Edith Giovanna Gassion dit Edith Piaf , born onin Paris and died onin Grasse , is a singer , songwriter and actress French .

Nicknamed “La Môme Piaf” at the beginning, she is at the origin of many successes that have become classics of the repertoire, such as La Vie en rose , No, I do not regret anything , Hymn to love , My legionnaire , The Crowd , My Lord , My God or the Accordionist .

Singer with striking interpretation and voice, she has inspired many composers, has been the mentor of young artists such as Yves Montand , Charles Aznavour , The Companions of the song , Georges Moustaki . She knows an international reputation, despite an end of career made difficult by serious health problems and a death occurred at 47 years.



The legend from the imagination of a journalist, and maintained by Piaf, gives birth to the in Paris , at 72 rue de Belleville , in the 20 th district , according to the plaque on the house located at this address 1 – some sources indicate that she would even born “on the steps” of the door of entrance to the building, in the pilgrim of a police officer who reportedly collected the baby from his mother’s womb 2 . However, according to her birth certificate in the civil status of Paris 3 , Édith Giovanna Gassion was born at 4, rue de Chine , address of the Tenon Hospital 4, which is actually one of the health facilities closest to Belleville Street. Born in poverty, Edith Piaf is a child of the theater whose ancestors belonged to the entertainment world for two generations 5 .

Marriage of parents

Louis Gassion , father of Edith Piaf, joined the 89 th Infantry Regiment , based at the barracks in Gemini Sens ( Yonne ) on 11 August 1914. He reportedly received permission three days to get married, September 4 with Anneta Maillard . From this sealed union at the town hall of Sens , little information has been made public. The marriage certificate kept in the municipal archives indicates that the ceremony took place at 10:30 am, on September 4, while the fighting of the First World War raged in the east of France and that the Germans threatened Paris. The officer of civil status of permanence, that day, is Alphonse Dupêchez, assistant to the senator-mayor of Sens, Lucien Cornet , and son of Sylvain Dupêchez, illustrious mayor of the city, from 1872 to 1879.

The presence of parents Edith Piaf in direction is due to the incorporation of his father, August 11, 1914 in the 89 th Infantry Regiment. The latter is confined, at the time, in the Gémeau barracks, site now occupied by the National Police School. In his book Piaf, the truth 6 , the biographer Emmanuel Bonini confirms that the mobilization of the “second class” Gassion is the only attachment of the couple with Sens: “They were married there during a three-day leave, while they were domiciled in Paris, rue du Château des Pensioners in the XIII th arrondissement. ” He adds that ” the four witnesses of the marriage – a typographerVendome , a Parisian engraver, a farmer from Wissous and commercial employee of Savigny-sur-Orge – certainly were all mobilized in Sens, before joining the front ” 7 .

Family origins

Louis Alphonse Gassion is in the civil contortionist and antipodist circus artist (born in Falaise in Calvados on May 10, 1881 , died in Paris on March 3, 1944). He is the son of Victor Alphonse Gassion, a Normand of Falaise, riding squire, and Léontine Louise Descamps, known as “Maman Tine”, patroness of a brothel in Bernay in Normandy.

Edith’s mother, Annetta Maillard (born in Livorno in Italy on and died at 49, the in Paris), Line Marsa by her artist name, is a street singer . Often misrepresented as of Algerian Kabyle 8 origin , she is actually partially of Moroccan Berber origin 9 , by her maternal grandfather, Saïd Ben Mohamed, born in Mogador 10 . She is the daughter of Auguste Eugène Maillard (1866-1912) and Emma Said Ben Mohamed , a circus artist, born in Soissons in 1876 11 , died in Paris in 1930, daughter of Said Ben Mohammed, a circus acrobat Moroccan, born in Mogador in 1827, died in 1890 in Montluçon 12 , and Marguerite Bracco, of Italian origin, born in Murazzano in 1830 , died in Paris in 1898 13 , 14 . According to Arletty 15 , on The Moorish Dance 16 , one of the panels of the Decor of the barracks of the Goulue of Toulouse-Lautrec , Emma Said could be the Moorish dancer sitting on the right, behind La Goulue .

Louis Gassion and Annetta Maillard prénomment their daughter Edith tribute to Edith Cavell , an English nurse shot by the Germans two months earlier 17 .

After Edith, they have a second child, Herbert Lucien Gassion, born on in Marseille and died onin Clichy . About her mother, Herbert said: “A great artist, but who did not know how to force her luck … She sang at Black Cat , Mikado, Monocle …”, then drifts off “drifting, the word is nice … ” 4 , and Arletty said: ” it was the mother who had the voice of the girl, it was the girl who had the voice of the mother 18 . ”


His mother, Line Marsa, too poor to raise him, entrusts very little to his maternal grandmother, Emma Said bin Mohammed who lives Rébeval street in the XIX th arrondissement. Her grandmother would not have cared for her, leaving the little girl in the dirt, ignoring water and hygiene. His bottles, according to legend, would have made red wine. She remains 18 months in this poor house before her father on leave from the front, or perhaps his aunt Zephora 19 , entrusts her to her paternal grandmother, patroness of a brothel in Bernay in Normandy. Edith is pampered by the prostitutes of the house, eating for the first time to her hunger, wearing pretty dresses and drinking milk from Normandy. Very young (age of 3 to 8 years is mentioned as his biographies 20 ), it suffers from a keratitis of both eyes probably due to lack of care and hygiene 21 .

