.

His recollection of his first experience of making love leads him to conclude that the first girl you make love to is the last you will ever forget.

Brassens feels deep and disturbing emotions caused by the recollection of his reactions on the occasion when, many years ago,he had rejected the advances of a beautiful 13 year old girl to whom life had been heinously unkind.

His strength of resentment shows the passion he had felt for Jo, the seventeen year old beauty, during their 14 month affair.

A typically frank song about the unequal levels of desire found in couples during lovemaking

He would not change one thing about the woman he loves.  A song Brassens includes in his list of tributes to Joha Heiman.

Celebrating the anarchic wealth of French swearing in the past and deploring its present decline.

Brassens is unhappy that spontaneous, warm and friendly approaches to strangers are now being ruled out as abusive by excessive social correctness.

Words from the popular song inspire his charming song of admiration for the lady of his local bistro.

Brassens celebrates the charms of the mature woman and the comforts of love that can be enjoyed in the Indian Summer of life.  A song dedicated to Joha Heiman

The song is based on Paul Fort’s simple and sincere love poem to the woman who meant everything in his life.

Brassens writes with wit, imagination and nostalgia about his birthplace and the love, friendship and enjoyment he had found there and he forms his own singular idea of life after death.

Brassens deplores mob justice after the Liberation in the shaving of the heads of women accused of fraternisation.

A story about a funeral cortege that lost its way gave him the idea of a funeral playing truant and reminded him  of the need to make his own will.

Brassens at 55 says his ageing  as reported in the press is mere deception as also would be any report of his death and burial. 

This song shows Brassens at his most shocking and offensive as he reacts strongly against the suggestion of using personal revelations to give him publicity in the media

Brassens shows his hurt at the infidelity of Jo, the stunning seventeen year old girl with whom he had an affair in1945-1946.

Jolly song about the windy Pont des Arts in Paris

A song to Venus Kallipygos of the Ancients.  The statues of her focus on the beauty of her rear view and Brassens discourses on this theme


5 comments:

DAVID HOLBROOK said...

Great stuff..very enjoyable..a labour of love.
Merci bien...

Trivet said...

Very helpful in getting to grips with the density of Brassens' language.

Could you posibly give us a treatment of 'Brave Margot'?

- Philip

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Maxime said...

Thank you so much, beautiful translation. Do you know about "Je suis un voyou"? It isn't on the list, though it's one of my favourites.
Best regards

Anonymous said...

Dear David - this is SUPER impressive! Thank you for sharing it with the world. -- gd