Édith Piaf, The Little Sparrow (December 19, 1915– October 11, 1963)

This day in 1963, the great French chanteuse Édith Piaf died of liver cancer at the age of 47.

And anyone who saw Marion Cotillard’s Academy Award winning performance as Piaf in La Vie en rose (2007) knows that Édith never had an easy life.  It was peppered with sadness, loss, pain and addiction.  And although she had a very difficult time finding and keeping the love she spent her life searching for, she was blessed with the ability to put her life in the songs she sang.

And touch us deeply when she did.

Though she died at Plascassier, on the French Riverea, her body was driven back to Paris secretly so that her fans would think that she had died in her beloved Paris.  Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads. Among her songs are “La Vie en rose” (1946), “Hymne à l’amour” (1949), “Milord” (1959), “La Foule” (1957), “l’Accordéoniste” (1955), and “Padam… Padam…” (1951).

“Non, je ne regrette rien” (“No, I regret nothing”) is one of Piaf’s most famous songs.

Now, even though she died years before he was even born, Your Humble Blogger loves Piaf and was thrilled when he downloaded Les 100 Plus Belles Chansons D’Edith Piaf (100 remastered songs of Piaf) for only 9.99 on iTunes a couple of years ago.

When I put those songs on I’m instantly taken to back to MY beloved Paris.

Piaf is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris next to her daughter Marcelle, where her grave is among the most visited. Though it’s never my first stop in Père Lachaise – that’s always reserved for Marcel Proust – Édith, the Little Sparrow, is always second.

So tell me, what’s your favourite Édith Piaf song?

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom

Jeffrey at Édith Piaf's grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery

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3 Comments

Filed under Edith Piaf, paris, Père Lachaise Cemetery

3 responses to “Édith Piaf, The Little Sparrow (December 19, 1915– October 11, 1963)

  1. t.on.air

    Ha! Thanks for the photo. I meant to visit her but couldn’t. Long story. Anyway, keep up the good work! My fav. is of course la vie en rose.

  2. I guess you know that Oscar Wilde is also in Père Lachaise Cemetery? His monument is exquisite. Anyway in answer to your question, my favorite Piaf song is “Les mots d’amour.” Something about the prominence of the accordion and her great diction in the rapid words of the verses. That said, there are many other Piaf songs that I really love. Very nice pic of you above in the cemetery.

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