Aha Moment: Edith Piaf

Feature

Friday, February 22, 2008

The French singer and cultural icon had a tumultuous life, as moviegoers are seeing in the Oscar-nominated biopic, "La Vie En Rose." Marion Cotillard’s extraordinary portrayal of Piaf prompted Studio 360 listener Bill Mankin to write us about how he fell for her. Produced by Jenny Lawton, with production help from Jillian Goodman.

    Music Playlist
  1. La Vie en Rose
    Artist: Edith Piaf
    Album: The Voice of the Sparrow
    Label: Capitol
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. L’accordéoniste
    Artist: Edith Piaf
    Album: The Voice of the Sparrow
    Label: Capitol
    Purchase: Amazon
  3. Milord
    Artist: Edith Piaf
    Album: The Voice of the Sparrow
    Label: Capitol
    Purchase: Amazon
  4. Vie en Rose
    Artist: Marc Shaiman
    Album: The Bucket List: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    Label: Varése Sarabande
    Purchase: Amazon

Contributors:

Jillian Goodman and Jenny Lawton

Comments [3]

Beth Ann from Detroit

Listening to this story took me back to my own high school French class experience of Edith Piaf. Madame Fuzet introduced us to her recordings and at the time I couldn't understand her clearly emotional response to the music although I certainly got that there was SOMETHING to this woman's voice. It wasn't until I was much older and had my own experiences with loss, longing and I suppose life that Piaf's songs clicked. Thank you Studio 360 for this lovely memoir of a moment.

Mar. 02 2008 06:43 PM
Meg Slotkin from New Jersey

Your story inspired me to introduce my French students to Piaf today in class. Mr. Mankin is right, I often think Piaf is not accessible to most high school students; that truly appreciating her magic requires some "living" and maturity. I played the last scene of "La Vie en Rose" where Piaf/Cotillard sings "Je ne regrette rien." They were attentive and respectful. Maybe someday they will think back on the first time they heard la Môme, recall the passion and remember their high school French teacher with fondness.

Feb. 25 2008 06:37 PM
Thomas Keating from Grand Rapids

Your story reminded me of a teacher in high school a member of the "Christian Brothers of Ireland" whose name, unfortunately, escapes me now despite the fact that his face is as clear to me now as when he handed me a book forty years ago. He turned me on to the book "A Canticle for Leibowitz". The book made me look anew at religion and beliefs, and eventually lead me to Buddhism which is like the AA of religions: "If you say you are a Buddhist then you are one. Who are we to say differently?"

Feb. 24 2008 09:10 PM

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