Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's New Album Causes Controversy With Song About Mick Jagger
PARIS -- Carla Bruni's Little French Songs is causing a little French controversy. In the album from the former first lady of France that hits stores Monday, Bruni sings about her bohemian lifestyle while dating Mick Jagger in "At Keith and Anita’s Place," takes political jabs at her husband Nicolas Sarkozy's presidential successor in "The Penguin" and sings Sarkozy’s praises in "Mon Raymond."
In “The Penguin,” Bruni uses a French nickname for someone who is seen as all dressed up but still lacking grace and manners. The song is widely interpreted as a thinly veiled attack on current president Francois Hollande, though Bruni has alternately admitted and denied he is the titular bird.
She mocks his “sovereign air.” “He takes on the airs of a king, but I know the penguin does not have the manners of a lord,” read the lyrics. Bruni was said to feel slighted when Hollande skipped the customary walk with the departing couple as they exited Elysee Palace, instead staying in the garden to pose for photos. “Hey penguin, you look all alone in your garden,” she sings. “If one day you cross my path, I’ll teach you to kiss my hand.”
The album also includes the song “At Keith and Anita’s Place,” in which the former model talks about a dreamy day with Rolling Stones frontman Jagger, Keith Richards and the guitarist's former girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg. “Someone is rolling a joint. Oh no! I don’t smoke. We’re at Keith and Anita’s place.”
The album’s release comes as her husband is under political fire for his campaign finance activities. A formal investigation was opened March 21, the same night Bruni made an appearance at the Echo Music Awards in Germany. She still took to the stage and sang Mon Raymond, a tribute to Sarkozy. She calls her husband “sentimental but complex” and “electric” and sings: “Whatever fools say, Raymond is dynamite.”
Sarkozy has been placed under formal investigation for claims he took financial advantage of impaired L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt during his 2007 campaign. Bettencourt, with an estimated €17 billion fortune the richest woman in the world, has suffered from Alzheimer’s since 2006 and was placed under family guardianship in 2011.
In interviews this week to promote the album, Bruni addressed the accusations and dismissed the accusations as “unthinkable.”
This is Bruni’s fourth album and first since 2008. She put her musical career on hold during Sarkozy’s time in office and while she gave birth to daughter Giuliana in 2011.