Many netizens suspected the footage was faked using artificial intelligence or other means when it first appeared, but people close to Macron told AFP it was real.
“The president took a moment with his wife (Brigitte Macron) after his speech (Monday evening). They met a group of young people who were singing… so he joined them in a song from the Pyrenees that he knows and loves,” they said.
In the nightly video, Macron can be seen reciting from his phone the lyrics to “Le Refuge,” a song about an inn in the mountain range on France’s southwestern border with Spain, surrounded by men in their 20s and 30s singing powerfully.
The incident may have initially seemed like a welcome show of outreach to constituents of the president, whose reforms, including an increase in the retirement age, have earned him widespread hostility in recent weeks.
But the video was first posted on the Facebook page of an organization called “Projet Canto”.
While the group describes itself as preserving traditional songs in digital form, left-wing newspaper Liberation reported last year that it was founded and run by far-right activists and featured recordings of songs linked to Nazi Germany in its app.
The person accompanying him said that Macron “cannot at present know the backgrounds of everyone he talks to”.
“Political songs are part of song history, and that’s why we stocked them,” the group told Liberation last year, saying they also have “far-left” songs in their catalog.
Macron previously sang “Le Refuge” during a trip to the High Pyrenees in 2022.
© 2023 AFP
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