Friday, 12 February 2010

"La Vie en Rose"- a dedication to Edith


{image from here}



First of all, before I start my Pink Saturday post, I would just like to wish Beverly, the woman responsible for Pink saturday, a very speedy recovery. Beverly, we hope you get well soon because you are too special to be sick.


As many of you already know, Edith Piaf, was popular in the 1940s and 1950s for her love songs, including the very fabulous chanson "La Vie en Rose" (Life through rose coloured glasses:)

Quand il me prend dans les bras
Il me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose

When he takes me in his arms
and speaks to me softly
I see the world through rose-colored glasses


Edith had a particulary sad life which was captured in the 2007 movie "La Mome", with the very beautiful and also very talented Marion Cotillard playing the role of Edith Piaf.

Todayh I would like to dedicate today's Pink Saturday post to Edith as a reminder that life is so short and every day is precious so make sure that it counts.


Here are some facts about Ediths' tragic and often mysterious life...


Edith Piaf was born Edith Giovanna Gassion on December 19, 1915 in Paris, France. She died on either October 10 or October 11, 1963 (the date is frequently disputed) in Cannes, France. Edith Piaf stood at only 4'8". She was married twice and had one child who died in infancy.

Edith Piaf's Tragic Early Life:
Legend has it that Edith Piaf was born on the streets of Paris on a cold winter night to a 17-year-old mother who was a café singer and a father who was a street acrobat. Her mother soon abandoned her, and she was sent to live with her paternal grandmother, who was the madam of a brothel. She was completely blind from ages 3-7, and she claimed to have been miraculously cured when the prostitutes prayed for her on a religious pilgrimage.

Edith Piaf's Teen Years:
In 1929, Edith Piaf left the brothel and joined her father as a street performer. At age 16, Edith Piaf fell in love with a young man named Louis Dupont and bore his child. Sadly, their daughter, named Marcelle, died before the age of two of meningitis.

Edith Piaf Gets Discovered:
Louis Leplee, the owner of a popular Paris nightclub, discovered Piaf in 1935 and invited her to perform in his club. It was Leplee who gave Edith her nickname, "La Môme Piaf" (The Little Sparrow), in reference to her height. She adopted this as her stage name. Years of touring brought Piaf moderate financial success, but great popularity.

Edith Piaf During World War II:
During the World War II German occupations of Paris, Piaf cleverly won the hearts of the high-ranking Nazis, thus giving her access to French prisoners of war, many of whom she helped escape.

Worldwide Success and More Tragedy:
After WWII ended, Edith Piaf began to tour the world, achieving international fame and popularity. In 1951, Piaf was in a car accident, and her injuries resulted in a lifelong addiction to morphine.




Edith Piaf and Marcel Cerdan

Edith Piaf's Many Loves:
Edith Piaf's true love was boxer Marcel Cerdan, though they never married. Tragically Cerdan was on his way to join her in New York where she was now living but was killed when the plane in which he was traveling crashed.
Edith, totally broken by his death, sought refuge in drugs and alcohol.
Piaf subsequently married singer Jacques Pills in 1952. They divorced in 1956. In 1962, Piaf married singer/actor Theo Sarapo, who was twenty years her junior. They stayed married until Piaf's death. Along the way, Piaf had many other lovers.

Edith Piaf's Death:
Piaf died of cancer in 1963, near Cannes. The date is disputed; it is said that she actually passed on October 10, but her official date of death is October 11. Her husband, Theo Sarapo, was with her at the time. Piaf is buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

Edith Piaf's Most Famous Songs:
Edith Piaf is considered by most to be the greatest French singer in history. Her best-known songs are "La Vie en Rose," "Hymne à L'Amour," "Les Trois Cloches" and "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien."


I read that in 1950 just a few months after Marcel's death, in Paris's Salle Pleyel, she sang "L'Hymne a l'Amour" in Cerdan's memory.

So I will close this post with this sad and yet very special song.







