Tuesday 15 March 2011

Index of my choice of Brassens’ songs

Indexes of songs in my Brassens Selection

If you are looking for one particular song, you are recommended to use the following alphabetical index  
Please click on the following line for the link:

Because of the large number of songs that I have translated, I have had to use three separate blog pages.

  The name that I gave to my earliest Brassens posting list was: (Click the link)


My Second Page contains 47 songs.  The name that I gave this subsequent Brassens posting list was:
Please click on the link above to browse the index of titles on my second Brassens blog page

My third page I have only just begun.  It contains only a few songs so far.  The name that I gave to my final Brassens page was:
(Click the link) 3) More Brassenssongs with translation

I hesitate to complicate things even further, but for those who would like to see the songs in chronological order, I have made the following alternative index: 

- As this present page is the homepage of my Brassens translation blog, you can scroll down below to see the titles of the complete list of my Brassens translations, on the three Internet pages explained above.  

The songs are listed in the order in which I posted them. This means that my latest posting is at the top of the list and my very first is at the bottom.


To access the song, click on the song title -  which links directly to the song on my blogsite.

La traîtresse - Album: " (1960 –  Le mécréant,)  A complacent lover with an established mistress suffers a shattering disillusionment.

La complainte des filles de joie  -  (album « Les trompettes de la renommée " 1961 -  Brassens enjoys the irony that the work of the street girls secretly merges the widely different social classes.

Le bistro (Album Le Mécréant 1960) The bistro which he used to frequent in the years when he lived at Jeanne's was a dump says Brassens but the owner, who had been formerly a world class boxer, had a wife who was extremely desirable.

Le temps ne fait rien à l'affaire  (Les trompettes de la renommée 1961) Brassens humorously rejects the myth that greater human wisdom is an attribute of age.

La religieuse (Album - La religieuse 1969)  The attendance of a beautiful nun at mass causes perturbation among male members of the congregation

Maman Papa (Not in Album 1954) Brassens' first ever song recorded with the great Patachou, who launched his career.

La Prière « Chanson pour l’auvergnat » (1955).  Brassens shares the view of poet Francis Jammes of the trials and tribulations of all creatures of the world

Cupidon s'en fout -(Don Juan- 1976) - 
A very promising date with a young lady in the forest proves very unsatisfactory

GRAND-PÈRE (Je me suis fait tout petit -1957) - Events after his grandad’s sudden death arouse in him bitter feelings of social injustice.

Brave Margot  - (Les amoureux des bancs publics) (1954)- A popular song about naughty going-ons  in French country life of the past

Le petit joueur de flûtiau  - (1964 - Les copains d'abord ) The story of a royal musician explains a choice of social status that Brassens himself might have made

Le Fantôme(1966 -Supplique pour être enterré à la plage de Sète) -A meeting with a ghost provides him with a hot foretaste of the afterlife.

Le Vent  - (Les amoureux des bancs publics) (1953) A jolly song about the mischievous breeze on the Pont Des Arts

L'assassinatLes Trompettes de la Renommé (1961) A tale with great pathos of crime and punishment

L'épave - (1966 -Supplique pour être enterré à la plage de Sète) A man wrecked by ill-health reassesses his list of true friends

Le mécréant - (Le mécréant 1960) The non-believer, Brassens, tries to follow Blaise Pascal's religious code.

Penelope - ( 1960 – Le Mécréant) How lonely, loveless lives can be made less so.

Au bois de mon coeur - (1957 - Je me suis fait tout petit) In praise of his loyal circle of close mates - the song he wrote for the film "La porte des lilas."

Le Cocu  (1958 - Le Pornographe) A husband whose wife gives herself freely to others asks them for some consideration

Les sabots d'Helene - (1955 - Chanson pour l'auvergnat) Brassens wrapped his admiration for the wife of the local bistro owner in traditional folksong

Je suis un voyou - (1954- Les amoureux des bancs publics) The frank account of his youthful love for a stunning girl called Margo

A l'Ombre du Coeur de Ma Mie - (1958 - Le Pornographe) The traumatic experience of a man who called on another man's wife

La Femme d'Hector - (1958 - Le Pornographe) Dedicated to one lovely and lovable wife in his group of friends in his early life in Paris.

La ronde des jurons - (1958 - Le Pornographe) Celebrating the richness of French swearing in the past and deploring its present aridity

Le mauvais sujet repenti - (1953 - Les amoureux des bancs publics)  The pimp whose repentance was not so glorious.

La marche Nuptiale - (1957 - Je me suis fait tout petit) The wedding march-- a touching song about the poor wedding of Brassens' parents
Celui qui a mal tourne - (1957- Je me suis fait tout petit) About a man who went wrong.  An insight into Brassens' biography?