According to the semi-historical legend forged in interviews, articles in popular magazines, and subsequent biographies , 22 she is blind and her grandmother has learned that a girl with the same illness is being cured. after having prayed for her at the tomb of Saint Thérèse Martin in Lisieux , decide to go with her “daughters” to ask for the cure of the little girl, or according to other biographies, take her little girl there 21. We take the train, we pray on the tomb of Therese, we bring back the earth that is applied to him blindfold every night. After about eight days, Edith is healed. Following this, it will last a lifetime special devotion to the “Little Flower,” which she will keep the medal 23 around the neck of his life 24 . It turns out that Edith and Thérèse Martin are cousins to the 14 th grade 25 . Following this episode of temporary blindness, Edith becomes a believer and will regularly in churches outside the offices during his tours 26 . Edith started singing on the stage of the theater in Bernay inNormandy .She came back in, under a big top, after a circus show, accompanied by her husband Jacque Pills 27 . [ref. insufficient]

In 1922 , his father took it back with him, to live the life of an artist of traveling little circuses , then the life of an independent and miserable street artist. It is like her mother, singing popular tunes in the street with her father that Edith reveals her talent and voice of exception. They will stay several times in the small garrison town of Mourmelon-le-Grand where held the music hall “Alcazar”. According to legend, she accompanied by first singing La Marseillaise , the only song she knows 28 .

In 1930 , she leaves her father and sings in duet in the street with Simone Berteaut , called Momone, who will become her friend, her alter ego and her “cursed angel” 29 . In 1932 , she met her first great love, Louis Dupont, 18-year-old delivery boy. Both settle in Montmartre and have a daughter, Marcelle, born on. Edith was trying at that time to “normal” jobs, good all, apprentice creamer, but quickly regained the song with Momone 30 , both in the streets and in the barracks and bars whores 28 . Louis does not support that Edith sings in the street with his daughter under his arm or makes customers drink in boxes Pigalle , he takes Marcelle with him. Two years later, the child dies, probably of meningitis , the. It is on this occasion that is the only known when – or admitted – by Edith prostitution in order to pay the funeral of his daughter 31 .

Cabaret singer

In the fall of 1935 , it was discovered at the corner of MacMahon Avenue and Troyon Street by Louis Leplée , manager of the cabaret Le Gerny’s , on the Champs-Élysées . At that time, Piaf mainly hummed songs from Fréhel’srepertoire . Leplée became his mentor and his adoptive father and, by engaging him in his cabaret, chose him as an artist “the same Piaf” (a “piaf”, colloquially, is a sparrow , and ” the even Sparrow “already existed) because of his small size of 1.47 m inherited from his father and his slender figure 32. Leplee him to meet Jacques Bourgeat, philosopher and literary became his teacher, confidant or his confessor 33 . She also meets the young artistic director of Radio Cité , Jacques Canetti .

In 1936 , Jacques Canetti asked him to record his first album, Les Mômes de la boche , at Polydor , which was a public success and an immediate critic. According to mythology, 28 her first success has already taken place in Leplée’s cabaret, which had initially engaged her one week, but where she triumphed for seven months until the murder of Leplée in bed. Small strikes the middle of Pigalle , acquaintances or lovers Piaf she gives the names during his police custody for 48 hours, are mentioned as possible perpetrators but the case is dismissed for lack of evidence 34. This event will be at the origin of a vindictive media against the singer who risks to return it from where it comes: the street and the small cabarets of misery 28 . Overnight, she has no commitments but success is not long to go back 35 . Radio Cité , directed by Marcel Bleustein and Jacques Canetti , opens his antenna. His extraordinary talent and voice are noticed by composer Raymond Asso and by Marguerite Monnot , composer and virtuoso pianist, his future and faithful great friend, who will accompany him throughout his career and compose the music of Mon legionary ,Hymn to love , Milord , The lovers of a day . She goes to Bobino and L’Européen at the end of spring.

Some records and a little scene can not yet feed a beginner artist. At the end of the summer, she made contact with Raymond Asso , to which she had refused My legionnaire (created by the one to whom she owed so much 36 , Marie Dubas in 1935 , title that Piaf takes again early 1937, with the Pennant of the legion ). After Leplée, Asso becomes his new mentor 37 . He takes it in hand and makes it work to make a professional music hall singer , like its rivals Renée Lebas and Leo Marjane . In the fall of 1936 , she won theAlhambra . In the spring of 1937 she returned to Bobino. She continues to record other records … But, Édith wants more: the ABC , the most prestigious music hall Paris.

Featured music hall

In March 1937 , Édith Piaf began her music-hall career at the ABC in Paris , where she immediately became a huge star of the French song, loved by the public and her songs were broadcast on the radio . That’s when she met Danielle Bonel , it became his secretary and confidante throughout his career 38 .

Star of the late 1930s , Piaf triumphed at Bobino , as well as at the theater in 1940 , in Le Bel Indifférent , a play specially written for her by Jean Cocteau and which she performed with her companion of the moment, the actor Paul Meurisse (mute role). Always with Paul as a partner, she plays in the film Montmartre-sur-Seine by Georges Lacombe ( 1941 ). It was during the filming of this feature film that she met Henri Contet , who, like Marguerite Monnot, became, one of his favorite lyricists .

