Imagine the soundtrack of Paris. Is it accordions you hear? That sweet, soft, placid accent? Or perhaps it’s Edith Piaf’s unmistakably soulful singing? She was one of the greatest – if not the greatest – singer France has ever known. Her death in 1963 saw more than 100,000 people attend her funeral, so many in fact that traffic in central Paris was stopped.
A voice that was hummed across continents, Paris was the cornerstone of Piaf’s worldwide ascension – and throughout the city there are still reminders of her. For Piaf, Paris was the place to live life to its fullest, to love, to express herself, and never to regret the past. There’s a lot to be learned from her.
Born in a bordello where even Oscar Wilde was a customer – his unpaid bill is still framed on the wall – Piaf didn’t have the easiest start to her life. Yet, her surroundings molded her understanding on the complexities of love and passion. Piaf would never have become who she was had she not been surrounded by ‘La Comedie Humaine’ that is Paris, with all its good, and all its bad.
The streets where she used to busk are still filled with the same human traffic, and the same stories of love and loss, passion and adventure. It is easy to see how Paris could influence and inspire her world; the city was her muse. In fact, “La vie en Rose”, perhaps her most famous song, was penned on a napkin as she sat in a cafe and watched the many stories of Paris unfold by on the Champs Elysees.
Spend a few days in Edith Piaf’s Paris and experience the human drama that gives life to this city. And like Piaf, you too may learn to “ne regrete rien”.
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