Song of the Day: La Vie en rose by Édith Piaf

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.

Lyrics:

Des yeux qui font baisser les miens
Un rire qui se perd sur sa bouche
Voila 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 a me fait quelque chose

Il est entr 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 jur pour la vie

Et, ds que je l’apercois
Alors je sens en moi
Mon coeur qui bate

Des nuits d’amour ne plus en finir
Un grand bonheur qui prend sa place
Des enuis des chagrins, des phases
Heureux, heureux a en mourir

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 a me fait quelque chose

Il est entr dans mon Coeur
Une part de bonheur
Dont je connais la cause

C’est toi pour moi
Moi pour toi dans la vie
Il me l’a dit, m’a jur pour la vie

Et, ds que je l’apercois
Alors je sens en moi
Mon coeur qui bat

Lalalala, lalalala
La, la, la, la

Translation by  MariusWoodward

With eyes which make mine lower,
A smile which is lost on his lips,
That’s the unembellished portrait
Of the man to whom I belong.

When he takes me in his arms
He speaks to me in a low voice,
I see life as if it were rose-tinted.

He whispers words to declare to me his love
Words of the everyday
And that does something to me.

He has entered into my heart
A piece of happiness
the cause of which I know full well.

It’s him for me, me for him in life
He said that to me, swore to me “forever”.

And as soon as I see him
So I feel in me
My heart which beats

May the nights on which we make love never end,
A great joy which takes its place
The trouble, the grief are removed
Content, content to die of it

When he takes me in his arms
He speaks to me in a very low voice,
I see life as if it were rose-tinted.

He whispers words to declare to me his love
Words of the everyday
And that does something to me.

He has entered into my heart
A piece of happiness
the cause of which I recognise.

It’s him for me, me for him in life
He said that to me, swore to me forever.

And as soon as I see him
So do I feel in me
My heart which beats

Song history

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”.

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. Words “Quand il me prend dans ses bras…” (“When he takes me in his arms…”) came to her mind one evening in 1944, when she was standing in front of an American man. That gave the base for the rest of lyrics. Piaf offered the song to Marianne Michel, who slightly modified the lyrics, changing “les choses” (“things”) for “la vie” (“life”). English lyrics for the song were later written by Mack David.

Initially, Piaf’s peers and songwriting team did not think the song would be successful, finding it weaker than the rest of her repertoire. Having listened to their advice, the singer put the song aside, only to change her mind the next year. The song was performed live in concert for the first time in 1946. It became a favorite with audiences. “La Vie en rose” was the song that made Piaf internationally famous, with its lyrics telling about retaken love and appealing to those who had survived the difficult wartime.

“La Vie en rose” was released on a 10″ single in 1947 by Columbia Records, a division of EMI, with “Un refrain courait dans la rue” making the B-side. It met with a warm reception and sold a million copies in the USA. It was the biggest-selling single of 1948 in Italy, and the ninth biggest-selling single in Brazil in 1949. Piaf performed the song in the 1948 French movie Neuf garçons, un coeur. 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. The song went on to become Piaf’s signature song and her trademark hit, sitting with “Milord” and “Non, je ne regrette rien” among her best-known and most recognizable tunes. Encouraged by its success, Piaf wrote 80 more songs in her career.
The song received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998.

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 Cotillardan Academy Award for Best Actress for portraying Piaf in the film from childhood until her death at 47.

As music in films

  • Stage Fright (1950)
  • Operation: Rabbit (1952) – instrumental only (uncredited)
  • Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (1953) – hummed by a mischievous Daffy Duck
  • By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953) – instrumental only
  • Sabrina (1954) – as Sabrina Fairchild’s song
  • Noches de Casablanca (1963) – sung by Sara Montiel
  • The Cheap Detective (1978) – however, Eileen Brennan’s character, Betty DeBoop, doesn’t sing the words, and just sings “La la la la la la la en rose”
  • Bull Durham (1988)
  • A Foreign Field (1993)
  • Natural Born Killers (1994)
  • Prêt-à-Porter (1994)
  • French Kiss (1995)
  • Sabrina (1995)
  • A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (1998)
  • Summer of Sam (1999)
  • View from the Top (2003)
  • Love Me If You Dare (2003)
  • Something’s Gotta Give Deleted Scene (2003)
  • Modigliani (2004)
  • A World Without Thieves (2004)
  • Valiant (2005)
  • Lord of War (2005)
  • The Yacoubian Building (2006)
  • La Vie en rose (2007)
  • Mister Lonely (2007)
  • Jellyfish (2007)
  • Fred Claus (2007)
  • The Bucket List (2007)
  • WALL-E (2008)
  • The Wackness (2008)
  • Map of the Sounds of Tokyo (2009)
  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • Monte Carlo (2011)