During the German occupation , Édith, who permanently traded “La Môme Piaf” against “Édith Piaf”, continues to give concerts . She goes to Berlin in August 1943 with some French artists including Louis Gasté , Raymond Souplex , Viviane Romance , Albert Prejean , where she poses in front of the Brandenburg Gate on the occasion of a trip meant to promote French song 39. In 1942, she lived in a brothel ” L’Étoile de Kléber “, located at 5, rue Villejust, today rue Paul-Valéry , she occupies all the third floor 40 close to theheadquarters of the Gestapo , 92, rue Lauriston , lupanar reserved for customers of the most chic district of Paris, including Nazi officers and employees 41 . She often crosses the lover of her friend Annie Jean-Claude Henri Lafont , head of the French Gestapo, she adapts to the presence, as well as German officers 42 .

In the spring of 1944 , she performed at the Moulin Rouge, where the young music hall singer Yves Montand appeared in the first part of her show. It’s love at first sight and Edith Piaf, already famous and adored, began to learn the ropes and to the life of artist 28 . She will propel her career by presenting important (and sometimes prominent) people in the entertainment world of the time: Joseph Kosma , Henri Crolla , Loulou Gasté , Jean Guigo , Henri Contet , Louiguy , Marguerite Monnot , Philippe- Gerard, Bob Castella , Francis Lemarque , Henri Betti …

It was also that year that Edith’s father died. She will lose her mother the following year.

At the Liberation , it is bleached by a committee of purification thanks to the testimony of its secretary Andrée Bigard, member of the Resistance which, without knowing it, implicates it in its actions 43 and which declares that the singer on tour in Germany would have been photographed with French prisoners stalags and that these shots would have served, back in France, the manufacture of false papers to pass these prisoners as members of his orchestra and allow 118 of them to to return to France by escaping 41. This large number of prisoners without a resistance network and the fact that no evidence has never confirmed this story cast doubt on its veracity biographers 44 At that time, Piaf gives some recitals at the cabaret , the Famous Five . This is where Marcel Cerdan hears it for the first time.

In 1945 , she wrote one of her first titles, La Vie en rose (which she will not record until 1946 ), her most famous song, now a classic. She also plays at the Comédie-Française .

Yves Montand becomes in turn a star of the music hall. It begins in the cinema alongside Piaf in Star Without Light then gets her first big role in Gates of the Night of Marcel Carne . They go on tour until 1946 , the year they split up.

In 1946, the singer met Les Compagnons de la chanson , with whom she performed the famous piece Les Trois Cloches by Jean Villard (aka Gilles). She then left with her protégés to give concerts in Northern Europe during the year 1947 .

Glory professional and personal disasters

From 1946 to 1948, Piaf is the companion of Jean-Louis Jaubert , the director of the Compagnons. But in 1948 , while on triumphant tour in New York , she saw the great love story of her life with the French boxer , born in Sidi Bel Abbès in 1916, Marcel Cerdan , who became world champion boxing of weight means the. Early in the following year she made with him the acquisition of its first home, a townhouse at 5, rue Gambetta 45 in Boulogne-Billancourt purchased nineteen million francs a ruined millionaire, Gilbert of receivables 46 . There, installed with Simone Berteaut 47 , she composes Hymn to Love , sung on stage for the first time in September.

The Cerdan dies in a plane crash, Air France’s Paris-New York flight crashes in the Azores as he joins her. Because there was no more room in this plane, a couple had yielded, with kindness, his places to the boxer. Damaged by moral suffering (as well as guilt) and acute polyarthritis , Edith Piaf takes, to calm her pain, high doses of morphine . She will sing her great success, Hymn to Love and also My God , in her memory. She installs in her mansion the three children of Marcel Cerdan and their mother, Marinette 47 . His condition however remains so dilapidated that48 .

In 1951 , the young singer-songwriter Charles Aznavour became his handyman and secretary , driver and confidant. He wrote to her some particularly notable songs like Plus bleu qui vos yeux , or even Jezebel , in this mansion at the end of the Bois de Boulogne where she keeps open table 48 but that she resells, with her sad memories, to settle in Paris itself, 67, boulevard Lannes 47. In return, Edith Piaf talent finder advises Aznavour, launches his career beginner, teaches him the ropes. When the young singer to it by the song I hate Sundays he had composed, Piaf it disagrees, arguing that there were enough workers forced that day to a day of labor 49 . In September 1951, she starts with the cyclist Louis (Toto) Gérardin , who is married and also lives in the Parc des Princes , a thousand meters from home, a new relationship that runs short in February 1952 . Passionately enamored, she continues a feverish correspondence, until50 (correspondence that will be auctioned in 2009 ).

Two days later, the 51 , she married the French singer Jacques Pills in the Church of St. Vincent de Paul of New York 52 . His witness is the actress Marlene Dietrich , who chose the wedding dress 53 . The event is covered by more than sixty magazines.

International career

In 1953 , becoming addicted to morphine administered by doctors after a car accident in July 1951, 28 she began her first detox . At this time she became a huge music-hall star in the West and especially in the United States , where she made a triumph in 1956 at Carnegie Hall in New York , of which she became a regular. That same year she divorced.

In 1955 , after several treatments of detoxification, she gets away from her addiction to morphine but cares for her rheumatoid arthritis with high doses of cortisone and takes refuge in the alcohol which allowed her to drown her sorrow since the death of Marcel Cerdan 28 .

From February 1958 to February 1959 , she has a love affair with Georges Moustaki , whom she launches in the song and with whom she has a serious car accident on September 6, 1958 on the national 10 at Coignières 54 , which makes worsen his poor health and addiction to morphine . She recorded the song Milord (music by Marguerite Monnot ), of which he is the author, one of his greatest hits 55 , and inspires Sarah , which is created by Serge Reggiani 56 .

