The Lovers’ Almanac 19 December – Ma Vie – Halycon Days Reprise – Birth of Édith Piaf

Dear Zazie,  Today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Are these days halcyon days for you?  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

tired pale blue eyes, open
sleep evades again
non, rien de rien, non…
keeps echoin’
waitin’ for a dream
to take me
to halcyon days

such a dang struggle
tryin’ to figure
je ne regrette rien…
hits all the notes
of doubt
the pull of solitude
and routine
so strong
would the effort even
be worth it
to find
halcyon days again

a lifetime, maybe more
learnin’ to live
non, je ne regrette rien…
louder now, within
and out
can the past be paid
and swept away,
does startin’ over
ever happen
ma vie, mes joies
really begin
with you

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy coleridge all rights reserved

Halycon Days, Reprise

These tired pale blue eyes, still open
How can I sleep without you here
Were I with you all night I could,
From need be free and never want

Without you, alone I must be
Unless you join me, in my dreams
Then the days we had, can go on and on

Halcyon days never endin’
You shall find wherever you go
Me all the while attendin’
To the memories of those days

Inspired in oh, so many ways
These words, this vision, this desire
Dream with me so that we may cling
To those days we had long ago

For without ’em, without those days,
We will always want for meanin’
Nothin’ lost that cannot be caught
Life without loss, livin’ for dreams

Halcyon days never endin’
You shall find wherever you go
Me all the while attendin’
To the true meanin’ of those days

So please come away, come on darlin’
In those days, this dream let us stay
Time’s holiday, we can make it
Not thrown away, sacred to hold

Convince you to stay, how can I
Now, with me today, you will come
We can find the right way, tell  me
So come away, come on darlin’

Halcyon days never endin’
You shall find wherever you go
Me all the while attendin’
To the days we had together

© copyright 2012 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The SOD, really? Non, je ne regrette rien by Edith Piaf. we do no own the rights to this recording.

Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf 914-6440.jpg

Piaf in 1962





Today is the birthday of La Môme Piaf, Édith Piaf (born Édith Giovanna Gassion, Belleville, Paris 19 December 1915 – 10 October 1963 Plascassier, Grasse); French cabaret singer, songwriter and actress who became widely regarded as France’s national chanteuse, as well as being one of France’s greatest international stars.

Her music was often autobiographical with her singing reflecting her life.  Her specialty was chansons and torch ballads, particularly of love, loss and sorrow.  Among her well known songs are “La Vie en rose” (1946), “Non, je ne regrette rien” (1960), “Hymne à l’amour” (1949), “Milord” (1959), “La Foule” (1957), “L’Accordéoniste (fr)” (1955), and “Padam … Padam …” (1951).

Since her premature death in 1963 and with the aid of several biographies and films including 2007’s Academy Award winning La Vie en rose, Piaf has acquired a legacy as one of the greatest performers of the 20th century, and her voice and music continue to be celebrated globally.

Her grandmother, known as Maman Tine, a “madam” who ran a brothel in Bernay in Normandy.  Her mother, Annetta Giovanna Maillard (1895–1945) (of French descent on her father’s side and of Italian and algerian chaoui origin on her mother’s, a native of Livorno, Italy) worked as a café singer under the name Line Marsa.

Piaf as a child

In 1929, at age 14, she joined her father in his acrobatic street performances all over France, where she first sang in public. At the age of 15, Piaf met Simone “Mômone” Berteaut (fr), who may have been her half-sister.  They were able to rent a room at Grand Hôtel de Clermont (18 rue Veron, Paris 18ème).

In 1932, Piaf met and fell in love with Louis Dupont.  She soon left Dupont.

Piaf at the ABC music hall in Paris in 1951

Columbia Records poster of Piaf in her trademark black dress

Spring 1944 saw the first colaboration and a love affair with Yves Montand in the Moulin Rouge.  In 1947, she wrote the lyrics to the song Mais qu’est-ce que j’ai ? (music by Henri Betti) for Montand.  Within a year, he became one of the most famous singers in France.  She broke off their relationship when he had become almost as popular as she was.

Piaf with her second husband Théo Sarapo in 1962

The love of Piaf’s life, the married boxer Marcel Cerdan, died in a plane crash in October 1949, while flying from Paris to New York City to meet her.  Piaf and Cerdan’s affair made international headlines, as Cerdan was the former middleweight world champion and a legend in France.

Piaf married Jacques Pills (real name René Ducos), her first husband, in 1952 (her matron of honour was Marlene Dietrich) and divorced him in 1957.  In 1962, she wed Théo Sarapo (Theophanis Lamboukas), a Greek hairdresser-turned-singer and actor who was 20 years her junior. The couple sang together in some of her last engagements.

Piaf’s grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

She died at age 47 at her villa in Plascassier (Grasse), on the French Riviera, the day before filmmaker and friend Jean Cocteau died.  Her last words were “Every damn thing you do in this life, you have to pay for.”  It is said that Sarapo drove her body back to Paris secretly so that fans would think she had died in her hometown.  She is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.  The name inscribed at the foot of the tombstone is Famille Gassion-Piaf.  Her name is engraved on the side as Madame Lamboukas dite Édith Piaf.

Piaf’s work and name resound in popular culture and music today.

One of the most prominent uses of her songs occurred in the 2010 film, Inception; “Non, je ne regrette rien” was used as a motif in the narrative element of the film.

Piaf’s life has been the subject of multiple films and plays.

La Vie en rose (2007), a film about her life directed by Olivier Dahan, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2007.  Titled La Môme in France, the film stars Marion Cotillard as Piaf with a performance that won her an Academy Award for Best Actress (Oscar).  David Bret’s 1988 biography, Piaf, A Passionate Life, was re-released by JR Books to coincide with the film’s release.

Mac Tag

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