1001 Songs Challenge,  1940s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #30: La Vie en Rose (1946)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!


Edith Piaf – La Vie en Rose (1946)

La Vie en rose

” La Vie en rose” ( pronounced ; French for ‘”Life in pink”‘) is the signature song of popular French singer Édith Piaf, written in 1945, popularized in 1946, and released as a single in 1947. The song became very popular in the US in 1950 with no fewer than seven different versions reaching the Billboard charts.

Lyrics (via Genius)


We remain in Europe for our magical musical tour and make the short journey from Spain across the Pyrenees and into France. It’s no surprise to see Edith Piaf on this list and this may not be her last appearance, I suspect. First up is her most famous song – La Vie en Rose which translates as Life in Pink. The lyrics were written by Piaf with Louiguy writing the music.

Consulting a translation of the song, La Vie en Rose is very much a love song. Piaf speaks of a man who holds her in his arms and she is lost within his embrace. He brings her eternal happiness, all her sorrows dissipate with him and she is in a tranquil moment so powerful that she would welcome her demise given the depth of happiness she now feels. It is beautiful and evocative imagery, a stark contrast to the turbulent life that Piaf would have culminating in her tragically early death at only 47. 

La Vie en Rose is a song I am no stranger to. A few years ago I watched the film of the same name with the Oscar-winning performance from Marion Cotillard who explored a great deal of Piaf’s tragic life including the child she lost before she was even 20. Though Edith Piaf’s life was a sombre one she was able to reach into the depths of her troubled soul and pluck songs such as this from the void and share them with the world. For such gifts as that, she will long be remembered.


Favourite song so far:

Edith Piaf – La Vie en Rose (1946)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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