In 1959 , Édith collapsed on stage during a tour in New York . She underwent many surgical operations (ulcers, digestive haemorrhages) and returned to Paris in a sorry state and without Moustaki who left her 57 , 58 . She was however rewarded for the song Milord during a TV show called TV Award.

In 1960 , Quebec singer-songwriter Claude Léveillée came to work with her in Paris. Edith will perform four of his songs: The Old Piano (new version of his song The Old Pianos ), Boulevard du Crime , Hurricane and La Voix(ballet) 59 .

In 1961 , at the request of Bruno Coquatrix , Edith Piaf gave the Olympia in Paris , threatened with disappearance because of financial problems, a series of concerts among the most memorable and moving of his career. It is in her theater of predilection that she interprets No, I do not regret anything , a song that sticks to her skin and that Charles Dumont and Michel Vaucaire have just written for her. Edith saves the Olympia from bankruptcy, but struggles to stand up and move because of her disabling polyarthritis, and only manages to sing thanks to a large morphine infusion.

The Aged 46, exhausted and ill, she marries Théo Sarapo (his real name, Théophánis Lamboukas), a young singer, 26 years old. They sing in duo What is love for? written by Michel Emer , one of his faithful composers.

In early 1963 , she recorded her last song, The Man of Berlin , written by Francis Lai (one of the composers of the end of his career, half of the Nijmegen recital in 1962, for example, is composed of his songs) and Michèle Vendome .

Known for her talent as an interpreter, she is also a songwriter: she writes a total of 87 songs, the first one has one too many (1940) and the last one is The Song of Love (1963) 60 .


Edith Piaf dies on at 13 h 10 at Plascassier , an outlying district of Grasse , at age 47, an aneurysm rupture due to liver failure 4 . It is worn by excesses, alcohol, morphine , the rheumatoid arthritis and the suffering of a lifetime 61 . She died in the arms of Danielle Bonel , his secretary and confidante throughout his career 38 . The transport of his remains to his apartment at 67, Boulevard Lannes , Paris, is organized clandestinely and illegally. His death is officially announced onin Paris thanks to a fake death certificate postdated by his doctor, Claude Bernay de Laval 41 . Six hours after this announcement, his friend Jean Cocteau , with whom Edith had a correspondence followed, dies in turn. Hearing the news, he says:

“It’s the boat that finishes sinking. This is my last day on this earth 62 . And he adds: “I have never known to be less economical of his soul. She did not spend, she showered, she threw gold through the windows 63 . “

The organization of the funeral is supervised by the prefect of the Seine Louis Amade . The funeral of the boulevard Lannes to the Père-Lachaise is greeted by half a million people 64 . Interment is in Père-Lachaise (Division 97). As the artist has lived in contradiction with the moral values ​​of Catholicism, divorced and led a “tumultuous” sexual life, the Catholic Church refuses to grant him religious funerals. The Osservatore Romano , Vatican newspaper , writes that she lived “in a state of public sin” and that she was an “idol of prefabricated happiness”. However, personally, the chaplain of theater and music, Father Thouvenin de Villaret, gives him one last blessing at the time of the burial. At least 40,000 people , including Marlene Dietrich, paid her last tribute to Cemetery 65 . The hysterical crowd is such that the security service is overwhelmed: young They scrambled onto mausoleums, Bruno Merrick , pushed, fall into the pit 66 .

Edith Piaf was embalmed before being buried. She is buried in a vault where her father, Louis-Alphonse Gassion, who died in 1944 , his second husband, Theo Sarapo , killed in a car accident in Panazol near Limoges in 1970 , and his daughter Marcelle, died in 1935 , at the age of 2 years.


Edith Piaf recorded at Polydor from 1935 to 1946, then at Columbia , Pathé-Marconi’s label, from 1946 to 1963. Some records were also pressed for Philips from 1956. In her compilations, Sonorama published Piaf titles from 1958 to 1961.


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  • 1935 : Les Momes of the bell , label Polydor , first 78 rpm recorded by Piaf. Artistic Director: Jacques Canetti .
  • Edith Piaf: Simple as good morning / The vagabond – Polydor 524.780 (78 turns)
  • Edith Piaf: Browning / You’re the strongest – Polydor 524.356 (78 laps)
  • Edith Piaf: I danced with love / It’s a holiday – Polydor 524.706 (78 turns)
  • Edith Piaf: Correqu ‘and reguyer / Between Saint-Ouen and Billancourt – Polydor 524.323 (78 turns)
  • The companions of the song and Edith Piaf: That’s why / The eyes of my mother – Columbia DFX247 (1947)
  • The companions of the song and Edith Piaf: In prisons of Nantes / Céline – Columbia DF3053 (78 tours)
  • 1954 : From accordionist to Milord
  • 1961 : Olympia 1961 .

