Template:Infobox single

File:Edith piaf columbia posters.jpg

"La Vie en rose" (Template:IPA-fr) was the signature song of French singer Édith Piaf, written in 1945,[1] popularized in 1946, and released as a single in 1947.

Song historyEdit

The song's title can be translated as "Life in Rosy Hues" or "Life Through Rose-Colored Glasses"; its literal meaning is "Life in Pink".[2]

The lyrics of the song were written by Édith Piaf herself, and the melody was composed by Marguerite Monnot[3] and Louis Guglielmi, known as Louiguy. Originally, the song was registered as being written by Louiguy only, since at the time Piaf did not have necessary qualifications to be able to copyright her work with SACEM.[4] Words "Quand il me prend dans ses bras..." ("When he takes me in his arms...") came to her mind one evening in 1944, when she was standing in front of an American man.[5] That gave the base for the rest of lyrics. Piaf offered the song to Marianne Michel, who slightly modified the lyrics, changing "les choses" ("things") for "la vie" ("life"). English lyrics for the song were later written by Mack David.[6]

Initially, Piaf's peers and songwriting team did not think the song would be successful, finding it weaker than the rest of her repertoire. Having listened to their advice, the singer put the song aside, only to change her mind the next year. The song was performed live in concert for the first time in 1946. It became a favorite with audiences.[4] "La Vie en rose" was the song that made Piaf internationally famous, with its lyrics telling about retaken love and appealing to those who had survived the difficult wartime.[7]

"La Vie en rose" was released on a 10" single in 1947 by Columbia Records, a division of EMI, with "Un refrain courait dans la rue" making the B-side. It met with a warm reception and sold a million copies in the USA.[8] It was the biggest-selling single of 1948 in Italy, and the ninth biggest-selling single in Brazil in 1949.[9] Piaf performed the song in the 1948 French movie Neuf garçons, un coeur. The first of Piaf's albums to include "La Vie en rose" was the 10" Chansons parisiennes, released in 1950. The song appeared on most of Piaf's subsequent albums, and on numerous greatest hits compilations. The song went on to become Piaf's signature song and her trademark hit, sitting with "Milord" and "Non, je ne regrette rien" among her best-known and most recognizable tunes. Encouraged by its success, Piaf wrote 80 more songs in her career.[4]

The song received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998.[10]

Track listingEdit

A. "La Vie en rose"
B. "Un refrain courait dans la rue"

Chart performanceEdit

Chart Peak
United States 23

References in popular cultureEdit

File:Marion Cotillard (Berlin Film Festival 2007).jpg

Two films about Piaf named after the song's title have been produced. The first one, a 1998 documentary, used archive footage and interviews with Raquel Bitton, and was narrated by Bebe Neuwirth. The 2007 biographical feature film La Vie en rose won Marion Cotillard an Academy Award for Best Actress for portraying Piaf in the film from childhood until her death at 47.[12]

As music in filmsEdit

As music in other mediaEdit

Other mentionsEdit

Cover versionsEdit

Grace Jones versionEdit

Template:Infobox Single Grace Jones covered "La Vie en rose" in 1977 for her debut album Portfolio. It was the third and the last single off that album, and at the same time, her first single release on Island Records after having signed with the label.

The single version was heavily edited from its original album version being more than seven minutes long to a 3,5-minute track. Jones' fairly radical bossa nova/disco interpretation of Édith Piaf's signature tune became her first international hit single and a staple of her repertoire. It was later performed as part of her 1981 A One Man Show, then the only track from her disco era to be included in the show. In Spain and Mexico the track was billed as "La Vida en rosa" on the 7" single release, although it was not a Spanish version of the song. Jones' recording of "La Vie en rose" was later re-released a number of times in the early 1980s and finally reached #12 in the UK charts when re-released as a double A-side with "Pull Up to the Bumper" in 1985.

Grace Jones about the song: "That's a very special song to me. Oh God, I cry every time I sing it. I had quite a few French lovers, so every time I sing it I think about them."[14]

Music videoEdit

The music video for the song was made using the chroma key technique. It presents Grace dancing and singing the song with the famous 1978 montage picture of herself in the background, which was later used for the cover of her 1985 Island Life compilation. The video begins with Grace wearing a rose-patterned coat. Having removed it, the singer dances in a scant gold dress which reveals her right nipple as well as black underwear.

