Friday, July 3, 2009

Edith Piaf - The Little Sparrow

"For me, singing is a way of escaping. It's another world. I'm no longer on earth." Edith Piaf

Edith Piaf was one of the greatest French singers of all time with her voice extending beyond the boundaries of language and culture. Legend has it that Edith was born on a cold winter night in the streets of Paris to a young teenage mother who performed as a café singer and a father who was performed in theater and as a street acrobat. Her mother abandoned her as a young child, and she was sent to live with her grandmother, who was supposedly the madam of a brothel in Normandy. She was allegedly blind from the age of 3-7 as a result of an inflammation of the cornea and was to have been miraculously cured when the prostitutes prayed for her on a religious pilgrimage honoring Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux.

In 1929, Edith Piaf left the brothel and joined her father in Paris as a street performer. It was in 1935 that Luis Leplee, the owner of a popular Paris nightclub, discovered Piaf and invited her to perform in his club. It was Leplee who gave Edith her nickname, (which later became her stage name) "La Môme Piaf" ~ The Little Sparrow, in reference to her height of 4'8". It was after WWII that Edith began touring the world and then achieved international fame and popularity.

1 comment:

  1. Oh! I saw the movie of her life about a year ago - it was hearbreaking and lovely and sad and .... just all those things. Such a unique woman and gifted woman she was...Marcel! Marcel!