Edith Piaf was in the public’s eye long before I was born, and she died in 1963 when still in her 40’s. Even so, she was played on the radio in England during my teen years, which was how I was introduced to her. She did not have an easy life (massive understatement***), and her songs tended to be autobiographical and focused on love, loss and sorrow.
In an earlier Post, I noted that a song in a foreign language is not much different to an instrumental in that you have no words to guide you and yet, just like some instrumentals, you can still be moved by them. This song is an excellent example, in that while you may not understand what she is singing about, it is certainly a very emotional experience … a passing love perhaps?
The last verse translates to:
*** Following is courtesy of wikipedia.org:
Piaf’s mother abandoned her at birth, and she lived for a short time with her maternal grandmother, Emma (Aïcha). When her father enlisted with the French Army in 1916 to fight in World War I, he took her to his mother, who ran a brothel, where prostitutes helped look after Piaf.
Below is a link to all the lyrics in English