Classical, World Music

World Music Wednesday! Edith Piaf: Sous le ciel de Paris, une chanson s’envole

2 Comments 16 June 2010

By Sweet Sound of Sunrise

Like last week’s Amadou and Mariam, this week’s pick is also in French. However, it comes from the motherland itself, with the chanteuse who, almost 50 years after her death, is still probably the single most famous French singer in the world.

Edith Piaf is a legend. Songs like La Vie en Rose can be recognized by people from the other side of the world, and have been redone by the likes of Louis Armstrong. A movie about her life won an Oscar, being the first French winner in the category of “Best Actress.” Her grave in Paris is still visited often by fans, demonstrating that she will not be forgotten anytime soon.

This week’s song is just one example of what made Edith Piaf so renowned. “Sous le ciel de Paris”, which translates to “Under the Paris sky,” was written by Hubert Giraud and Jean Drejac, and was made famous by Piaf in 1954. The lyrics tell of the life within the city, of the lovers, loafers, the sounds of Paris. At the end, the sky gets jealous of Paris, and unleashes a torrent of rain, but soon afterwards begs forgiveness with a rainbow.

Call me preposterously cliched and/or a hopeless romantic, but this is one of those songs that makes you want to dance and throw everything away and go live la vie boheme in old France. And acquire an accordion. Maybe it’s just me.

  • Jay

    Nice piece, but did you know that the picture you used is not Piaf, it is the great Australian actress Caroline O’Connor who interpreted Piaf in a play about ten years ago.
    Sous le Ciel de Paris is such a great song, thanks for sharing the clip here.

    • sweetsoundofsunrise

      I guess that should teach me about using Google images…certainly looks like her, I just really liked the microphone, body language and lighting in the picture.

      Nevertheless, I might just keep in the same way it is now…I love the photo.

      Thanks for the heads up!

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