10/6/15

Georges Brassens - Supplique pour être enterré à la plage de Sète / La non-demande en mariage (1966)



Most of you dear visitors, are non French (I am, at least my parents gave me life in France, French and so they were too). You may wonder which singers or musicians or bands from this country I consider equal to all the ones I post on this blog and who are, for the most of them, from US, UK, Canada or NL. There's Alain Kan, Jean-Claude Vannier, Christophe (all previously posted on this blog), and, earlier in the last century there was the famous 3B trio (Barbara, Brel and Brassens). This is the latter I post here, with 2 of my fave songs, from him and among the 100 songs every style, every period. A recent TV program on Brassens (it was actually yesterday) made me realize how much this man, apparently so old-fashioned and out of my focus when I was a teenager, only vibing for rock, has left a big print in me. So I re-up this fake single that could have been one of the most moving ever issued. More below. Catch it here.

If some may ask me who are the greatest French composers/singers of the XXth century, I would not be very original and cite what we call the 3B (Barbara, Brel and Brassens). Some may think I could add Ferré (Léo) but honestly I've never really shared the enthusiasm of many (except for some masterpieces) for him. Of course my affection and admiration also go to Christophe, Alain Z Kan, Jean-Claude Vannier or Alain Bashung, but there's something in the 3B that make them reach some universal and trans-temporal status. Here a post around Georges Brassens, a sort of national cross between Woody Guthrie and Bod Dylan but this comparison is more theorical than real cos' Brassens is a mix between a libertarian-anarchist French tradition and a more reactionary right-wing vision of society, primary concerned by individual freedom and less by societal progress. In 1966, he's 45 and maybe a sort of paternal and populist figure of anti-authority, more appreciated by middle-aged French people than by youngsters who are more in Léo Ferré and other real anarcho-revolutionarist singers. But on the song quality side, he's on the top of his art, and more specifically with these 2 songs, in no way linked to any political preoccupation but only to death ("Supplique pour être enterré à la plage de Sète") and love ("La non-demande en mariage"), subjects finally more relevant to everyone now than the anti-bourgeoisie incantations which often were expressed with formulations rapidly out-of "fashion". Yes, these 2 songs are among my favorites any style, any period. Of course, understanding the lyrics would help to see why since Brassens was maybe the best song lyricist of the history, not far to be the equal of our greatest French poets (although they are songs lyrics and can't be appreciated as poems). Someone (thanx to him) did the job here and I encourage every non-French speaking visitor interested by this post to read the text whilst listening to the song. On the B-side, the song is again a masterpiece needing to have the lyrics under the eyes, and on the same site, the translation has been made there. Both songs were on the 11th Brassens' LP, called IX because the LP format was changed from 25 cm to 30 cm in the beginning of the sixties and previous LPs were re-released with more songs on them. For the cover sleeve (this is a fake single although "La non-demande en mariage" was released as the A-side of 3 track-single in 1966, but without "Supplique" on it), I chose a painting called "La plage de Sète", from a painter called François Knopf (site here), not really my painting style but I really dig this one (complete format here) and found it relevant. So now, it's up to you (only 10% of this blog's visitors are French, so I don't know if the 90 other % may be interested by such a national singer). PS. The version of "La non-demande en mariage" below is live whereas in the rar file (and therefore this fake single) it's the studio one.




5 comments:

philippe liotard said...

great songs, great man !
in french only ;-)

Ansina said...

I'm not French but I really love Brassens - and I wasn't satisfied until I got the Intégrale ; )

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Daniel f Martin said...

Mazette! Brassens! Quel Blog!
Just saw the telefilm of his youth on You Tube. Brel has been pretty well covered in English, and that was not a crying success despite Scott Walker's genius..
Brassens? as far as I know, nothing consequent. A french guy is trying (see bad reputation) and public bench! public bench! he looks like he translated it from a Spanish(?) version, itself pretty good.
Still, it might be worth trying it.
---------------------------
Now for something completly different. I have a lot of old stuff that I would like to send you. This include a few POP2 sessions and some introuvables de la radio (BlancFrancard-Viller).
Do you have a place to upload? to send? what is the process
The quality is sure-crappy for sure!
Thanks

dkelvin said...

Finally I'm not sure to understand whether you like Brassens or not. Even if you're French (like me) or not. Many mysteries.
There's a successful English cover of Brel: Alex Harvey with his Sensational Band who covered "Au Suivant" under the name "Next".
If you are stuff that you would like to send for possible upload, send it to me a didierkelvin@gmail.com
Thx for the comment
dk