You can read about Francoise Hardy’s story on wikipeida. This is my story on Francoise Hardy’s story.
What’s New Pussycat?
I first saw Francoise at the end of the movie “What’s New Pussycat” staring Peter Sellers and written by Woody Allen. She was clearly model pretty, but didn’t seem a natural actress — she had a cameo in the movie. I looked her up and found out she was a famous singer and model.
I figured she was a model first, who they turned into a singer and wrote songs for her. I found out the opposite was true:
She was a singer and songwriter, who they made into a model and then acted in some movies — including Grand Prix in which she had a major role.
She was a huge star in the 60’s — for both her songs — she was part of the Ye-Ye movement in France (Ye-Ye is French for Yeah-Yeah!) — and her looks; she was a regular on the cover of Vogue. She was an icon of the Ye-Ye movement and swinging scene.
Combine the two and you get Great videos.
Here are some of my favorites:”Tous Les Garcons” her first hit, a song she wrote, with Roger Samyn credited as co-writer:
La maison où j’ai grandi” (The House Where I Grew Up) wasn’t written by Francoise but appeared on her 1966 album — it was her rendition of the song “Il ragazzo della via Gluck”, first sung by Celntano in 1966, with lyrics by Luciano Beretta and Michele “Miki” Del Prete, and music by Adriano Celentano. Here is the video for it:
Defending Francoise Hardy from Missile Attacks
It was for this reason — and probably because I had been watching some Hardy videos at the time — that I haphazardly chose a Francoise Hardy video to defend when the youtube “Missile Command” Easter Egg came out in November, 2013.
I consider this one of my finest moments — although I was ultimately unable to save Francoise:
“Comment Te Dire Adieu” (“How to Say Goodbye to You”) is Hardy’s French adaption of the song “It Hurts to Say Goodbye” by Arnold Goland.
Here is a full version:
Her Early Life
According to her wikipedia page, Francoise had a rough upbringing — born in Paris in January 1944 during German occupation of Paris in World War II, “during an air raid alert, with the windows of the clinic exploding.”
Francoise was “raised in Paris in the 9th arrondissement, and had a troubled childhood marked by the strict upbringing of her single mother and a largely absent father.” The wikipedia entry also currently says, “Hardy is known for her shyness, disenchantment with celebrity life and self-deprecatory attitude—attributed to her lifelong struggles with anxiety and insecurity” from her crazy childhood.
Breakthrough on Disques Vogue — the Other Vogue
Her breakthrough came in 1961 when she was signed to a deal with the French record label Disques Vogue — which has no apparent relation to Vogue Magazine.
Vogue — the Fashion Magazine
You can read the very long and interesting wikipedia page for the full story of Hardy’s amazing life. It says she “has developed a career as an astrologer, having written extensively on the subject. She aligns herself with the so-called “conditionalist” school of thought.
In Poor Health at this Writing
A quick lookup of Francoise Hardy at this writing finds bad news — she is in poor health and has announced she’d like to ‘assisted suicide’ herself — she is in so much pain from cancer — but cannot since it is illegal in France. The article is from the Guardian in June 2021. That is almost 2 years ago; Hardy was 77 then and 79 now. This is horrific news and one hopes she has received better treatment and is feeling better now.
More Francoise Hardy Videos & Songs
Other great Francoise Hardy songs:
“Comment T Dire Adieu” in full at a live performance in 1969:
Le Temps de l’Amour:
La Maison Ou J’ai Grandi:
Mon amie la rose (1965):