vendredi 1 juin 2007
La Vie En Rose
(A painting of Edith Piaf, 72 rue de Belleville. Copyright © by MA Shumin.)
It is that ever timeless subject that we ordinary beings seek in all our lives, perhaps ever more diligently than fame and fortune. It is something that writers, artists, filmmakers and singers have been spending eons dwelling on. Though what are shown in movies, described in books and sung in songs do not begin to represent the diverse authentic forms of expressions of love amongst couples, some artistic endeavors do come close. Edith Piaf’s song, “La Vie en Rose” (1946), one of the most memorable and endearing love song of all time relates to the sincere feelings of being in that moment of love. The life of this great legendary iconic French singer began in Belleville.
The legend is that Edith Piaf was born on a cold winter day of December 1915 on the pavement of 72 of rue Belleville in the heart of the working class immigrant neighborhood. Whether it is true or not, today on the door along side a painting of her, there are the words: “Sur les marches de cette maison naquit le 19 Décembre 1915 dans le plus grand dénuement Edith Piaf dont la voix, plus tard, devait bouleverser le monde. “
Edith Piaf’s life is that of real legendary singers, actors and artists. She came from what is known as ‘the slums of Paris’ and went as far as the world-renowned concert hall of New York City. At the mere height of 4 feet 8 inch, it was not the height that stood out for Edith Piaf, but her voice. Though she was raised in poverty in Belleville, Edith’s unique voice, at times touching, heartbreaking but altogether undeniably powerful brought her out to the world. Through her romances as well as friendships with the great names of her time, Yves Montand, Jean Cocteau, Marlene Dietrich, etc, Edith Piaf became a star.
And like all great stars, Edith Piaf’s life was to sing and survive, to live and love. It was all or nothing, and finally she died in 1963 at the tragic age of forty-seven. Today Edith Piaf is remembered well and thought to be one of the greatest singers France has ever produced. Her signature song "La vie en rose" was voted a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998 and while the award may mean nothing or everything to her listeners, which woman does not want to be held in the arms of her love and feel these sentiments:
“ Des yeux qui font baisser les miens,
Un rire qui se perd sur sa bouche,
Voilà le portrait sans retouche
De l'homme auquel j'appartiens
Quand il me prend dans ses bras
Il me parle tout bas,
Je vois la vie en rose.
Il me dit des mots d'amour,
Des mots de tous les jours,
Et ça me fait quelque chose.
Il est entré dans mon coeur
Une part de bonheur
Dont je connais la cause.
C'est lui pour moi. Moi pour lui
Dans la vie,
Il me l'a dit, l'a juré pour la vie.
Et dès que je l'aperçois
Alors je sens en moi
Mon coeur qui bat “