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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Édith Piaf + "La Vie En Rose" Insights (Wednesday's Wisdom)

One hundred and three years ago on this day in 1915, Édith Piaf was born. Followers of this blog may recall that her singing was a a favorite of my dearly departed friend, Donna De Solis, and that Piaf's rendition of La Vie En Rose, which  she is singing in the video atop this entry is one that I used in a memorial DVD which I created in honor of Donna's memory at the request of her son.

I've just learned via a comment (by Joshua F) on this You Tube video that "La vie en rose literally means life in pink. It's a French expression roughly equal to 'rose-colored glasses', but without the negative connotation of the English expression. It's about seeing the world in a brighter and more idealistic way- directly in the context of the song, this is because of a lover, but because it was released in 1945, it served to soothe and inspire a France still recovering from the horror of Nazi occupation."

Prior to my reading the comment I had read in a Google search "La vie en rose literally translates to Life in pink and it would be better translated to life through rosy (pink) glasses. The idea is to depict a state where everything appears rosy and cheerful to you. It's about a state of bliss when everything around you is a source of joy..." 

And in that search I also read, "Ah, la vie en rose! The quintessential French phrase for non-French speakers, popularized by Édith Piaf's love song. It comes from a very common and popular expression ''voir la vie en rose' which literally means ''seeing life in pink.' In English, it's often translated as ''wearing rose-colored glasses..."

I often hear Piaf's haunting rendition of La Vie En Rose coming out of a boom box that is attached to the bicycle of a NYC cyclist, Frank, who is pictured below.

I've so associated hearing Piaf singing La Vie En Rose with Donna, that I've forgotten that she is often referred to as "the little sparrow," as she was so small in stature.

The house sparrows who visit my rooftop garden and the ones I've seen in Central Park as well as the ones I've seen in puddles on the UWS greenway along the Hudson River (as seen in the next set of pictures respectively)...

.... are all thrilled to be associated with Piaf as often their bird type takes somewhat of a hit with certain Bible references.

In any event, sparrows are featured in my Words In Our Beak book series...

and purchase info for them can be found after the conclusion of this post.

As for Édith Piaf's legacy, I could say so much more and maybe I will as time goes by, for now I'll leave you with a quotation attributed to her: "When you reach the top, you should remember to send the elevator down for others."

Here is the purchase info for the series:

Volume One: ISBN: 9780996378529
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:
book culture On Columbus (a bookstore on the UWS in NYC):

Volume Two: ISBN: 9780996378536
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:

Volume Three: ISBN: 978099637853
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:


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