Spank the Widow

In his 1966 song ‘La Fessée’, the French poet and singer Georges Brassens (1921-81)…


… tells a story about how he went to pay his respects to a dead friend, encountered the widow in the chapel of rest, and proceeded to have an affair with her. The song title, and its appearance here, will give you a good idea of how things ended up for her. You can listen to the song here.

After a kiss, she passes a rude remark about his rather full mustache. And then… well, here’s a free translation of the last part of the song:

My mustache – like a muff? Fancy!
She’s earned herself a spanking with that
I turned up the insolent lady’s skirts, without
Knowing that I was merely doing a duty,
But closed my eyes so as not to see too much.

SMACK! I whacked her with an avenging hand!
‘YEOW! You’ve split my sit-upon in two,’
She complained, and piteously I looked down,
Fearing lest I had slapped her too brutally.
But then I saw, to my satisfaction,
That it was actually a long-standing condition.
Fibber! She’d had a crack there since she was born.

When I raised my hand the second time,
My heart was no longer in it: I had lost conviction,
Mainly because the naughty girl had asked,
‘Have you noticed what a beautiful bottom I’ve got?’
And I lowered my vengeful but vanquished hand,
And the third slap was merely a caress…

Brassens is celebrated for the fecundity of his imagination in this drawing showing him thinking up many of his songs. Now you can play ‘Spot the Spanking’ (or, if you prefer, ‘Where’s Walloping?’)

Brassens imagination

And the song remains popular in France. There are many cover versions, and in recent years it has been revived in cabaret acts, notably the ‘cabaret macabre’ by the Fées et Gestes (Fairies and Gestures) company at Tarascon-sur-Ariège in the foothills of the Pyrenees, performed by Jean-Louis Manceau and Esther Candaes. Here they are in a performance from 2013:

Brassens Cabaret Esther & Jean Louis 2013 0Brassens Fessee Jean-Louis Manceau & Esther Candaes 2013

And in 2014, with less grotesque make-up for her, and a different pair of panties:

Brassens Cabaret Esther & Jean Louis 2014 0Brassens Cabaret Esther & Jean Louis 2014 0aBrassens Cabaret Esther & Jean Louis 2014 1Brassens Cabaret Esther & Jean Louis 2014 2

And now in motion:

The song also features in another act, Bistrot Brassens, by Léon et Margot, for which there is no photographic evidence of an actual spanking. But the available video extracts do include a passing mention of bottom-smacking, and the show also inspired this cartoon:

Leon et Margot

There’s even a piece of fan art by Daniel Pinot showing his visualization of the widow and what Brassens did to her:

12 366379danielpinotLafesse

Looks familiar? D’accord! C’est encore le Lampoon Nationale!

National Lampoon

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