Georges Brassens (French pronunciation: [ʒɔʁʒ bʁasɛ̃s]) (22 October 1921 - 29 October 1981) was a French singer-songwriter.
Brassens was born in Sète, a town in southern France near Montpellier. Now an iconic figure in France, he achieved fame through his simply orchestrated, harmonically complex, elegant songs and articulate, diverse lyrics; indeed, he is considered one of France's most accomplished postwar poets. He has also set to music poems by both well-known and relatively obscure poets, including Louis Aragon (Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux), Victor Hugo, Jean Richepin, François Villon (La Ballade des Dames du Temps Jadis), and Guillaume Apollinaire.
During World War II, he was forced by the Germans to work in a labor camp at a BMW aircraft engine plant in Basdorf near Berlin in Germany (March 1943). Here Brassens met some of his future friends, such as Pierre Onténiente, whom he called Gibraltar because he was "steady as a rock." They would later become close friends.
After being given ten days' leave in France, he decided not to return to the labour camp. Brassens took refuge in a slum called "Impasse Florimont" where he lived for several years with its owner, Jeanne Planche, a friend of his aunt. Planche lived with her husband Marcel in relative poverty: without gas, running water, or electricity. Brassens remained hidden there until the end of the war five months later, but ended up staying for 22 years. Planche was the inspiration for Brassens's song Jeanne.
Apart from Paris and Sète, he lived first in Crespières (near Paris) and latterly in Lezardrieux (Brittany).