 La Marine (1953 -La mauvaise reputation) Brassens sings Paul Fort's sailor's song of love

La fessée -  (1966 - Supplique pour être enterré à la plage de Sète) Brassens consoles the beautiful widow of an old school friend - inappropriately!

La Guerre de 14- 18 (Les Trompettes de la Renomme 1961).  His wry comment on the so-called glory of war

La Princesse et le croque-notes (Fernande 1972) Anguish following temptation from a 13 year old.

La fille a cent sous  ( 1960 Le Mecreant) -The girl sold by her husband for 100 sous finds true love

La Rose la Bouteille et la Poignee de main (La religieuse 1969) deplores the loss of the warmth and helpfulness, which people were previously safe to show each other in public.

Lenombril des femmes d'agent  (1955 Chanson pour l’auvergnat) A humorous song about an old gentleman with a very individual fetish

Quatre-vingt quinze pour cent 1972 (Fernande) Inequalities of passion during lovemaking

Marquise Les trompettes de la renommee (1961) A love song written by Pierre Corneille - partly!

Jeanne ( 1961 - Les trompettes de la renommée) In praise of Jeanne's infinite kindness

A l'ombre des maris (1972 - Fernande)An entertaining song about the complications of extra-marital love.

Don Juan (Album- Don Juan - 1976)The story of a modern Don Juan who has loved many women. Brassens would like us to look at him in a charitable and tolerant spirit.

Ballade des dames du temps jadis (La mauvaise réputation -1953)Brassens sings Villon's famous poem

Les Croquants (Chanson pour l'Auvergnat - 1955) Brassens sings of love and marriage believing them to be quite separate.

Le testament (1955 - Chanson pour l'Auvergnat).
While still a young man, Brassens thinks of the death he is very reluctant to accept.

Rien à jeter (1969 - La religieuse) A playful love song extolling the beauty of the woman whom he loved so deeply.

Marinette -J'avais l'air d'un c... - Chanson pour l'Auvergnat 1955 .- A light-hearted song about a hopeless lover.

Les Philistins (1957 - Je me suis fait tout petit)-Brassens song of the poem by Jean Richepin about a son who disappointed his parents' aspirations

Le Pornographe (1958 - Le pornographe)Brassens ponders his public reputation

Heureux qui comme Ulysse (Not recorded in an album)- The theme song for the last film of the great French comic actor Fernandel.

Gastibelza, l'homme à la carabine - His song of Victor Hugo's famous poem based on a Spanish folk ballad of love and wealth

BONHOMME - HER GOOD MAN (1958 - Le pornographe)A poem of great pathos as a peasant woman faces the death of her husband and the memories stirred.

Si le bon Dieu avait voulu (1961 Les trompettes de la renommée)Paul Fort's simple and sincere love poem to the woman of his life

Pauvre Martin (1954 - Les amoureux des bancs publics) A sad song about a simple farm labourer, who had asked nothing of life or his neighbours. He earns Brassens' admiration.

Le Petit Cheval (1953 La mauvaise réputation) Brassens sings this sad poem by Paul Fort with memorable lines - now a well-known children's song in France.

L’enterrement de Verlaine – The Funeral of Verlaine - 1960 – Le mécréant - Song of the poem by Paul Fort which depicts the popular tribute on the death of the eminent poet at the height of the Belle Epoque

Colombine - 1955 - Chanson pour l'auvergnat. -Verlaine's melodic poem gives a glimpse of the traditional Italian theatre of the Commedia del Arte

Mysogynie à part - 1969 - La religieuse -This rumbustious and sometimes explicit song raises issues about the nature of human love

Les châteaux de sable (Brassens) Mistral Gagnant (Renaud)The two songs tell of the transitory joys of childhood. The beautiful Vanessa Paradis sings the 2nd song with Le Forestier.

La Première Fille - ( Les amoureux des bancs publics.) 1954 The excitement and enduring memory of a first love.

La Marguerite - (Les trompettes de la renommé) 1961 – A simple poem about a parish priest who is suspected by malicious narrow-minded parishoners of a secret love affair.

J’ai rendez-vous avec vous - (Les amoureux des bancs publics.) 1954 An early love song of the exhileration of his youthful passion for Joha Heiman.

Pensees des morts (La Religieuse)Verses from the poem by Lamartine tell of the sadness when deep love can only be experienced in the emptiness left by some-one's absence

Venus Callipyge (Les copains d'abord) Brassens' song that is pure fun - but not so pure to celebrate anatomy admired all the way back to the days of Ancient Greece.

Supplique pour être enterré à la plage de Sète -from the album of the same name. Brassens' thoughts of his final resting place revive nostalgia for the seaside town of his childhood.

Putain de Toi - The tramp that you are! (Les Amoureux des bancs publics 1953) A beautiful girl who let him down badly.

Trompe la mort - Cheating death (Don Juan 1976) Brassens maintains that his death is not as imminent as the newspapers suggest.

