French singer-songwriter Jean Ferrat dies

This is a music video of the song La montagne, by Jean Ferrat.

From Reuters:

French singer songwriter Jean Ferrat dies

Sat Mar 13, 2:59 pm ET

PARISJean Ferrat, a left-wing French singer and songwriter whose communist convictions went along with a talent for poetic love songs that were some of the best loved in France, died Saturday at the age of 79.

Ferrat, born Jean Tenenbaum in 1930, saw his father sent to Auschwitz during World War Two and commemorated the deportation in one of his earliest successes, “Nuit et brouillard” (Night and Fog).

He began his career in the cabarets of the postwar Left Bank before making his name in the 1960s and 70s with a succession of lyrical love songs and political chansons, one of which was banned from French television.

Among his best-known songs were “La Montagne” (The Mountain), “Potemkine,” “Ma France” and “La femme est l’avenir de l’homme” (Woman is the future of man). He was also known for his adaptations of works by the communist poet Louis Aragon.

President Nicolas Sarkozy issued a statement praising the singer’s “unyielding conception of French song” and Ferrat’s death headlined evening news bulletins.

This is hypocrisy by Sarkozy, now that Ferrat is safely dead. Jean Ferrat’s songs were often banned at French radio stations by Sarkozy’s political Right. Has Sarkozy forgotten this? Ferrat really disliked Sarkozy.

Early indications suggest that Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative party has lost out to its rival Socialists in regional elections. Two polling firms put the opposition ahead by as much as three percent: here.

From the Daily Mail in England:

Is the pressure starting to show? Carla Bruni looks drained as she steps out to polling station with Nicolas Sarkozy

By Kate Loveys

Last updated at 11:08 AM on 15th March 2010

Looking exhausted and with a fixed smile on her face, Carla Bruni cut a forlorn figure in Paris yesterday.

In a show of unity, she clasped her husband Nicolas Sarkozy‘s hand as she accompanied him to a polling station for local [really regional] elections.

But the strain on her face betrayed the pressure of last week’s widespread claims that both she and the French president are having affairs.

Sarkozy’s party loses second round of regional elections: here. And here.

French train lines, public transport, schools and day care centres face disruption on Tuesday as unions strike to protest against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s failure to boost purchasing power and rein in unemployment: here.

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