phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

la vie en rose

Posted by Smokey Stover on June 13, 2006

In Reply to: La vie en rose posted by Jeremy Petroc MacKenzie-Williams on June 13, 2006

: la vie en rose? - I think translates to my life in the pink. Anyone any idea what it is trying to convey and where it was originally used

I believe that your translation is correct, and implies more or less the same as "life through rose-colored glasses" without implying the deception inherent in a rose-colored filter.

To someone of my generation, "La vie en rose" means one thing: the song written by Edith Piaf in 1946. A huge number of people who can't quite remember Piaf's name, or even one line of the song, remember the tune.

Edith Piaf (December 19, 1915 - October 11, 1963)[1] was one of France's most loved singers and a national icon. Her music reflected her tragic life, with her speciality being the poignant ballad presented with a heartbreaking voice. Among her most famous songs are "La vie en rose" , "Hymne à l'amour" , "Milord" , "Non, je ne regrette rien" .

She was named Edith after the executed British nurse Edith Cavell (Piaf -Parisian jargon for "sparrow"- came from a nickname she would receive twenty years later).

Her signature song, "La vie en rose" (which was voted a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998) was written in the middle of the German occupation of Paris in World War II. During this time, she was in great demand and very successful. Singing for high-ranking Germans at the One Two Club earned Piaf the right to pose for photos with French prisoners of war, ostensibly as a morale-boosting exercise. Once in possession of their celebrity photos, prisoners were able to cut out their own images and use them in forged papers as part of escape plans. Today, Piaf's association with the French Resistance is well known, and many owe their lives to her. After the war, she toured Europe, the United States, and South America, becoming an internationally known figure. Her popularity in the U.S. was such that she appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show eight times and at Carnegie Hall twice (1956 and 1957). She helped to launch the career of Charles Aznavour, taking him on tour with her in France and the United States.

At the early age of 47, Piaf died of cancer in Plascassier, on the French riviera, on October 10, 1963, one day before her friend Jean Cocteau.... She was buried in Père Lachaise cemetery, Paris. Although she was forbidden a Mass by the Roman Catholic archbishop of Paris (because of her lifestyle), her funeral procession drew hundreds of thousands of mourners onto the streets of Paris and the ceremony at the cemetery was jammed with more than forty thousand fans. Charles Aznavour recalled that Piaf's funeral procession was the only time, since the end of World War II, that Parisian traffic came to a complete stop....

Today she is still remembered and revered as one of the greatest singers France has ever produced. Her life was one of sharp contrasts: the range of her fame as opposed to her tragic personal life, and her fragile small figure on stage [she was 4'8" tall] with the resounding power of her voice.

La Vie en Rose, lyrics by Edith Piaf.

Des yeux qui font baiser les miens,
Un rire qui se perd sur sa bouche,
Voilà le portrait sans retouche
De l'homme auquel j'appartiens.

Quand il me prend dans ses bras,
Il me parle tout bas,
Je vois la vie en rose.

Il me dit des mots d'amour,
Des mots de tous les jours,
Et ça me fait quelque chose.

Il est entré dans mon coeur
Une part de bonheur
Dont je connais la cause.

C'est lui pour moi, moi pour lui
Dans la vie;
Il me l'a dit, l'a juré pour la vie.

Et dès que je l'aperçois
Alors je sens en moi
Mon coeur qui bat.