The incredible story of a song written by Jean-Jacques Goldman for a CM1 class

The incredible story of a song written by Jean-Jacques Goldman for a CM1 class
The incredible story of a song written by Jean-Jacques Goldman for a CM1 class

The singer, who has not released an album since 2001, wrote the lyrics and sang the introduction to a song about the Resistance for a class at the Louis-Pergaud primary school in Vénissieux. A meeting made possible thanks to Nadia Bachmar, the teacher of these CM1 students.

Le Figaro Lyon

He was a teacher, a simple teacher, who believed that knowledge was a great treasure“. The story of Nadia and her CM1 class fits perfectly with the words of Jean-Jacques Goldman written in 1987. In 2019, Nadia Bachmar, teacher at the Louis-Pergaud school in Vénissieux, decided to set up a show project on the Resistance with his CM1 class. A great admirer of the French singer’s favorite, with whom she has exchanged letters for several years, the teacher asked her to participate in their educational project. “I knew that his father had been a resistance fighter in Vénissieux and that he had participated in his liberation within the resistance with the FTP-MOI (Francs-tireurs et partisans – immigrant workforce), on August 26, 1944, that therefore made sense to ask him», she confides to Figaro after telling this story to Progress .

But the first confinement linked to Covid happened and the project was put on hold. The singer, however, replies that he agrees to write something. Nadia then makes sure to keep her class the following year. “I am in a great school and my colleague agreed to take CM1 so that I can continue with this class in CM2“, she explains. Passionate, but a little airheaded, she responded to Jean-Jacques Goldman during the summer, forgetting “probably to put a stamp» on his letter that he will never receive.

“Hello, it’s Jean-Jacques”

Time passes and the show builds. Michael Jones, guitarist for Jean-Jacques Goldman, who lives in Lyon and whose father participated in the Allied landings on June 6, 1944, participates in its development and comes to discuss with his students. “During our first performance of “Vénissieux la belle, la rebel” in 2021 at the city theater, he came to sing “Je te donne” with us», remembers Nadia. The performance is filmed and the teacher decides to send the DVD to Jean-Jacques Goldman, attaching his email address and a telephone number.

Nearly a year later, his class left elementary school for middle school. All together, they still decide to continue the adventure of this show. See each other during school holidays, sometimes one weekend in the month to work on theater and singing. Are invited to commemorations. At the beginning of 2022, an email from Jean-Jacques Goldman’s artistic director arrived in the professor’s mailbox. “He told me that he had seen our show, that he was blown away and that it was still yes for the song“.

The following Wednesday, his phone rang. “I hear: “hello, it’s Jean-Jacques.” I didn’t really understand because I don’t have any Jean-Jacques in my repertoire. Then I hit», she remembers, still moved. For more than half an hour, the teacher and the singer discuss “the school and the values ​​of the Republic“. “He told me that he was very moved by the show», Continues Nadia. A few days later, the latter received the song with a message from the singer telling her that “it was just a suggestion“. “It’s crazy to say that given his career. And the song is so beautiful“. Finally, a video is organized between Jean-Jacques Goldman and the students to work on the text. A song in which the latter reads the beginning of the letter from Armenian resistance fighter Missak Manouchian before the students sing his words.

Change the life

If this project was able to take place, it is also because the teacher and the singer share many common values. “When you listen to his songs, it’s quite easy to understand how he works. He writes about broken destinies and missed appointments. I believe that these are themes that haunt him and that he has the deep conviction that an encounter can change everything. Maybe that’s why he agreed to work with us», analyzes Nadia who had lunch with the singer at the end of 2022 and who herself admits that she owes everything to a French teacher and a mathematics teacher who “have determined their path“.

But the adventure of the teacher and her class, whose students are now in 4e, did not stop there. Since then, everyone has continued to see each other to participate in commemorations and continue their work on the Resistance. “I thank their parents who are present and trust me to ensure that this project continues. It’s not easy for all families caught up in everyday life, but despite everything, they are there and know that school is important for their children.“, she assures.

Always with the backdrop, this desire for Nadia to plow this republican furrow in Vénissieux, the city where her parents, originally from Algeria, arrived between 1954 and 1960. “I grew up here in the 70s/80s. I knew this city with all its diversity. It was really beautiful. Today I see these same neighborhoods scarred by poverty and traffic. It breaks my heart. That’s why I want to be useful. The school of the Republic is the place of otherness. About meeting others with their differences. That’s what we’re doing with this show.», continues Nadia, who explains having discussed with the singer about her fear of seeing certain people organize “a competition of memories which opens the way to all extremism“. “He replied to me that he shared this fear of seeing competition from everything», breathes the teacher.

She recognizes herself in the words of Churchill which she paraphrases: “If the present judges the past, it loses the future“. “There is no hierarchy in horror. This is the heart of my fight. If we don’t get out of this, we’re mortgaging the future», concludes Nadia. Next year, her group of students will visit New York, Athens and Bremen with her to continue this work of memory. In her own way, Nadia has indeed changed the lives of her students.

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