La legende de la Nonne -Based on Hugo's poem: "The legend of the nun", where the nun tells her innocent schoolchildren about her God's horrific terrors for those sin, which bcomes a Hugo classic of poetic exuberation. (Chanson pour l'Auvergnat 1955)

La mauvaise herbe – Useless weed that I am -Brassens sees himself as the outsider. (Les amoureux des bancs publics) 1954

Mourir pour des idees -Dying for your ideas. Brassens has little sympthy for murderous ideology. (Fernande) 1972

La tondue - The girl with the shaven head- Ugly reprisals after the Liberation of 1945 against those who had been friendly with the German occupiers. (Les copains d'abord) 1964/65

La chasse aux papillons (La mauvaise reputation)
A cheerful - if somewhat bawdy- tale of first love.

La non-demande en mariage Reasons for not proposing marriage to to his Puppchen in spite of the great love he feels for her. (Supplique pour etre enterre a la plage de Sete)

Les Trompettes de la Renommee from album of the same name - To those who are persuading him to seek popular attention he details the malignant effects of publicity

Saturne - In praise of the love felt by a middle aged couple- a touching tribute to his "Puppchen" as she reaches middle age (Les copains d'abord)

La Cane de Jeanne (Les Amoureux des Bancs Publics) Jeanne's pet duck has died. Brassens writes a solemn dirge - with gentle teasing.

Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux (Les amoureux des bancs publics) The melancholic poem by Aragon about the nature of love.

Dans l'eau de la claire fontaine (Les trompettes de la renommee) A lyrical song of a chance encounter with a nymph-like girl.

L'Orage (Le Mecreant) A tempestuous love affair on the night of a thunder storm. Another poem of love lost.

Les copains d'abord (Les copains d'abord) In praise of long-lasting friendships with men who sailed with him on the inland seas near Sete.

Ballade des dames du temps jadis -one verse

Link to the full text and translation of Villon's poem.

Les amours d’antan (Les trompettes de la renommé) Having sung of the legendary beauties of antiquity in the words of Villon, he now sings of the beautiful girls who taught him love- they are from a very different background.

Fernande (Fernande) Carla Bruni's version is included as the second video clip. She tells us that she had been strongly advised not to sing this song, which had been banned for immorality, but she is doing so all the same.

Les amoureux des bancs publics (Les amoureux des bancs publics) The intolerance of respectable people

Auprès de mon arbre (Chanson pour l’Auvergnat) The nostalgia that Brassens feels for the days when he was young and free - and very poor, unlike today when he is rich,bored and lonely.

Oncle Archibald (Je me suis fait tout petit)
One of the eccentrics who fascinated Brassens and earned his affection.

Le Gorille (La mauvaise réputation)
A provocative song about capital punishment

Le parapluie (La mauvaise réputation)
His first approach to a beautiful, petite young lady who had caught his eye.

La mauvaise réputation (La mauvaise réputation)
Brassens sees himself as the total outsider.

Je me suis fait tout petit (Je me suis fait tout petit) A somewhat lurid account of the submissive role that he plays in his relationship with his lifelong partner.

Chanson pour l’Auvergnat (Chanson pour l’Auvergnat)
Gratitude to those who showed him true charity when he was in desperate need. (Jeanne and her husband)

Il suffit de passer le pont (La mauvaise réputation) The intoxication of the first youthful moment of sexual love, but also the worries involved.

Les Passantes (Fernande)Antoine Pol's wistful poem about the memorable women who flitted for a moment into his life and then were gone

Une jolie fleur (Chanson pour l’Auvergnat)
Trying to get over the loss of a very beautiful woman.

Georges Brassens was born at Sète on the 22nd October 1921 and died on the 29th October 1981 at Saint-Gély-du-Fesc, Hérault, the region of his birth

On this blogsite I have posted more than eighty of the famous songs by Georges Brassens, with videos, French lyrics and my translation.

My hope is to share my enthusiasm for his songs.

In my translation, I seek to make the meaning as clear as possible. Unfortunately a translator cannot convey the poetry, which resides solely in the words written by Georges Brassens. Increasingly I have tried to reflect the rhythm of the songs even though this has moved me away from a precise literal translation.
The quality of Brassens verse has been honoured by the most august literary authorities in France.

He is a true lyric poet because he expresses thoughts and feelings from the heart. He crafts his words and rhythms with infinite care and skill and he tantalises and entertains with different levels of meaning.

And with all this, he does not take himself too seriously and is a great guy!

Links to David Yendley’s French Culture Websites

Links to My French Literature Sites
Anatole France – Les Dieux ont Soif – 
Summary and Historical Background  - A vivid picture of life during « The Terror » of the French Revolution.