Track listingsEdit

A. "La Vie en rose" - 3:35
B. "I Need a Man" - 3:22
  • 7" Italian Single (1977)[17]
A. "La Vie en rose" - 3:35
B. "Tomorrow" - 5:48
  • 7" Promotional Single (1977)[18]
A. "La Vie en rose" - 3:35
B. "La Vie en rose" - 3:35
  • 12" Mexican Single (1984)[19]
A. "La Vida en rosa" ("La Vie en rose") - 7:27
B. "Manden a los payasos" ("Send in the Clowns") - 7:33

Chart performanceEdit

Chart Peak
Canada[20] 87
Canada (Dance/Urban)[21] 28
France[22] 2
Italy[23] 3
Netherlands[24] 4

Donna Summer versionEdit

Template:Infobox single American singer Donna Summer covered "La Vie en rose" in 1993 for the tribute album called Tribute to Edith Piaf or Edith Piaf Tribute, on which several contemporary stars recorded interpretations of some of Piaf's best known songs. Released on both vinyl and CD, the American release of the album and single contain a different mix of Summer's synth-driven performance than the French release. These releases are among the most sought after of Summer's collectables.[citation needed] The U.S. single features a variety of remixes by DJ Chris Cox.

Track listingsEdit

A. "La Vie en rose" - 4:58
B. "La Vie en rose" - 4:58
  • 12" Maxi-Single[26]
A1. "La Vie en rose" (Techno Mix) - 7:36
A2. "La Vie en rose" (US Radio Mix) - 3:43
B1. "La Vie en rose" (Extended Soul Mix) - 7:40
B2. "La Vie en rose" (Full Bass Mix) - 4:25
  • 12" Promotional Single[27]
A. "La Vie en rose" (Remodelled Mix)
B1. "La Vie en rose" (Radio Mix)
B2. "La Vie en rose" (12" Mix)
  1. "La Vie en rose" (US Radio Mix) - 3:43
  2. "La Vie en rose" (Full Bass Mix) - 4:25
  3. "La Vie en rose" (Extended Soul Mix) - 7:40
  4. "La Vie en rose" (Stringapella Mix) - 5:43


  1. "Edith Piaf". Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  2. "Decade by Decade 1940s: Ten Years of Popular Hits Arranged for EASY PIANO - Dan Coates - Google Books". Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  3. "Marguerite Monnot". Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Piaf". Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  5. "Historia piosenek Piaf" (in Polish).,2349,1,historia-piosenek-piaf.html. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  6. "La Vida En Rosa / Un Estribillo Corre Por La Calle by Édith Piaf : Reviews and Ratings - Rate Your Music". Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  7. "La Vie En Rose: Edith Piaf’s remarkable voice comes back to life". Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  8. "60 Years of "La Vie En Rose"". Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Song artist 444 - Edith Piaf". Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  10. "La Vie En Rose". Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  11. "La vie en rose / Un refrain courait dans la rue by Édith Piaf : Reviews and Ratings - Rate Your Music". Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  12. "Marion Cotillard winning Best Actress". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  13. "Amanda Lear!!!". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  14. Slave to the Rhythm, track 4: "Operattack". (Island Records, 1985).
  15. "Grace Jones - La Vie En Rose (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  16. "Grace Jones - La Vie En Rose / I Need A Man (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  17. "Grace Jones - La Vie En Rose (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  18. "Grace Jones - La Vie En Rose (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  19. "Grace Jones - La Vida En Rosa (La Vie En Rose) (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  20. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  21. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  22. "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste" (in French). Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  23. "Top Settimanali Single" (in Italian). Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  24. " - Discografie Grace Jones" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  25. "Donna Summer - La Vie En Rose (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  26. "Donna Summer - La Vie En Rose (Remixes) (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  27. "Donna Summer - La Vie En Rose (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  28. "La Vie En Rose (US Radio Mix/Full Bass Mix/Extended Soul Mix/Stringapella Mix) by Donna Summer : Reviews and Ratings - Rate Your Music". Retrieved 2012-02-16. 

External linksEdit

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