One of French pop's most poetic songwriters, Georges Brassens, was also a highly acclaimed and much-beloved performer in his own right. Not only a brilliant manipulator of language and a feted poet in his own right, Brassens was also renowned for his subversive streak, satirizing religion, class, social conformity, and moral hypocrisy with a wicked glee. Yet beneath that surface was a compassionate concern for his fellow man, particularly the disadvantaged and desperate. His personal politics were forged during the Nazi occupation, and while his views on freedom bordered on anarchism, his songs expressed those convictions more subtly than those of his contemporary, Léo Ferré. Though he was a skilled songwriter, Brassens had little formal musical training, and he generally kept things uncomplicated -- simple melodies and spare accompaniment from a bass and second guitar. Along with Jacques Brel, he became one of the most unique voices on the French cabaret circuit, and exerted a tremendous influence on many other singers and songwriters of the postwar era. His poetry and lyrics are still studied as part of France's standard educational curriculum.