Balzac – Le Père Goriot – 
Summary – Biography of Balzac and Complete Student Notes for this Coming of age novel: A young student forces his way into Paris High Society and learns its extravagance, its corruption and its cruelty.

Bazin (Hervé)  Vipère au Poing -  
Summary – Author’s Biography and Essay Topics – This autobiographical novel shows the crippling effects of an oppressive upbringing in an extremist Catholic family.

Camus – L’étranger - 
Summary and Author’s Biography – Essay Topics- This famous novel shows how society treats the individual who is not able to conform to conventional values.

Camus – La Chute - 
Summary - Author’s Biography and Essay Topics
In this enigmatic novel, Camus is once again exploring the situation of a social dropout.

Duhamel- Le Notaire du Havre – 
Summary -  Biography of Georges Duhamel - Essay Topics for students- A dramatic and very human autobiographical story of the wild hopes of an impecunious middle class family, living in Paris at the  end of the 19th Century.

Mme de Lafayette – La Princesse de Clèves - 
Summary and Full Essay Topics.  This classic historical novel tells of life in France of the 16th Century, but reflects the life of Mme de Lafayette’s own time – the court life under Louis XIV a century later.

Voltaire – Candide – 
Summary -  Biography of Voltaire and Complete Student Notes -  In an action packed story of many different episodes, Voltaire takes his innocent hero on journey across the world, to review the situations and events of his century.  Voltaire is asking throughout whether this is indeed the “best of all possible worlds”, which the contemporary school of Optimist philosophy are so obstinate to claim
Marcel Pagnol's Biography. - Summary of the novel - Background to the story, which tells of Pagnol’s idyllic family holidays at their remote cottage in Provence during the decade before the First World War.  However, drama also intervenes and this is a very moving story.

Links to the Sites of Two favourite French Singers
Brassens – 80+ songs with English translations and commentary

With videos from YouTube


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Great Work! Bravo

unclefox@lmi.net said...

I sang Brassens' songs for twelve years in a tiny French restaurant in Santa Cruz called L'Oustalou, in Santa Cruz, California. He remains my all-time favorite poet, and my mentor (though I never met him) in French (I learned it with his Setois accent); in songwriting, in classic French poetry, and in humanity and integrity. Nark Twain (whose work Brassens knew in translation) would have loved his songs. Bravo!

Peter S. Beagle

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work full of love for Georges Brassens, who deserves it.
I just want to sugnal a tiny little thing: in "la mauvaise réputation", the translation of "cul-terreux" is not "cultural chap" but "hick".
Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

THANKS!!! It's making my work of sharing Brassens music with foreigners much easier

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. This is an excellent find in my search for anything Brassens-related. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot!

I would also recommend the excellent translations done by Pierre de Gaillande from the group "Bad Reputation"!

El Ferno said...

Great blog!! thanks and congrats!

Anonymous said...

what a beautifull work!!! I have been reading it for days now, swallowing every word... My French was never good enough for really understanding the words. I cold pick a few words here and there but never was I able to go deep into the texts. with your beautiful translations I could finally cross the bridge and get aquainted for the first time with the beauty, the wisdom, the huomor and the fun of George Brassens's songs and his non comformistic, original thinking and charming anarchistic personality.THANKS ALOT!!! Danny Haker, Tel Aviv, Israel

'Mela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
'Mela said...

Hello David-Barfield,

Thank you for this fantastic work!

As a new fan of Georges Brassens works, these translations
give me a fuller context.

Merci, merci, merci!

Anonymous said...

I first encountered Brassens when I was staying with a French penfriend in Paris in the 1950s.Her father, who was a fighter pilot in WW1, was a huge fan and played his songs. It is wonderful to have full translations and helpful notes. Thank you so much!

Unknown said...

Thank you for this labour of love. I have enjoyed reading the translation of Les Sabots d'Helene and the story behind it. I do a bit of singing and am trying to learn the words of this song and also Aupres de mon arbre, a favourite. Great site

Unknown said...

Having worked through the correct chords for La Maîtresse D'école. (In the round they are Em/Em6/Bm : G/Em/Am/D9/G/Em/F sharp aug/Em/Em/D9/G), I tried to set about understanding/ translating the words - not an easy task of course. I'm sure the rewarding kiss to a schoolboy of the right age will do wonders for his ardour as well as his attainment, but I am struggling from the the merchants, dunces caps, truants, cats and kracks [cracs]. Any help with the translation would be much appreciated!

Unknown said...

Many thanks for your efforts. really appreciated. I love Brassens'' songs and occasionally get to sing a few. I have some French but I understand he uses many idioms and it is helpful to get the gist of what is singing about.

Anonymous said...

Very Nice Post Keep It Up

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Unknown said...

Introduced to GB at an adult education course 39 years ago. Cannot get enough of him! I have even collaborated with a group to help with some translations. Not easy! So Chapeau à vous!

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