Anne Sylvestre, figure of children’s song and feminist, died at the age of 86

Anne Sylvestre, figure of children’s song and feminist, died at the age of 86
Anne Sylvestre, figure of children’s song and feminist, died at the age of 86
She interpreted Lazare and Cécile, Write so as not to die, or My husband is gone. The artist, whose real name is Anne-Marie Thérèse Beugras, died on Monday at 86 years old “after a stroke”, Sébastien d’Assigny, his historical press attaché, told AFP.

The singer, who had debuted in a cabaret on the left bank in Paris at the age of 23, embodied a song with text, intelligent, ignoring fashions, in the wake of a Georges Brassens. Rembarked in 1959 with My husband is gone, song about the war during what we call the “events“in Algeria, eShe worked until the end: a tour was planned in 2021 for her show New Rides, including four dates at La Cigale next January.

Very popular in the 60s and 70s, Anne Sylvestre, born in Lyon on June 20, 1934, is known both for her nursery rhymes for children, the fabulettes, and his adult songs imbued with his many fights. She was one of the first women of French song to write her own lyrics. “I always took care of my words, I always tried to write well“, she explained to franceinfo in 2012.

With its Fabulettes, tender and funny rhymes, the first of which appeared in the early 1960s, Anne Sylvestre has accompanied several generations of children. “I have the impression of having been a bit of a blanket for a lot of children. I am very proud of that because I knew how to give them a subject, notions.“, she underlined. But the children never had the opportunity to see in concert his Twelve little pigs, Jam or pickle, or Elderberry, because she reserved her fabulettes at the studio.

In her adult songs, she delivered her engagements with chiseled lyrics and could be scathing. Throughout her career, she was interested in the condition of women, claiming the term of singer “feminist“, which was sometimes heavy to carry:”I guess it held me back in my career because I was the sucker for service, but my gosh, if that was the price to pay …“.

However, all injustices, whether homophobia or racism, also raised his hair. A visionary, she has often anticipated or accompanied major social debates.

So with No you don’t have a name (1974), a song about the choice of abortion published a year before the adoption of the Veil law authorizing the voluntary termination of pregnancy, in which it relieved women of guilt: “Do they know that it is transformed / The spirit as much as the form / That we carry you in the head / That it never stops […] They are very lucky / Those who think it is meant to be.


It also preceded the debates on same-sex marriage with Gay let’s get married (2007), in which she sang with biting irony “Gay gay let’s get married / So climb on my knees / This is the first step / The Pope won’t like it.

In 2013 she released a punch song inspired by the Stauss Kahn affair, Just a woman. “What, he’s not a murderer / He just wants to appreciate / What nature puts under his nose (…) There can be nothing if that excites him / And what the hell is this hypocrite / She should feel flattered / That we care about her beauty.”

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