Key songs 

  • 1936 : My legionnaire , words of Raymond Asso and music of Marguerite Monnot .
  • 1940 : The Accordionist , lyrics and music by Michel Emer .
  • 1946 : The Three Bells with The Companions of the song , lyrics and music of Jean Villard , says Gilles.
  • 1946: La Vie en Rose , lyrics by Edith Piaf, music by Louiguy and Marguerite Monnot (uncredited).
  • 1947 : A three-beat song , lyrics and music by Anna Marly .
  • 1950 : Hymn to love , words of Edith Piaf and music of Marguerite Monnot .
  • 1951 : La P’tite Lili , musical comedy in 2 acts and 8 paintings, libretto Marcel Achard , music Marguerite Monnot , ABC
  • 1951: Padam … Padam , lyrics by Henri Contet and music by Norbert Glanzberg .
  • 1954 : Under the sky of Paris , words of Jean Dréjac and music of Hubert Giraud , of the film Under the sky of Paris of Julien Duvivier .
  • 1956 : The Man on the Motorcycle , adaptation by Jean Dréjac of American rock Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (see story dedicated section “Bibliography”).
  • 1956: The lovers of a day , lyrics of Claude Delécluse and Michelle Senlis , music by Marguerite Monnot .
  • 1957 : La Foule , French lyrics by Michel Rivgauche . During her tour of Argentina, Edith Piaf had listened to Que nadie sepa mi sufrir (who now bears the title Amor de Mis Amores in her covers ), original lyrics by Enrique Dizeo and music by Ángel Cabral, and which gave birth to The Crowd .
  • 1958 : My ride to me , words of Jean Constantin and music of Norbert Glanzberg , taken over by Etienne Daho in 1993.
  • 1958: I know how , Lyrics: Julien Bouquet , music: Robert Chauvigny and Julien Bouquet, enr. August 5, 1959.
  • 1959 : Lord , words of Georges Moustaki and music of Marguerite Monnot .
  • 1960 : No, I do not regret anything , words of Michel Vaucaire and music of Charles Dumont .
  • 1960: My God , words of Michel Vaucaire and music of Charles Dumont .
  • 1962 : What good is the love , words and music of Michel Emer .

Complete list of songs

The dates indicated correspond to the deposit of the scores, the recordings by Edith Piaf having been made later – See Catalog of Copyright Entries: Musical compositions, Part 3, Library of Congress Copyright Office, 1934, extracts online  [ archive ] . )

