Juliette Gréco, praise of a free woman in a posthumous compilation

With thirteen of his cult songs, Liberté, equality, femininity, presents audacity as a trademark for the muse of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A record to be released on March 5 at Decca.

Freedom, equality, femininity. The three terms resonate in harmony with the artist and the personality that was the singer Juliette Gréco. An uninhibited woman. Put end to end, they serve as the title of a posthumous album (to be released on March 5, 2021, at Decca) of this emblematic figure of French song who died on September 23.

Love of freedom, often considered daring, if not transgressive, Juliette Greco detonated in a more conservative society, from the mid-twentieth century. His loves and his multiple marriages were widely commented on. The artist put into song the sometimes daring words, love and resistance, of the poets of his time. Some of his famous interpretations are found in this ode to woman: Raymond Queneau (If you imagine yourself), Robert Desnos (Dreamy and fragile), Leo Ferré (Pretty kid), Jules Larfogue (The eternal feminine)…

She starts out with a bang with I am what I am (Jacques Prévert), a way of recalling the essential, the story of a woman who is not accountable to anyone. “I’m the way I am / I’m made like this / What more do you want? / What do you want from me?», She repeats. High point of the scandal, the inevitable Undress me is clearly in the repertoire of Liberty, equality, fraternity.

Released in 1967, the title was, according to legend, written for a stripper. The national radios censored it initially. For years, television associated it with its white square, synonymous with content prohibited to those under sixteen, when Gréco sang it on stage. Explicit, of a sexual nature, the song gives power to the woman, imperative in front of the man harnessed to his pleasure. At the time, eroticism disturbed but seduced the crowds and became a classic.

Pretty kid, by Léo Ferré, is “the most sexist song ever“? No problem for Gréco, who declares, Madame Figaro , in 2009, have it “turned inside out». «I made it an object of provocation and not at all of submission. Out of respect for women, I hijack“, Details the one who called herself a feminist”without knowing it, but since the age of 3“. The muse of Saint-Germain-des-Prés was rebellious, decidedly free, even with the texts of poets that she transcended.


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