As music in other media

  • “La Vie en rose” appeared in the television show I Love Lucy in the episode entitled “Hollywood Anniversary”, right before Desi Arnaz sang the song “The Anniversary Waltz”. The episode was filmed and aired in 1955.
  • Barbara Feldon sang “La Vie en rose” in a 1966 episode of Get Smart entitled “Casablanca”.
  • The song appeared in the television show Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, in the episode entitled “Pheromone, My Lovely” (1993).
  • “La Vie en rose” appeared in an episode of Relic Hunter entitled “Memories of Montmarte”.
  • In “Cold Stones”, the 76th episode of The Sopranos, Rosalie Aprile hums a throaty version of the song to comfort Carmela Soprano. The episode was aired in May 2006.
  • In the 2006 Egyptian film The Yacoubian Building, chanteuse Christine (Youssra) includes “La Vie en rose” in her repertoire, singing it on at least one occasion for Zaki el Dessouki (Adel Imam).
  • In the 1954 movie ‘Sabrina’ this song is mentioned and played many times throughout the movie. Actress Audrey Hepburn even sang part of this song.
  • Steampunk chanteuse Veronique Chevalier does a parody version – which turns out to be about a battle with slugs.
  • In the 2003 romantic comedy Something’s Gotta Give, the song is played several times during scenes of Paris, and actor Jack Nicholson (Harry Sanborn) sings it during the closing credit roll.
  • In the first season of The Voice (Australia), Rachael Leahcar performed “La Vie en rose” as her blind audition, receiving a standing ovation from the in-studio audience and the four celebrity coaches.
  • Bosom Buddies sang la vie en rose on episode 4 of Britain’s got Talent series 7 and received a standing ovation. The two males sang as females shocking all in the audience with Simon Cowell likening the pair to Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham, stating the difference being Bosom Buddies can sing.

Other mentions

  • 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 Avengers BBC TV series used this song as an episode title. It was played repeatedly in a house in which Emma Peel was held against her will by an enemy agent she had seduced and betrayed by utilizing the song.
  • Lyrics from the song are quoted in Albert Cohen’s 1968 novel Belle du Seigneur (chapter LVI).
  • La Vie en Rose was the name of a spaceship in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, as well as an episode title of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory.
  • In the 1990s anime Di Gi Charat, the name Rabi~en~Rose is based in “La Vie en rose”.
  • “La Vie en rose” is mentioned in John Boyne’s novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, published in 2006.
  • Canadian singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne has a tattoo saying ‘La Vie en rose’

Édith Piaf

Édith Piaf 914-6440.jpg

Birth name Édith Giovanna Gassion
Also known as La Môme Piaf
(The Little Sparrow)
Born 19 December 1915
Belleville, Paris, France
Died 11 October 1963 (aged 47)
Plascassier (Grasse)
Genres Cabaret
Torch songs
Chanson
Occupations Singer, songwriter, actress
Instruments Voice
Years active 1935–1963
Labels Pathé, Pathé-Marconi
Capitol (US and Canada)

image by B1nd1

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3 Responses to Song of the Day: La Vie en rose by Édith Piaf

  1. Manda says:

    Hello :-) I have used your picture with the sunflower on my facebook page – I hope that is ok? https://www.facebook.com/everydaybody/ If not, please let me know, I will take it down.

    Like

  2. Chiara. says:

    Hello! the picture is not mine.
    As I’ve wrote at the end of the post, the image is by B1nd1.
    You may ask her permission, the important thing is to not use it for personal profit or without credit (link back to her). Here you can find terms and conditions and ask directly to B1nd1: http://b1nd1.deviantart.com/journal/My-Art-And-You-228939770
    Have a nice day! ;)

    Like

  3. Pingback: Who Sings La Vie En Rose In Monte Carlo | Information

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