1. Je suis triste. I wish I'd had the courage to brave the blizzard and drive the 10 miles to Portsmouth to be with you. What a wonderful afternoon you all appear to have had. Edith Piaf sang "Je ne regrette rien". I am singing "Je regrette que je n'etais pas chez vous". Bravissimi Janine et Ray!

  2. My first exposure to Edith Piaf was on my first visit to Paris, under atmospheric December skies. I had never before heard her name. We were riding on the R.E.R., the underground section along the Seine. A short woman, who could not fail to catch our eyes because of the leopard coat, bad dye job, and matching scarlet beret and lipstick she wore, began singing Edith Piaf. She was moderately good, in a grotesque way, and passed her hat. It was hard to suppress giggles, which drew an ineffective evil eye.

    My second encounter was on a fine evening a few years later. By now I knew who Edith Piaf was, and knew and appreciated her music. We were sipping wine on a rooftop terrace near Rue Mouffetard, looking across the chimneys and steeples to the dome of the Pantheon, under the opalescent sky of a fine May evening. I remarked that the only thing that could possibly make the picture more complete would be Edith Piaff music. Not two seconds later, a man on a balcony several stories below began playing "Ma vie en rose" on his accordion. The timing was so perfect we both had to laugh, this time with delight. – MJS

  3. This article brings back memories. My high school french teacher (a WWII vet) told us all about Edith Piaf and we were subjected to many sessions in which we were force feed Edith's music via scratchy 78 records, Ha! Quite a change from the music genre I grew up with…Hard and acid Rock. I still remember all her songs and ran right out to see "La Vie en Rose" when it was first released. ;0)

  4. We missed you and your voice would undoubtedly have contributed positively to the chorus! We will do it again!

  5. Hi Denise,
    It sounds like your French teacher's efforts made quite an impression….it would be fun if your teacher knew that Piaf's music stayed a part of your life! Thanks so much for your note!

  6. The draw of Edith Piaf is hard to resist…regardless of venue or the source of her music. It can define the mood, can't it? I love your stories! Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Susan,

    Merci! This is a really fun read: Piaf and 'Amour' (which I plan on seeing this afternoon at the Music Hall!)

    It just so happens that Ray, Janine and I were in a Meet-Up French group yeesterday at Panera's in Dover and Janine and I did a verse of 'Je ne regrette rien' together: Fun! (She sings much better than I).

    We should have a big 'Boum Piaf' in the fall, in Oct., to commemorate the 50th year of her passing and to celebrate her classic life: Piaf stories, wine, food, song (especially with Janine and Ray), etc.

    Merci encore!

    A bientot,

  8. Hi Henry,

    Thank you for your fun note. I LOVE the Piaf Party idea, too–I think women should wear little black dresses!

    I hope you liked "Amour." I found it very moving and, as you know, I tought the acting was as good as it gets.

    Forgive me–I know you are a French professor–for not being able to get the accents in your comment!

    All the best,

  9. How fun to have such a gathering in your home on a snowy evening!

    I was with Mark for both those memories – and was truly charmed by both. The woman on the RER seemed a little unbalanced, probably much like Piaf herself… but she was very good.

    The accordion moment is truly one of those iconic moments that one can never forget… I love hearing La vie en rose anytime, anywhere…

    Thanks for this post – I never knew much about her life – only that it was sad. This really helped me to put the pieces together.


Comments are closed.