Wishing you all a very special pink Saturday and a very happy Saint Valentine's Day tomorrow,


L x


ps almost forgot about linking to a pink saturday blogger, that I have never visited before, I have chosen the bird in boots :-)

22 comments:

  1. Amazing post! I love Edith piaff's songs...I'm very passionate of French music of those decades! She had an incredible voice and her songs are poems! I loved the movie about her story and sad life!
    Wish you a very romantic St.Valentine day!
    Vale

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  2. Before reading your post, I must admit I had never heard of Edith Piaf. In her very tragic short life, she sure left a beautiful legacy with her music. I really like that you highlight things about France that I would not have otherwise known about. Wishing you and Mr. FF, a most magical and romantic Saint Valentine's Day! ~Lili

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  3. I read your blog and love it. I shy away from commenting all the time...but this one made me cry and realize how hard life most have been for her. It makes me appreciate what I've got.
    Thank you for sharing and happy "V" for everyone.
    Mia from Sunny Florida

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  4. I have know of Edith Piaf my entire life. My parents "song", was La Vie en Rose. I have always been a fan of hers. My parents are both gone now, but everything I hear La Vie en Rose, I can picture my parents dancing in our living room with love in their eyes.

    I am visiting Paris this March for the first time and wondered now, if the Cemetary is open to the public?
    Penny

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  5. I love her music, I had not known of her until her movie came out, what very beautiful music came from such a tragic life. Of course, many know her for La Vie en Rose

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  6. Her life seems so colorful, yet tragic at the same time. To think that she had to bear the burden of addiction makes me so sad.

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  7. Lovely tribute Leeann...happy weekend, xv.

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  8. I missed that movie at the time, but am more determined than ever now to find the dvd. Thanks Leeann, Amanda xx

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  9. I'm with Amanda - I'm going to get the DVD out. Wonderful post budgie. Who couldn't love Edith Piaf?

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  10. I love Edith Piaf. Such haunting songs.
    My dad was a musician and my mum a singer and I can remember listening to Edith Piaf on old 78 records !!
    Great post. XXXX

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  11. Hello! what a beautiful blog!!! i was going to put la vie en rose on my post today too...she lived such a stirring life.

    most precious wishes

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  12. Edith was a trouper and a real legend ... thank you for a wonderful post Leanne!
    Wishing you a beautiful valentines weekend!
    ♥♥

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  13. Happy Pink Saturday. Oh what a poignant but lovely post! Thank you for the very interesting background, I had no idea. Great job!

    Fondly,
    Jennifer

    http://MaidenShade.net (NOT GOOGLE)
    http://MaidenShade.com

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  14. Thank you for teaching me a bit about Ms. Piaf. I really appreciate. Have a lovely Saturday!

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  15. Great post! I am not familiar with Edith but you have piqued my curiosity and will have to see the movie. It is truly heartbreaking to see what some people go through in life. Thank you for the wonderful reminder of how precious life is...

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  16. Wow, what a great post, so informative. I was not familiar with her but I enjoyed reading this.

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  17. I remember when my brother came home from overseas in the late 60's. He brought some albums home. One of them I believe was called simply "Piaf of Paris", I really remember the picture on the album, it was not a photograph. I just remember thinking she looked sad. Although I could not understand a word of the songs, I still loved listening to her. I played many times. She was a beautiful lady and so tiny.
    I enjoyed your post.
    Betsy

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  18. This is such an interesting post! Thank you for taking the time to share this story with everyone, what a sad story. I really want to find that DVD. xo Louise

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  19. She was incredible. What a fitting tribute you've given her here.. Hope you're having a lovely day in la belle France..Rx

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  20. Hi Leeann,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute to such an interesting Lady.
    I love the haunting sounds of her music, La Vie en Rose, was such a sad and lovely song.

    Happy week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  21. What a great post. Thanks for mentioning my blog in your post. You have a beautiful blog that I have enjoyed reading.

    Jen (thebirdinboots.blogspot.com)

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