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File:Georges-brassens 7382.jpg

Together with Jacques Brel and Léo Ferré, Georges Brassens (1921-1981) is considered to be one of the three great names in French Chanson. Born in a working-class family (his mother was an Italian immigrant and his father a bricklayer), he engaged in petty larceny as a teenager and interrupted his studies early. He spent part of WW 2 as a conscripted laborer in Germany before going AWOL. After the war, he grew close to Anarchism and tried his hand at poetry, before being talked into becoming a singer-songwriter.

His singing career took off in the early 1950s, and although he published two novels and several collections of poems, he would from then on mostly be known as a singer. His musical style was spare: just his voice, an acoustic guitar, and occasionally a contrabass accompaniment (played pizzicato, jazz-style, to mark the beat). Most of his songs were by himself, though he also adapted in song format poems by various authors: François Villon, Victor Hugo, Louis Aragon, etc. Among his favorite themes were friendship, tales of naughtiness, bourgeois hypocrisy, and ridiculing figures of authority.


Georges Brassens's songs contain examples of:

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