La Vie En Rose: The song that lives on
La Vie en Rose was written in a pavement cafe on one of Paris' busier streets - Champs Elyées in the year 1945. The Second World War had just ended which left both the victors and the vanquished with the prospect of a rebuilding task that could take an eternity. But this beautiful song by France' little sparrow- Edith Piaf describing a giddy romance lifted the French national spirit at the time when darkness was all around.
It is often assumed that most of her songs were written for her by men. Charles Aznavour who recently passed away also used to write songs for her before he started singing himself. And it was Piaf herself who encouraged and trained him to sing. Nevertheless she wrote more than hundred songs herself. The tragedienne's songs could make you feel pain and also transcend it at the same time.
When the war was being fought Piaf's songs gave expression to the pain people could not express. Apart from the war Piaf was dealing with personal loss as well. In 1935 her two year old daughter died of meningitis. In 1949 the love of her life boxer Marcel Cerdan also died in a plane crash. And yet the fact that she sang through all the tragedies shows the strength she had. Her music is still an inspiration to many and after years of her demise her style and music are resurging.
After the war, as Piaf and her friend Marianne Michel sat for a drink the latter complained that nobody was writing new songs for her. Piaf just took a piece of paper and started penning down 'La Vie en Rose' then and there. At first Marianne Michel recorded the song, a version with a sweet xylophone tune. Later Piaf sang the song herself, the song that we know.
The song was again inspired by the hardships in her personal life. She was visually impaired for several years and was cured by the age of seven. She knew all about the darkness. But the song she wrote was about seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses for then life will be beautiful.
The song made her famous across the Atlantic. The Americans were mesmerized by her voice and could not believe that a 4 ft 10 woman was singing. This was because Edith Piaf didn't fit the conventional norms of beauty and glamour they were accustomed to. Regardless, her song sold more than 1mn copies a huge number in those days, and it is still as fresh as ever.
Later versions of the song
The song still lives on through different versions that various singers have sang over the years. In 1950 Louis Armstrong gave his tribute to the song and that is when the song became famous in the wider American public, mainly because it was sung in English. The song begins with a piano solo and is followed with a splendid and sleepy trumpet solo.© 2016 The Classical Art, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.