Friday, July 11, 2008

The Little Sparrow

Today's French subject is music or, specifically, a musician. To me, when I think of Paris I think of the music (accordion?) that is a backdrop to so many films. The tune is usually "La Vie en Rose". I then think of Edith Piaf or affectionately referred to by all as: La Mome Piaf, the little sparrow. She was the beloved French singer and her signature song was "La Vie en Rose". Her life was both fascinating and colorful. She came from humble beginnings and her street performer parents eventually left her to be raised in her paternal grandmother's brothel! She was discovered in a cabaret club and went on to gain great fame while herself discovering another famous French singer, Yves Montand, with whom she was romantically involved. She stood only 4 feet 10 inches (tres petit!) and was loved by her country. Like so many starlets, later in life she battled addiction to morphine after a car accident in the 60's. She eventually died at 47 from cancer in 1963. It is written that her funeral closed the streets of Paris for the first time since WWII. Thousands attended her funeral and she is buried in Pere Lachaise cemetery.

While in Paris I visited her grave on our "map of stars" tour through Pere Lachaise cemetery. Mr. Pink and I witnessed a man placing roses on her grave. He looked to be about the age she would have been had she been alive. He stood there for a very long time. I felt like I was intruding as we hung around nearby. I wanted to ask him if he knew her, but I did not. It remains a mystery and a vivid memory I have kept with me. Later on our trip we found a music store near the Sorbonne (University) and I remember pushing through all the students in search of music by Edith Piaf. We had success (in the back of the store!) and the cd I purchased is still one of favorite reminders of this trip.

Have a good weekend all!

1 comment:

Belle in Bloom said...

What a sad but beautiful story. Her voice is truly one of a kind.
Have a great weekend!