The Schmooze

Singer Georges Brassens and His Estonian Love

October 29 marked the 30th anniversary of the death of the warm-voiced, humane French singer/songwriter Georges Brassens (born 1921), and tributes have included a 19-CD set out on October 17 from Mercury/Universal, following the interrogatively titled study “Brassens?” by French popular song specialist Bertrand Dicale, out in February from Les éditions Flammarion.

Also receiving posthumous attention is Brassens’ Estonian Jewish love and muse, Joha Heiman (1911-1999), whom the singer met in 1947 and with whom he remained passionately attached until his death, although they never married or even moved in together. This apparent noncommitment turned out to be the sign of ultimate emotional commitment on the singer’s part. Brassens was inspired by his relationship with Heiman to write some of his best-remembered songs, such as “The Non-Proposal” (“La Non-Demande en marriage”), “Nothing to Discard” (“Rien à jeter”); “I’ve a Date With You,” (J’ai rendez-vous avec vous), and “Saturn” (“Saturne”).

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Singer Georges Brassens and His Estonian Love

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