  • Like a sparrow (This song was never recorded.)
  • Between Saint-Ouen and Clignancourt
  • The Stranger
  • My drink
  • The Java of Cézigue
  • Make me waltz
  • The bell’s kids
  • I like that ! (This song was never recorded.)
  • I’m bitten
  • my legionary
  • The Smuggler
  • The Girl and the Dog
  • The pretty Julie
  • Go dancing
  • Clothes Chand
  • Rest
  • Owls
  • Anyway (from the movie La Garçonne )
  • The Little Shop
  • It was sunny
  • He is not distinguished
  • The Two Ménétriers
  • My lover of the Colonial
  • It’s you the strongest
  • The Legion Pennant
  • I hear the siren
  • Ding, din, donation
  • Madeleine had heart
  • Sailors, it makes trips
  • Easy as pie
  • The Bad Seaman
  • Whoever did not know how to cry
  • The Great Journey of the poor Negro
  • A young man was singing
  • Everything scampers off
  • Do not write to me
  • Partance
  • In a boulevard of the Old Port
  • My heart is at the corner of a street
  • He’s the one my heart chose
  • Paris-Mediterranean
  • Java in minor (Acetate recorded at Marie Dubas.)
  • Browning
  • The Jackal
  • Correct and rule
  • There is one too many
  • She frequented rue Pigalle
  • The sad little gentleman
  • The Two Buddies
  • I do not know the end
  • Kiss Me
  • We dance on my song
  • On a hill
  • That’s the lesser of it
  • stop
  • The girl of joy is sad (The Accordionist)
  • Where are they, my boyfriends?
  • It was a day of celebration
  • He is a very distinguished gentleman
  • I danced with Love (from the movie Montmartre-sur-Seine )
  • The man of the bars
  • The Vagabond
  • Jimmy, it’s him
  • A corner all blue (from the movie Montmartre-sur-Seine )
  • Without thinking about it
  • A gentleman follows me in the street
  • My lover of Saint John (This song was never recorded.)
  • You are everywhere (from the movie Montmartre-sur-Seine )
  • I have to look at it …
  • The Hunter of the hotel
  • It was a love story
  • The Brown and the Blond
  • Mr. Saint-Pierre
  • Gas blast
  • On the other side of the street
  • The Damsel of the Fifth (This song was never recorded.)
  • The Two Rengaines
  • There is no spring
  • Stories of Hearts
  • It’s always the same story
  • The used disc
  • She … (This song was never recorded.)
  • Always look at me like that
  • The guys who were walking
  • He laughed
  • Mr. Ernest succeeded
  • Life in pink
  • The Three Bells (with The Companions of the song )
  • In my street
  • I do not give a damn
  • That’s wonderful
  • Goodbye my heart
  • The song of the pirate
  • Celine (with The Companions of the song)
  • The Little Man
  • The king made beat drum (with The Companions of the song)
  • In the prisons of Nantes (with The Companions of the song)
  • Wedding
  • A chorus ran in the street
  • Miss Otis Regrets
  • That’s why (from the movie Nine Boys, a Heart , with The Companions of the Song)
  • What did you do John?
  • Sophie (from the movie Nine Boys, a Heart )
  • Gesture
  • If you left
  • But what do I have?
  • A three-beat song
  • A man like any other
  • Bells are ringing
  • Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet (with The Companions of the Song) (This song was never recorded.)
  • The curtain falls before the end
  • She had her smile
  • Mr. Lenoble
  • The lovers of Paris
  • He sang
  • The Old Boats
  • It is raining
  • Sewn with white thread
  • Love of May
  • Mr X
  • Ball in my street
  • For me all ‘alone
  • Do not Cry
  • The prisoner of the tower (If the king knew that, Isabelle)
  • The organ of lovers
  • Dany
  • Paris (from the movie Man with Hands of Clay )
  • Ode to love
  • The Chevalier de Paris
  • It’s good to love you
  • P’tite Marie
  • All lovers sing
  • There was
  • It’s your fault
  • It’s a guy
  • Hymn to Love
  • The Three Bells (Les Trois Cloches)
  • The sky is closed
  • The party continues
  • Simply a Waltz (English)
  • La Vie en rose (English)
  • Padam … padam …
  • Before the hour
  • The man I will love
  • From morning to evening
  • Tomorrow it will be light)
  • It’s you (with Eddie Constantine)
  • Nothing at all
  • If, if, if, if (with Eddie Constantine)
  • At the sign of The Girl Without Heart
  • Telegram
  • A child
  • more blue than your eyes
  • Christmas on the street
  • The Waltz of Love
  • The Street to the songs
  • Jezebel
  • Sing me (with Mr. Jiteau)
  • Catherine’s song
  • Blue song
  • I hate Sundays
  • At the ball of luck
  • She said
  • Notre Dame de Paris
  • My friend gave me
  • I have you in the skin (from the movie Boum on Paris )
  • Sir and Madam
  • That’s it, Madame (with Jacques Pills) (from the movie Boum on Paris )
  • Congratulations on the clown
  • Sister Anne
  • Do not go there Manuel
  • The lovers of Venice
  • The effect that you do me
  • Johnny, you’re not an angel
  • Jean and Martine
  • And me…
  • For her to be pretty, my song (with Jacques Pills) (from the movie Boum sur Paris )
  • The crosses
  • The Bel Indifferent (monologue of Jean Cocteau)
  • happy
  • The Goualante of poor Jean
  • Finally spring (Vise, my Jules …)
  • Return
  • Mea culpa
  • It’ll be ok (from the movie Si Versailles was told to me … )
  • With this sun
  • The Man at the piano
  • Serenade of the pavement (from the movie French Cancan )
  • Under Paris Skies
  • The Accordionist
  • A great love that is coming to an end
  • Mercy
  • It’s in Hamburg
  • Legend
  • The Fairway
  • Heaven Have Mercy (Mercy in English )
  • One Little Man (The Little Man in English )
  • Autumn Leaves (Les Feuilles dead in English )
  • ‘Cause I Love You (English)
  • Sing me Sing To Me (Sing me in English )
  • Do not Cry (It’s your fault in English )
  • I Should not Care (I’m crazy about English )
  • My Lost Melody (I do not know the ending in English )
  • Before us
  • And yet
  • Marie the Frenchwoman
  • Lovers of a day
  • Man on the bike
  • Suddenly a valley
  • A lady
  • You who know
  • The crowd
  • Royal Prisons
  • Public opinion
  • Waiting room
  • The Grognards
  • Like me
  • He is a terrible man
  • I remember a song
  • I know how
  • Tatave
  • The Barrel Organs
  • Eden blues
  • The Gypsy and the Girl
  • Do as if
  • The Ballet of Hearts
  • The lovers of tomorrow
  • The Snows of Finland
  • As long as there will be days
  • A stranger
  • My carousel
  • milord
  • You’re beautiful, you know
  • No, I do not regret anything
  • Life, Love
  • Siam Street
  • John the Spaniard
  • The Beautiful Love Story
  • The Unknown City
  • No, life is not sad
  • Newsstand
  • The Paris Metro
  • Cry of the heart
  • White blouses
  • The flonflons of the ball
  • Love words
  • You’re the man I need
  • My God
  • Crime Boulevard
  • It’s love
  • Stories
  • Hurricane
  • I’m yours
  • The wonderful lovers
  • I imagine myself
  • Jerusalem
  • The Old Piano
  • Maybe that’s it
  • Blueberries Azure
  • When you sleep
  • My old Lucien
  • The Dicheur (This song was never recorded.)
  • I’m not waiting for anything
  • I spent nights
  • Exodus
  • Must not imagine
  • The Lovers (with Charles Dumont)
  • No Regrets (No, I do not regret anything in English )
  • The Billiard
  • Mary Sidewalk
  • That he was sad this Englishman
  • Always love
  • My God (English)
  • The noise of cities
  • In their kisses
  • What’s the point of love ?
  • The Right to Love
  • What’s the point of love ? (with Theo Sarapo )
  • Was it
  • A waltz
  • Unknown except God (with Charles Dumont)
  • The Lovers of Teruel (from the movie The Lovers of Teruel , with Mikis Theodorakis )
  • Fourteen July (from the movie The Lovers of Teruel , with Mikis Theodorakis)
  • Ride drums
  • Music is everything
  • The appointment
  • You do not hear it!
  • Carmen’s Story
  • We are looking for an august
  • It’s funny
  • Bring me
  • Punch
  • The Little Fog
  • The Devil of the Bastille
  • She sang (with Théo Sarapo)
  • It was not me
  • The love song
  • Here is a sailor
  • I’ve seen so much
  • hunted
  • People
  • Margot Heart Gros
  • Mr. Incognito
  • A Sunday in London
  • The Man from Berlin (His last recording. )
  • Daughters of Israel (Unpublished Song.)
  • One day (Unpublished song.)


