Secrets of the tubes – 7/12. Every weekend in the summer, Philippe Dufreigne tells you the manufacturing secrets and the little-known history of the hits you all know. Today, The Golden Hands by Bernard Lavilliers.
A song is sometimes a commitment. This is the case of Hands of Gold. Before becoming a singer, Bernard Lavilliers started out as a worker. He never forgot his years as an apprentice in Saint-Etienne.
“As I too was a guy who worked in the rolling mill and the blast furnaces, in my youth, I always have memories. The first job I did in my life was not a guitarist, it’s not a trucker, that was it”, recalls Bernard Lavilliers.
In the early 2000s, factories closed one after the other. Bernard Lavilliers therefore writes in one go, a text that pays tribute to the workers faced with layoffs.
“What I was told, which was my existence, that I would have a roof over my head and enough to feed my family thanks to my work, and it’s very, very hard work too, it doesn’t exist anymore and nobody cares. So I said here, nobody cares”.
The song quickly becomes a workers’ anthem. Which resounds in the sound system of all the demonstrations. The engaged Lavilliers has often interpreted it in the factories, and in particular, at Arcelor Mittal.
“The impression of being useful for something”
Beyond the union fights, the song is taken up by choirs, and sung in chorus by the public of Bernard Lavilliers during his shows.
“It gives you goosebumps. You feel like you’re at least for something at the time. Because an artist can always have eternal doubts as to what he’s for, precisely.”
This is one of the highlights of Bernard Lavilliers’ tour, in festivals this summer. And in theaters, at the start of the school year, in October.