7 June 2018

Baume-les-Messieurs, Jura (39)

Baume-les-Messieurs is a cul-de-sac village in the Jura département, noted mainly for its caves, its abbey and its waterfall. When we went there were many visitors in the village hamlets themselves but although we spent about an hour in the church graveyard and the church at the entrance to the village, not a single person entered. And yet there are some very interesting things to see there: does no one know about Les Trois Cloches these days? Jean Villard (aka Gilles) wrote the song 'Les Trois Cloches' in 1939, and it was made famous after the war by Édith Piaf. Gilles was a Swiss poet, chansonnier, actor, writer and composer born in Montreux in 1895 and who died Saint-Saphorin in 1982. Er, the 'village au fond de la vallée' mentioned in the song is Baume-les-Messieurs and was inspired by Gilles when he stayed there one day. The Jean-François Nicot named in the song is borrowed from François Nicot (1858–1929), whose grave Gilles noted in the churchyard.

Or not. It appears that this is a modern legend created by journalist Jean Barthelet in 1970, who later confessed that he had made the story up, and to verify this Jean Villard himself said that he had no knowledge of Baume, that he made the song up on the banks of Lac Léman.

All the same, here is the tomb of François Nicot:

And a photo of a gîte called, you'd never guess:

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