Several impresarios (today called artistic agents) followed one another in Edith Piaf’s life:

  • Jacques Canetti from 1935 to 1937;
  • Raymond Asso from 1937 to 1939;
  • Pierre Bourgeois from 1939 to 1941. Pierre Bourgeois, then artistic director at Polydor , Édith’s label, was his manager and artistic advisor. From 1946, he took the direction of Pathé-Marconi and signed the artist at Columbia , label of the French major in December 1946;
  • Jack Coulon , artistic director at Polydor succeeding P. Bourgeois, in charge of Édith’s career from 1941 to 1945;
  • Louis Barrier from 1946 to 1963.

Except for Louis Leplée who discovered it, Édith Piaf was supported on the stage by Fernand Lumbroso then director of the Mogador theater then by Bruno Coquatrix , famous boss of the Olympia .


  • 1936 : The Boy of Jean de Limur : the singer
  • 1941 : Montmartre-sur-Seine by Georges Lacombe : Lily
  • 1946 : Star without light of Marcel Blistène : Madeleine
  • 1948 : Nine boys, a heart of Georges Friedland : Christine
  • 1952 : Paris still sings of Pierre Montazel : herself
  • 1954 : Boum sur Paris by Maurice de Canonge : herself
  • 1954: If Versailles told me about Sacha Guitry : a girl of the people who sings Ah! it’ll be fine
  • 1954: French Cancan of Jean Renoir : Eugénie Buffet
  • 1959 : The lovers of tomorrow by Marcel Blistène : Simone


  • Edith Piaf, My Life , General Union of Editions, Paris, 1963.
  • Edith Piaf , At the ball of luck , Archipoche,, 224 p. ( online presentation  [ archive ] )
  • Edith Piaf, My Blue Love , Grasset and Fasquelle, 2011.



Personality and voice of the French song out of the ordinary, she remains one of the most famous French singer in the world and has successfully launched the career of many singers , such as Yves Montand , Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Bécaud or Georges Moustaki . Her image is associated with her inseparable little black dress characteristic of the realistic singer.


Places, streets, monuments

  • The Edith Piaf-museum dedicated to him, Crespin du Gast street , in the 11 th arrondissement of Paris .
  • A statue was erected Piaf Place Edith Piaf, in the 20 th arrondissement of Paris .
  • A plaque marks his supposed birthplace at 72, rue de Belleville , in the 20 th arrondissement of Paris.
  • Piaf is mentioned in one of the 480 memories cited by Georges Perec in Je me souviens .
  • The theater of Bernay (Eure) bears his name.
  • A theater in Châteauroux ( Indre ) bears his name.
  • In Dugny ( Seine-Saint-Denis ), a square bears the name of parvis Édith-Piaf. There is also the communal theater.
  • The place of the church of the hamlet of Gluges, in the commune of Martel (Lot) , where Piaf came to pray and whose she had ensured the restoration of the windows, takes its name 67 .
  • There is an Edith-Piaf alley in Mondelange ( Moselle ).


  • The Fifteenth Improvisation for Piano, by the French composer Francis Poulenc , was written in 1960 in “Tribute to Edith Piaf”.
  • As early as the 1960s, many male and female interpreters, both French and English, took over La Vie en rose .
  • In 1961 listening to the album Hommage à Edith Piaf by Jean Leccia , the singer hired him to write his arrangements and conduct the orchestra during his last stint at the Olympia.
  • In 1967, the singer Léo Ferré recorded the song To a dead singer , intended to appear in the album This song . This song written in tribute to Edith Piaf will be censored by her record label and will only appear on record in 2003.
  • 1984: The song Hymne à l’amour is picked up by French band Cyclope on his first album.
  • 1984: the song No, I do not regret anything is taken over by Panik Ltdc .
  • In his first album, Dude (1986), Allain Leprest dedicates to him a song called Edith – notably by Enzo Enzo in 2007 – which relates a visit to the Père-Lachaise cemetery. She also appears on her live album Je vais vous voir(2002).
  • 1987: The song Mon légionnaire is recorded by Serge Gainsbourg on the album You’re Under Arrest .
  • The Quebec singer Marie Carmen dedicates her song Piaf would sing rock , written by Luc Plamondon (single in 1987, album In the skin of 1989 and live album Undress Me 1996). The title is taken up in 1991 by Céline Dion , on her album Chante Plamondon .
  • 1991: The song L’Homme à la moto is taken up by the singer Fanny .
  • 1993: The song My ride to me is taken by Etienne Daho .
  • Mireille Mathieu devotes an album to him Chante Piaf , published in 1993, in French and German, reissued in 2003 and, with two new songs, in 2012, for the fiftieth anniversary of his death.
  • The songs I do not know the ending and Hymn to Love were taken in concert by American singer and guitarist Jeff Buckley , including France in September 1994 and during his tour of 1995.
  • In 1997, Jacqueline Danno dedicates her album Once upon a time … Édith Piaf .
  • In 1998, Cassita performed La Foule (Remix 98) (a song used in commercials for sparkling water)
  • 2000: the song No, I do not regret anything is taken by Johnny Hallyday .
  • Chimène Badi frequently plays Piaf’s songs during her concerts, notably Hymne à l’amour .
  • 2004: The song Hymne à l’amour is recorded by Hélène Fasan in her album Crie .
  • 2009: The German rock band Rammstein picks up some lyrics of No I do not regret anything in his song Frühling in Paris , in the album Liebe ist für alle da .
  • The French reggae band Danakil performs No, I do not regret anything at the Olympia, in 2009.
  • The album Kaas sings Piaf by Patricia Kaas , in 2012, followed by a tour in 2013, pays homage to him by celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of his disappearance.
  • Rapper Youssoupha wrote a song in tribute to Edith Piaf, The Crowd – Part 2 , on his album En noir & blanc (En attendant Noir Désir) (2011).
  • In February 2013, the company Confluent Art music (under the musical direction of Jean-Claude Dufaut) creates a musical entitled Piaf, time to light a true anthology of the great songs of the Kid, directed by seven performers 68 .
  • After the attacks of November 13, 2015 in Paris , many songs of Edith Piaf, real French symbols, were taken at concerts around the world. Thus, Celine Dion sang Hymn to Love at the American Music Awards 2015 69 , and Madonna took over La Vie en Rose at the beginning of her concert in Stockholm 70 .
  • Piaf! the Spectacle, performed by Anne Carrère, produced, and directed by Gil Marsalla, considered by Charles Dumont and Ginou Richer 71 as the best tribute on stage to the career of Edith Piaf. Since 2015, it has been the biggest French international success worldwide with 300 performances in 33 countries and one million spectators. Rare for a French show, the show sold out at Carnegie Hall in New York on January 6, 2017 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Edith Piaf’s concert in this legendary venue.


