FRENCH SINGERS AND SONGWRITERS: A MUSICAL JOURNEY
Encompassing both singers 'born in France' like Georges Brassens, and others who adopted France, like Charles Aznavour, Nana Mouskouri or Jane Birkin, la 'chanson française' evokes a wide variety of themes: from eroticism (Déshabillez-moi by Juliette Greco) to life on stage (Vancouver by Véronique Sanson), political statements (Le Déserteur by Boris Vian), the end of love (Ne Me Quitte Pas by Jacques Brel), and places (Syracuse by Henri Salvador). The lectures will explore several themes, each illustrated by songs which have structured la chanson française over the last 60 years to become classics of their genre, and open onto great songwriters like Serge Gainsbourg and Michel Berger, as a nation sings to itself about its collective past, its passions and its briseurs de tabous.
1. ‘Les Dames en Noir’, the great songwriter-performers (Brassens et al), songs of love, places
2. The end of love, songs with a personal or political message, Briseurs de tabous
3. Conversations with other musical cultures (Brazil, UK etc.), life on stage, multicultural France in song
Guibert, G. and Rudent, C. (editors) 2018. Made in France: Studies in Popular Music. New York. Routledge.