A cold funeral for Juliette Greco in Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Appointment was given on the forecourt of the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, close to the high places of the existentialist revolution of post-war Paris. How not to organize the last tribute to Juliette Gréco in this district. She was both its muse and its soul.

The ghosts of Boris Vian, Jacques Prévert, Jean-Paul Sartre and other Miles Davis had to make their way through a backdoor. From the world of the living, politicians and artists had made the trip to pay tribute to a woman who had become over the years one of the jewels of French culture.

This traveling companion of the left had attracted Jack Lang, but also the former president François Hollande, accompanied by the actress Julie Gayet. Brigitte Macron represented her husband, and Gilles Legendre, deputy of the 5th, 6th and 7th arrondissements, the city of Paris. All seated at a good distance – Covid-19 obliges- from the singer’s granddaughter, Julie-Amour Rossini.

Coming from the world of show business, Christophe Miossec took his place early in the church, soon followed by Francis Lalanne, Zazie or Claude Lemesle, one of the most prolific lyricists of French song, who had written for the singer in the 1980s.

Outside the church, in the square, a Morris column displays a famous black and white photo of Juliette Gréco. BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

To deliver the homily, Monsignor Benedict of Sinety, who already officiated during Johnny Hallyday’s funeral in 2017. He emphasized the religious dimension of a woman who claimed not to believe in God but in Jesus. “God gave his love to all of his creatures. This love, Juliette Gréco sought, desired, lived (…). His face, his words, his gentleness, his smile have illuminated your lives ”, he said in his homily.

As master of ceremonies, our conferee Didier Varrod, music director of Radio France, was the first to testify, recounting his moments with the lady, in Paris as in Ramatuelle, and citing the title of one of his best records, Love each other, or else just disappear, according to Manset. Jacqueline Franjou, director of the Ramatuelle festival, spoke of Gréco in love with words. “Who loved them better than you?” “ she asked, facing the deceased’s little girl. She spoke of the generosity, intelligence and tenderness of her 36-year-old friend.

The television producer Catherine Ceylac had chosen to retain an anthology of quotes from the lady, including this one: “Never trust those who talk too much. “ It turned out to be particularly appropriate.

Spiritual son of Greco, Abd Al Malik, modest and sober, evoked the love which “held (her) tightly in his arms. »But the most beautiful tribute, of those which made the 300 people present shiver, was that rendered by Catherine Ringer singing There is no more after, by Guy Béart, supported by a simple accordion. The white coffin then came out of the church to applause, as is customary for the funerals of the personalities of the spectacle. The hearse took the direction of the cemetery of Montparnasse where the burial was to take place “In the strictest privacy“. There really is no more after in Saint-Germain-des-Prés …