  • The artist is the effigy of a silver coin of 10 euros published in 2012 by the Monnaie de Paris , for the collection “Euros of regions”, to represent his native region, the Île-de-France .

At the theater

  • 1996 : Piaf, I love you , musical comedy about his life, words of Claude Lemesle and music of Charles Dumont ; Directed by Jacques Darcy with Nathalie Cerda in the role of Edith Piaf, Cirque d’hiver de Paris .
  • 1997 : Piaf, I love you , musical comedy , cover with Nathalie Lhermitte in the role of Edith Piaf, Comedia theater then at the theater of the Marie Bell Gymnasium .
  • 2003 – 2004 : Music for-all , musical , on the occasion of 40 th anniversary of the death of Edith Piaf. Trianon Theater . Directed by Arnaud Romain, arrangements by Patrice Peyriéras.
  • 2006 – 2010 : Look for Edith Piaf ( ( hr ) Priča o Edith Piaf ), recital of Ksenia Prohaska, production national theater of Croatia – Caravan Split.
  • 2007 : Piaf, I love you , musical , reprise with Marie Orlandi in the role of Edith Piaf, Olympia .
  • 2005 – 2013 : Piaf, a life in pink and black , a musical about her life, directed by Rubia Matignon with Jacques Pessis , Aurélien Noël and Nathalie Lermitte as Edith Piaf. Second version from 2012 to 2013 on a staging by Nathalie Lermitte .
  • 2006 – 2009 : EmPIAFée , one-woman-musical show of Christelle Chollet .
  • 2011 – 2012 : Édith immortelle , musical comedy about his career, production Contre Temps Prod.
  • 2012 – 2013 : Piaf: the time to illuminate , a musical about her career, directed by: Compagnie du Confluent / direction and musical arrangements: Jean-Claude Dufaut.
  • 2013 : The Men of Piaf , a musical about his life, created in Bernay, directed by Guillaume Ségouin and Raphaël Kaney Duverger (Company Theater de la Cerisaie).
  • 2015 – 2017 : Piaf, light and shadow , a musical play evoking the life of Edith Piaf, written, staged (in collaboration with Stéphane Vélard) and performed by Nathalie Lermitte 72 .

In the cinema and on television

  • 1974 : Piaf , Guy Casaril , with Brigitte Ariel as Edith Piaf.
  • 1978 ( in ) Piaf , British telefilm Pam Gems  (in) , with Jane Lapotaire  (in) .
  • 1983 : Édith and Marcel , Claude Lelouch , with Évelyne Bouix .
  • 1993 : Édith Piaf: a short meeting , TV movie by Michel Wyn , with Sophie Artur , Jean-Claude Bouillon , Florence Rougé and Dora Doll .
  • 2007 : La Vie en Rose (entitled La Vie en rose in Quebec and English-speaking countries), with Olivier Dahan with Marion Cotillard ( Cesar for Best Actress , Oscar for Best Actress , the BAFTA for Best Actress and Golden Globe of the best actress in 2008).


  • 1967: Piaf, already four years old , by Marcel Blistène .
  • 2003: Piaf, without love we are nothing at all , Marianne Lamour.
  • 2003: Piaf, the ideal concert .
  • 2013: Piaf in love , by Philippe Kohly.
  • 2013: Piaf intimate , by Valérie Esposito.


The Friendship Association of Poland-France in collaboration with the Parisian association The Friends of Edith Piaf organize since 2009 , in Krakow in Poland , the International Festival of the French song Grand Prix Edith Piaf (in Polish , Miedzynarodowy Festiwal Piosenki Francuskiej ) 73 . This competition is open to all, the only requirement being to present two French songs, including at least one of Edith Piaf’s repertoire. Participants can win the Edith Piaf Grand Prix. In June 2014 , the sixth edition was entitled Singing as Piaf. It allowed to hear young French musicians ( Zaz , Shy’m , Tal , Indila , Christophe Maé , and Amel Bent ) 74 . The French Laurette Goubelle, vocal double of Edith Piaf, won the prize of the best interpretation 75 . In June 2015 , the seventh edition was entitled De Piaf to Zazie 76 .