A popular song in France has been attacked by a French singer who said she would leave any party that played it, prompting the writer of the tune to describe her as “filthy”, and sparking a political war of words.
The controversy was kicked off by songstress Juliette Armanet, who lambasted partygoers’ anthem Les Lacs du Connemara for being “divisive and regressive”, adding that she would leave any knees-up if it was played.
Such criticisms were soon backed by representatives on the political Left, with Green party MP Aurelien Tache claiming that he and his working-class parents “never liked” the song’s controversial original singer Michel Sardou.
Right-wing representatives have mounted a major counteroffensive in defence of the song, with Les Republicains’ leader Éric Ciotti being one of the first to signal his disagreement with criticism of the tune.
Michel #Sardou, c’est la France tout simplement.
L’idole de nombreuses générations, un chanteur au caractère bien trempé et qui s’assume.
Difficile à avaler pour la bien pensance ! https://t.co/M8dlq3v8TF
— Eric Ciotti (@ECiotti) August 12, 2023
“Michel Sardou is simply France,” he wrote online, describing the attacks on the much-loved song as “difficult to swallow”.
“French people of all generations have been singing and dancing to Sardou for 50 years,” RN representative Nicolas Meizonnet remarked, adding that Armanet’s songs will disappear over time “without leaving the slightest trace in anyone’s memory”.
Relating to the struggle of Irish Catholics amid foreign occupation, the song repeatedly bemoans the actions of the English and, more specifically, Oliver Cromwell, in the mid-1600s on the island.
The European Commission has refused to define the word “woman” despite a formal request to do so from an MEP. https://t.co/hRriqE8UHn
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 14, 2023
The well-known party tune is said to be one of Sardou’s less controversial pieces, with the singer having been accused of idealising colonialism and imperialism in some of his other hits.
Jacques Revaux, who wrote the song, said that he did not “give a damn” about any accusations of sectarianism levelled against him and Sardou.
He went on to attack Armanet herself, calling her “filthy” and saying that while she was a good singer, she should “shut up” regarding such things.
“Never have I come across such a filthy person,” he told broadcaster BFMTV.
“She has good songs, she sings very well, but she had better shut up.”
French President Emmanuel Macron has lashed out at the French opposition, denouncing both the Left and the Right in the country as not being “pro-EU enough”. https://t.co/syggtDkcg4
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 4, 2023