I’m listening to Edith Piaf’s album “je ne regrette rien” as I write this blog-post. This 2-cd set has 45 songs. So far I really like 3: “Non, je ne regrette rien”, “La foule”, and “La Goualante du pauvre Jean”. Piaf’s voice is so intense, so French. Sometimes she’s a little too much even for me! But I love how she immediately transports me to old France.
I’m not sure when I first fell in love with France. It must have been before the time I can remember anything distinctly. It must have been through my Dad’s story-telling of his travels and his French-language lessons for us children. Those lessons weren’t all that successful in actually teaching us to speak French, but they effected the magic of birthing a little girl’s imagination that the world is hers, and that France in particular could be her home.
I’ve been to France only twice, the first time for nearly a week in the summer of 1983, the second time for two weeks in the spring of 1990. But I’ve been there in my heart nearly my whole life through music, whether children’s folk songs taught to me by my parents or piano music by Chopin, Debussy, Ravel, or via the French renditions of many great female vocalists (whether French or not themselves) such as Ella Fitzgerald, Edith Piaf, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Eartha Kitt, Etta Jones, and more.
More tracks from Piaf’s 2-cd set of her greatest hits I find enchanting:
- “J’m’en fous pas mal”
- “Les trois cloches”
- “C’est l’amour”
Warning: much of Piaf’s music will break your heart! But c’est la vie, c’est l’amour!