No one sang “Déshabillez-moi” like her: Juliette Greco

Juliette Greco had many additional names: “The Black Sun of Paris”, “The Grand Dame of Chanson”, or just affectionately “Jujube”, as she mentions in her autobiography, she was called. She died on 23 September at the age of 93. With her France lost the last great chansonette besides Edith Piaf and Barbara Brodi.

Photo: Victor Diaz Lamich

Gréco had its first public appearance in 1937 at the age of ten at an internal school talent competition. She was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 with her mother, who was active in the French Resistance, and her elder sister. She was first taken to a camp, then to Fresnes prison, from where she was released after three weeks. Her mother and sister survived the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Gréco’s relationship with Germany remained distant. In 1959 she performed in the Federal Republic for the first time.

Déshabillez-moi” (Undress me) is a song from 1967, first recorded by the French singer Juliette Gréco. The song, written by Robert Nyel and composed by Gaby Verlor, became a scandal at the time. The text refers to the nakedness of a woman, the latter “asking a man to undress her in various ways”.

Juliette Greco was a feminist from the first hour. She never minced her words and knew no taboos. She was authentic and that is what the fans loved about her.

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