EDITH PIAF: “NO, I DON’T REGRET ANYTHING” …

Edith Piaf’s songs and singing style seemed to reflect the tragedies of her own difficult life. According to her love letters published in France, it appears that she regretted many things: the great diva craved a “normal life, with children, pretty curtains and a husband”. The French cabaret singer, songwriter and actress is still considered as one of the greatest performers of the 20th century. Let’s have a look to her amazing personality and life. 

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Personality

With no conscious effort, Edith Piaf galvanizes every situation she enters, and energy seems to flow through her without being aware of this great potential or controlling it. When she is aware of her outstanding personality, she tries to blend with his environment, feeling conspicuous, alien, and out-of-place.

mi 8554618375343356With her omnipresent energy and intuition, Edith Piaf has the potential to be a source of inspiration and illumination for people. She is a sensitive and a passionate lover, fine companion and possesses a good sense of humour. 

Her perceptiveness makes her aware of her partner's needs and desires, which she is able to fulfil with almost magical delicacy. However, when she feels she has been mistreated or jilted, Edith Piaf can react with devastating power, sometimes using personal criticisms vindictively. But because she is so highly charged, she experiences constant conflict between her great abilities and indulgence in self-reflection and self-criticism, leaving her highly self-conscious. She bounces back easily from setbacks and can overcome any adversities or obstacles thrown in her way. Patient as she is towards her goals, Edith Piaf's flying, ravaging temper endangers her relationships with the very same people that will help her to accomplish those goals. 

Edith Piaf is sharing her great capacity for invention with many inventors, artists, religious leaders, prophets, and leading figures in history. Entrepreneurial and progressive, Edith Piaf is ever-striving, heading for the top, and enjoying an enterprising, ambitious and determined personality to do things well, and an unyielding dedication to her plan until the goals are achieved.

Although blessed with a message or a specific role to play in life, Edith Piaf must develop herself sufficiently to take full advantage of that opportunity. There is danger, however that her trait of determination and dedication will shift to stubbornness, making Edith Piaf cling to ideas and projects well past their fruitious season. 

 Song style

As she often sang in a Bellevilloise argot apparently, not dissimilar to a Parisian version of old cockney, the cabaret owner Louis Leplée began to call her “la môme piaf” (“little sparrow” in Parisian slang).

imagesHer unhappy personal life and unadorned though dramatic style underlined her expressive voice, and she was able to move audiences with her passionate rendition of songs that were often about loss and love. 

At her beginning her material was standard music hall fare, but eventually Edith Piaf had songwriters such as Marguerite Monnot and Michel Emer writing songs specifically for her. 

She’s influenced everyone from Marianne Faithfull to Elton John.

Edith Piaf popularised the French language overseas with titles like “Je ne regrette rien” and “La vie en rose” passing into English as phrases. 

Love

At the height of her fame, the chanteuse expressed her undying love for the celebrated Greek actor Dimitris Horn. Piaf had met "Taki"during a European tour in 1946. "I love you as I have never loved anyone, Taki, don't break my heart," she wrote to him.

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Edith Piaf took many lovers, including, in the summer of 1948, the world heavyweight boxing champion Marcel Cerdan, with whom she had a passionate love affair and a very public relationship with despite him having a wife and children. She always maintained that Cerdan was her one true love. Marcel Cerdan died in a plane crash on his way to meet her. Piaf blamed herself and fell into a deep drug and alcohol-fuelled depression.

She found no better luck in marriage. In 1952, she tied the knot with French singer Jacques Pills in the presence of the actress Marlene Dietrich, but the pair divorced three years later. Her second marriage, to Greek hairdresser Theophanis Lamboukas came in 1962 but was short-lived. Piaf died, aged just 48, the following year.

Family story

Her mother, a café singer, abandoned her at birth, and she was taken in by her grandmother, who reared the girl in a brothel. She became blind at age three as a complication of meningitis but recovered her sight four years later. 

ob dde648 ob-22ef66-edith-piaf03A few years after that she joined her father, a circus acrobat, and accompanied him while he performed. She sang in the streets of Paris, earning a meagre living while often in the company of petty criminals. In 1932, Edith Piaf gave birth to a daughter who died two years later from meningitis. 

In her later life, Piaf was involved in several serious car accidents, and she suffered from failing health, partly due to alcohol and drug abuse. She died at the age of 47, reportedly from liver cancer. Her death was mourned across France, and thousands lined the route of her funeral procession.

After her death, Piaf received the highest honour from the French government when the tricolored flag was draped over her coffin. 

Professional life

Piaf's real success does not begin until maturity, between the ages of 35 and 45, when she has progressed further along her path. When she has found his niche in life and begun to realize her true potential, Edith's rewards will more than compensate for her trials earlier in life.

She was discovered in 1935 by a cabaret owner, Louis Leplée. At this time, she was singing for her supper on the streets of Montmartre. Louis Leplée gave Edith Piaf her first nightclub job.

CMd5IUeGdSd-QfsHYBPEzKywEOs250x345Her debut was acclaimed by the actor Maurice Chevalier, who was in the audience that night. The same year Edith Piaf made her theatrical debut, and within a few years she was singing in the large music halls of Paris. 

Edith Piaf kept singing about the streets where she’d come from all her life (“Mon coeur est au coin d’une rue” and “Elle frequentait la rue Pigalle” are just two examples) and as a parvenu living in style once she’d hit the big time, she blew all her money on a farm, as well as showering her hangers-on in gifts.

In the mid-1940s she became a mentor to the young Yves Montand, and she worked with him in the film “Star Without Light” (1946). 

As for America, Edith Piaf played Carnegie Hall twice in 1956 and 1957, and she cracked the world’s biggest market more than a decade before the Beatles feat for a European who mostly sang in French. 

Finally, in 1998, Edith Piaf was given a Grammy hall of fame award!

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In addition to singing, Piaf recorded her thoughts about her life in two books, Au bal de la chance (1958; “At the Ball of Fortune”; Eng. trans. The Wheel of Fortune) and the posthumously published Ma vie (1964; My Life).

Edith Piaf - La Vie En Rose

 

Brigitte - Social circles

Bonsoir, my name is Brigitte. I’m the ultimate Parisian. There isn’t a VIP evening that I miss out on. When I was 18, I hunted autographs and stole photos of stars walking the streets of Paris or in concert. Vanessa Paradis, Catherine Deneuve, Jean Dujardin... they’re all in my book. It wasn’t very difficult as my parents produced concerts and I grew up in this fascinating world. I’ve turned it into a profession since I’m a people journalist! I now set up meetings with the stars and can question them without their bodyguards getting rid of me like they did in the past. I’d love to tell you more about these so French VIPs…

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