30. La vie en rose – Édith Piaf – 1946

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La Vie en rose” was the signature song of French singer Édith Piaf, written in 1945, popularized in 1946, and released as a single in 1947.

The song’s title can be translated as “Life in Rosy Hues” or “Life Through Rose-Colored Glasses”; its literal meaning is “Life in Pink”.

Trivia

  • The lyrics of the song were written by Édith Piaf herself, and the melody was composed by Marguerite Monnot and Louis Guglielmi, known as Louiguy. Originally, the song was registered as being written by Louiguy only, since at the time Piaf did not have necessary qualifications to be able to copyright her work with SACEM.
  • It was the biggest-selling single of 1948 in Italy, and the ninth biggest-selling single in Brazil in 1949.
  • The first of Piaf’s albums to include “La Vie en rose” was the 10″ Chansons parisiennes, released in 1950. The song appeared on most of Piaf’s subsequent albums, and on numerous greatest hits compilations.
  • Two films about Piaf named after the song’s title have been produced. The first one, a 1998 documentary, used archive footage and interviews with Raquel Bitton, and was narrated by Bebe Neuwirth. The 2007 biographical feature film La Vie en rose won Marion Cotillard an Academy Award for Best Actress for portraying Piaf in the film from childhood until her death at 47.
  • Ian Fleming references the song in his first James Bond novel Casino Royale, when Bond is eating with Vesper Lynd, and again in his fourth novel Diamonds Are Forever, when Bond chooses to skip it on the record player as it has “painful memories”.
  • The song received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998.
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3 responses »

  1. It took until 1998 to give this a Hall Of Fame award? It crosses language barriers, everyone knows this song. Wonderful voice, such longing…Love the orchestration that backs her up all the way. As the vocals swell so does the arrangement. Total classic

  2. I love this. I’ve never really listened to Édith Piaf before. Such an emotive voice, so dramatic. And yeah, this song is amazing. It’s rare that a song manages to transcend language. I think I need to listen to more Édith Piaf!

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