Since 2014 and the looks of her lymphoma, the lifetime of Françoise Hardy has been a curler coaster. Throughout our last meeting, in 2016, she had appeared “miraculous” and metamorphosed, laughing on a regular basis. She who thought she would by no means sing once more was going to launch an impressive album two years later, “No one Else”. However it should in all probability be his final. At 77, the artist says he’s as soon as once more “in poor situation”. Weakened by fifteen years of therapy for a number of cancers, disadvantaged of saliva and deaf in a single ear, she will be able to now not sing and converse exhausts her. However she continues to jot down, with this distinctive pen, of uncommon magnificence and sincerity, which may adore in addition to deride, particularly her personal particular person.
Within the ebook “Songs about you and us”, she accompanies the 209 texts she wrote from 1962 to 2018 with opinions, reminiscences and emotions which might be generally poignant, typically humorous, at all times related. We might have beloved to speak to her in particular person, however the Covid-19 well being disaster and its fragility prohibiting it, she requested us to ship her questions by electronic mail.
How are you ?
FRANCOISE HARDY. Sorry I can not let you know I am okay.
How do you address this succession of confinements?
I’m confined anyway due to my poor situation, however the confinement poses issues with provides, medical care, makes it tougher and unsure to assist my mates, and I sympathize with all my coronary heart for the struggling and the anguish of all these usually, singers and actors specifically, who’re disadvantaged of their work.
You had refused the concept of a ebook bringing collectively all of your songs, judging your first texts too dangerous. Are you lastly pleased you probably did?
I ended up accepting when my editor instructed that I touch upon my texts when vital. Working regardless of my situation and all of the difficulties that go together with it makes me really feel good and retains me alive.
You endure from an important insecurity regardless that you’re one of the vital revered songwriters and composers. Why ?
I hate inclusive language, I’d a lot reasonably be an writer than an “writer”. What a dreadful phrase! The overvaluation of my mom who lived completely alone and believed that I’d make an excellent training, as a result of I went to nice lengths to carry her good outcomes from faculty, and the incessant belittling filled with contempt of my grandmother have rather a lot play.
Are your greatest songs the autobiographical ones, like the primary one, “All of the Boys and Ladies”?
Of all of the songs on my first album, that is the one autobiographical one. Due to my mom’s isolation, the ensuing lack of contact with the surface world additionally utilized to my sister and to me. Subsequently, I wrote higher texts and so they have been very autobiographical.
They have been typically linked to Jacques Dutronc. Was he your fundamental supply of inspiration?
Not him immediately, however the attraction I felt for him, with the idealizations and generally the roughly appropriate concepts that went with it. Seventy-five to eighty % of my songs have their roots in that attraction and the ache that too typically has resulted from it.
He informed us two years in the past that you simply trade messages each day. Is that this nonetheless the case ?
Sure after all. Every of us worries in regards to the different and we trade an infinite tenderness. It is fantastic to carry a lot to one another and to have the ability to write it to us after greater than fifty years! Our son Thomas and he are the individuals I really like essentially the most on the planet.
Are you cheerful that Thomas has turn out to be an artist?
I’m particularly very pleased with him. His start was the best happiness of my life. He was, he’s a dream son, which doesn’t forestall me from continuously worrying about him. He made nice songs in each manner and I take heed to them commonly with as a lot emotion as admiration. As a result of nice songs have at all times finished me good.
You wrote “So many lovely issues” for him whenever you had your first well being issues in 2014. Why?
We celebrated with Jacques and Thomas my birthday and that of an important buddy. Thomas left the desk. I believed he was going to the toilet, however this buddy informed me he did not need anybody to see him cry. Her beloved grandfather was in horrible situation and had simply been identified with lymphoma: nobody knew if I’d nonetheless be right here in a 12 months. Thomas’s tears overwhelmed me a lot that the following day, desirous about it, I wrote the textual content of “So many lovely issues” on a really lovely melody that I had simply obtained.
From technology yé-yé, Sheila says that you’re her “soul mate”. What’s your connection?
We do not know one another effectively. I had watched his interview with Marc-Olivier Fogiel on tv and located that we have been each direct and apparently genuine. In addition to, she believes in reincarnation and so do I. However perhaps not in the identical manner. We noticed one another little or no and didn’t have the chance to speak about it.
You say you will not sing anymore. Why are you certain this time?
When forty-five radiotherapy and immunotherapy have maybe handled you, but additionally completely disadvantaged of saliva and made you deaf in a single ear, you possibly can now not sing.
“Luckily, there’s nonetheless the music, the songs”, you write on the finish of the ebook. What are you listening to? Which new artists transport you?
None actually. I stayed with Juliette Armanet, whose melodies are lovely and timeless, her interpretations too. I additionally like Oren Lavie and Clara Luciani. Since then, no new artist has “transported” me as a lot as these three. So I take heed to songs that transfer and enchant me as a lot as once they got here out. Over the previous few days, I’ve listened to Cigarettes After Intercourse’s “Candy” and Il Volo’s “Grande amore”.
You additionally write that “Thumbs up, goodbye” remains to be a topical tune. Do you generally wish to depart?
I wish to be there for these I really like, however when I’m doing too badly bodily, the worry of struggling in an much more insufferable manner and with out hope of getting higher distresses me. I remorse that France lacks humanity to the purpose of not legalizing euthanasia. Even Spain and Portugal have finished it.
EDITOR’S RATING: four.5 / 5
“Songs about you and us”, Françoise Hardy, Editions des Equateurs, 430 pages, 24 euros.