Saint Claude

Album: Chaleur Humaine (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • The second single from Chaleur Humaine, "Saint Claude" became Héloïse Letissier aka Christine and the Queens' debut hit in her native France, peaking at #4.
  • This was inspired by a scene of humiliation that Héloïse Letissier witnessed in Paris. She recalled to NME:

    "It was really weird: I was on the bus and he was just sitting there. He had this really extravagant look and he was talking on his own. He looked really ill, but at the same time really extravagant. And people started to actually mock him. I witnessed this amazing phenomenon where people just rejoiced in mockery of someone else: pointing a finger at just one person. The whole bus seemed to be friends just like that It was kind of scary to watch.

    And actually, I did nothing. I didn't stand up for the guy. I was so embarrassed I decided to get off the bus – I got off at this station called Saint Claude in Paris – and this is why the song is called that. I gave him this name afterwards as a symbol. But the song was like me trying to mend something that happened – I didn't do anything and I felt I should try to write a letter to this boy in a way. Because he was an outsider, kind of a freak, and I think I just witnessed how easily some people point fingers at freaks, you know."
  • The video for "Saint Claude" features Christine being manipulated and stretched. "But more in order to be an alien and not to conform," she told The Guardian.
  • Madonna admitted stealing the choreography from the "Saint Claude" video for her 2015 Grammy performance of "Living For Love." Letissier was flattered by the direct rip.

    "It's like you're a teenager and the pop stars in your posters are started to move - it didn't really feel real," she explained to Noisey. "What I love is mainly what she is. Her music is fantastic but also she's built this character, a really empowering female, and the fights she was fighting back then are still relevant now. She's the mother of all the badass female creatures in pop music. I felt honoured: I have it on my CV now - inspired Madonna. A bit!"

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