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By Dirk Lotriet


Goodbye to music icon, Francoise Hardy

Described by Mick Jagger as the 'ideal woman', Hardy’s music has walked with me through the bitter as well as the sweet over the decades.

At 21 (and a half) I discovered a lot of wonderful things. Single malt whisky. The Drum writers of the ’50s. And her music.

You know, dear reader, that age when one’s heart is not yet hard enough to be adult. Still marshmallow-soft, even if it starts to develop that tough crust on the outside.

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One night I was sitting on an older friend’s carpet when she shook the vinyl LP out of its cover. “This is special,” she said and carefully placed the needle on the record.

Her mesmerising, almost hoarse voice came crystal clear over the speakers:

C’est le temps de l’amour
Le temps des copains
Et de l’aventure
Quand le temps va et vient
On ne pense à rien
Malgré six injuries

I didn’t have the faintest idea what that meant, but I was hooked for the rest of my life. It made me wonder if life could get any better.

At 57, I can confess: life never gets better. But Francoise Hardy’s music has walked with me through the bitter as well as the sweet over the decades.

At first, it was the voice and the bittersweet melody that drew me in. But it was the poetic melancholy of her lyrics that captured me forever.

And now Francoise Hardy is dead. Tuesday at 80.

“Mom is gone,” her son, Thomas Dutronc, wrote on social media. Rolling Stones superstar Mick Jagger once called her the “ideal woman”.

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And he was right. Her style mesmerised fashion designers and she became an icon for the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Paco Rabanne, who designed her a minidress made of gold records.

Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan wrote her several love letters and wrote her a poem on the back of his 1964 album Another Side of Bob Dylan.

And likewise, she enchanted me. Of course, I never met her. But through her music, the hundreds of photos of her, I knew her. As I do to this day.

She has collaborated with a number of artists. And it is with the lyrics of a song she sang with Iggy Pop that I want to say goodbye.

Many artists have covered the classic I’ll Be Seeing You, but no version could move my heart like her version with Iggy Pop:

And when the night is new
I’ll be looking at the moon
But I’ll be seeing you

RIP Francoise Hardy. Your songs will live forever.

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