Alright, this week I am going to take a detour from my favourite TV series and YouTube channels. Today, I am going to talk about a movie that I haven’t seen but know a lot about the topic. The movie is La Vie en Rose and is about the beautifully tragic story of Édith Piaf, the famous singer and songwriter of the early 40s and 50s.
First off , the song ‘La Vie en Rose’ is just a fantastic song. Louis Armstrong’s rendition is wonderful, but Édith Piaf’s original in French is perfect. The song is a simple yet moving song about the love for someone and how that love makes the whole world around them better. The literal translation of ‘La Vie en Rose’ mean ‘a life in pink’, but to Piaf it was ‘looking at the world though pink shaded glasses’. Pretty flipping poetic, if I say so.
Édith Piaf’s life sorry is also very interesting. From the beginning, Piaf’s mother abandoned her and her father when she was born. This caused Piaf to be raised my her paternal grandmother at a brothel while her father served in the French army during World War 1. Once he returned after the war, Piaf and him both joined an acrobatics team where they roamed and performed on the streets of Paris for money. This is where Piaf began her song career.
Soon after, Piaf moved from streets to nightclubs. Incredibly nervous, Piaf would wear black clothing to calm herself and to hid her body in the dark so people won’t see how small she was (4’ 8”). From then on I began to be her trademark. During her early career, Piaf had her only daughter named Marcelle, who at the age of 2 died from meningitis. Despite this, Édith Piaf still performed and began to gain fame.
During the French Occupation in World War 2, Piaf’s game grew even more and she soared in popularity among the Germans. So much so that she was tried as a traitor in court. Thankfully her secretary at the time saved her from conviction by saying she aided French soldiers when she came and visitors POW camps.
After the war, Édith continued on her path to fame and fell in love with the already married Marcel Cerden, the former middleweight world champion on boxing. During this time, she wrote ‘La Vie en Rose’ about her love for Marcel and begged him to visit American with her while she was performing. He gave in and took a plane, but his plane crashes before he could see her. After that, Édith still performed and wrote her most famous song ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’. This translates to ‘no, I do not regret anything’. Edith Piaf then entered a rough part of her life where she tuned to morphine and alcohol, which ended up being cutting her life short.
Even though her life was filled with heartache and emptiness, Piaf still had the outlook on life to see the beauty in everything. She truly viewed the world through pink glasses. I can’t wait to see how the movie tries to capture all this is Edith Piaf.