There is a famous Chinese curse that goes: “May you live in interesting times”.
She was born during the early part of WWI and not that far from the Western Front. Her mother abandoned her at birth, her dad dumped her in her grandmother's lap and ran off to join the army. Her paternal grandmother just happened to be the madam of a bordello, so she was reared by a group of prostitutes. While a teenager, she sang for tips as a street performer.
She herself gave birth at 17 and lost possession of the infant to its paternal grandfather. She might not have been above doing a trick or two on the side. Singing in the night clubs of Paris by the age of 20, her talent soon drew professional attention. Her career was assisted by advertising and promotion and by association with bigger celebrities like Maurice Chevalier. La Môme Piaf (The Little Sparrow – a fabricated name) cut two records that same year (1935). She was only 4ft 8in (142cm) tall and per instruction always wore a black dress on stage.
By WWII with the invasion and occupation of a humiliated France, Edith Piaf was already a household name. A pop star in today's terms. The German occupation of Paris did not stop her career, but boosted it. She not only sang in the most popular nightclubs but also in the most luxurious bordellos
of Paris, which were reserved for German officers and collaborating Frenchmen. She became sort of an institution or national icon to the mainstream French people, by way of records or radio. At invitation, she and some other French artist also preformed in Berlin during this period.
(Near the end of the movie “Saving Private Ryan”, as the GI s are setting up roadblocks and booby-traps to counter a German advance – Edith's music was being played over the loudspeaker).
In 1944 after the German withdraw, Edith luckily dodged serious repercussions at trial after being charged with traitorous collaboration. She became an international entertainer after the war, even appearing on the Ed Sullivan show
8 times during the 1950's. When she died (old at the age of 47) the cardinal refused to give her a requiem mass because of her lifestyle, but over 100,000 attended her burial. Old Frenchmen can still get teary-eyed if they travel to far away places and encounter Paif's music on the stereo. Here endith the history lesson on Edith.
This following is not a music video but is apparently cut from pieces of the academy award winning movie La vida en rosa. “La vida en rosa” is really the name of another famous Edith Piaf song, not the “Non Je Ne Regrette Rien” (No, I Regret Nothing) which is being lip synced here. The subtitles seem to be in Spanish.