The song doesn’t go to private schools (or she has bad memories of it)

Encrypted memories of ecclesiastics at Trenet or Ferré, harsh remarks from rappers (especially when they come from city centers): private schools may well be part of the landscape, but they are not often featured in our popular culture.



Reading time: 8 min

The Stanislas high school, in the Montparnasse district of Paris, at the heart of a controversy launched by Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, the new Minister of National Education, Youth, Sports and the Olympics.  (JEAN-BAPTISTE QUENTIN / MAXPPP)

“The gates of your private schools become your ramparts.” Nekfeu’s punchline resonates curiously this week, while the Minister of National Education and Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, continues to struggle with the controversies surrounding the registration of her children at Stanislas College, then the famous private establishment on the left bank in turn entered into turmoil. It is also interesting to do a little sociology of popular culture, recalling for example that Nekfeu spent his adolescence not very far from this college: he took his baccalaureate at Paul Bert. When leaving, turn right onto rue Huyghens, then left onto boulevard du Montparnasse, then rue de Montparnasse – a seven-eight minute walk – and you are at Collège Stanislas. So Nekfeu knew what he was talking about.

He could have mentioned by name a famous private establishment in the neighborhood, just a little further away, the Alsacian School, where Prime Minister Gabriel Attal studied. He is a rather commercially marginal rapper who remembers the Alsatian, in 2019, a certain Young Jeune.

In the first episode of These songs that make the news this weekend you hear excerpts from:

Nekfeu, The noise that runs, 2019

Young Young, Sapio like never before, 2019

Guy Bontempelli, The geese of the boarding school, 1965

Charles Trenet, The Abbot on the harmonium, 1971

Léo Ferré, The dog, 1969

Michel Sardou, The General Overseer, 1972

Emmanuel Macron, press conference of January 16, 2024

Michel Sardou, The two schools, 1984

Eddie Mitchell, He’s not coming home tonight, 1978

Raggasonic, Such is life, 1995

Renaud, Bobos, 2006

Rohff, Dounia, 2013

The Loosers’ Klub, The merry-go-round of vanities, 2004

The Loosers’ Klub, Who loses wins, 2020

Michel Sardou, The two schools, 1984

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And you can also find the podcast on this link Behind our voices, with the writing and composition secrets of eight major artists of the French scene, Laurent Voulzy, Julien Clerc, Bénabar, Dominique A, Carla Bruni, Emily Loizeau, Juliette and Gaëtan Roussel.

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