I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

The Kid Sparrow

She was one of the reasons why I wanted to learn French, why I ended up coming here to live: Edith Piaf, the Queen of voice and song!

I have just seen La Môme, the new film about Edith Piaf's life by Olivier Dahan. It is superb! Marion Cotillard plays Edith brilliantly, in a moving and convincing way that left me shivering. The tragedy of her life was captured so well, but there was also colour and humour.

Here is a poem I wrote about Edith Piaf:

the kid sparrow

last night I dreamt that our Edith was still with us
no, not the hair salon Edith, I mean tragic eah-deet
that’s right, je ne regrette rien and the hymn to love
la môme piaf is what they called her: the kid sparrow
dead at 47, looking more like some frail, elderly lady

she was in the middle of a duo with our gorgeous Elton
a right scream, up on stage at Caesars Palace in Vegas
a new romance with the Americans with songs in English
her man, Marcel, now a survivor of that terrible crash
the shock that clearly killed her miraculously erased

oh, she looked so well: no stoop, glorious hair flowing
repeating her prayer to the heavens, raving about Paris
she sang Mon Dieu, but that had already been answered,
no more losses, battles for sleep or memories to hide
she reached new high notes with la joie and la passion!

I love many songs, but Edith Piaf's hymn to love or L'Hymne à l'Amour has got to be one of my top favourites. Click twice on the play button to escape somewhere else for a few minutes! (Merci, Pilou8888!)

Here are the words of the song in French, followed by two English versions - not direct translations!

Le ciel bleu sur nous peut s'effondrer
Et la terre peut bien s'écrouler
Peu m'importe si tu m'aimes
Je me fous du monde entier
Tant qu'l'amour inondera mes matins
Tant que mon corps frémira sous tes mains
Peu m'importent les problèmes
Mon amour puisque tu m'aimes

J'irais jusqu'au bout du monde
Je me ferais teindre en blonde
Si tu me le demandais
J'irais décrocher la lune
J'irais voler la fortune
Si tu me le demandais

Je renierais ma patrie
Je renierais mes amis
Si tu me le demandais
On peut bien rire de moi
Je ferais n'importe quoi
Si tu me le demandais

Si un jour la vie t'arrache à moi
Si tu meurs que tu sois loin de moi
Peu m'importe si tu m'aimes
Car moi je mourrai aussi
Nous aurons pour nous l'éternité
Dans le bleu de toute l'immensité
Dans le ciel plus de problèmes
Mon amour crois-tu qu'on s'aime?
Dieu réunit ceux qui s'aiment

* * *

If the sun should tumble from the sky
If the sea should suddenly run dry
If you love me, really love me
Let it happen darling, I don't care

Shall I catch a shooting star
Shall I bring it where you are
If you want me to, I will.
You can set me any task
I'll do anything you ask
If you'll only love me still

When at last, our life on earth is through
I will spend eternity with you
If you love me, really love me
Let it happen darling, I won't care

* * *

If the sky should fall into the sea
And the stars fade all around me
All the times that we have known here
I will sing a hymn to love

We have lived and dreamed we two alone
In a world that's been our very own
With it's memories ever grateful
Just for you I sing a hymn to love

I remember each embrace
The smile that lights your face
And my heart begins to sing
Your eyes have never lied
And my heart begins to sing
And my heart begins to sing

If one day you should ever disappear
Always remember these words
If one day we had to say goodbye
And our love should fade away and die
In my heart you will remain here
And I'II sing a hymn to love

O for love, we live eternally
In the blue we'll roll this harmony
With every day we are in heaven
As for you, I'll sing a hymn to love

Don't you ever worry, dear
And the stars shall fade from the sky
All the times that we have known here
I will sing a hymn to our love
Oh darling,
Just for you I sing
A hymn to love

The poem "the kid sparrow" © Copyright, 2007. Seamus Kearney


Suzan Abrams, email: suzanabrams@live.co.uk said...

Hi Shameless,
A treat indeed! :-)
Your poem is as always clever.
How deeply you feel for her.

And here is Piaf looking very young and sensual. I remember pictures of her looking older...when I worked as a magazine journalist, I played her songs at the weekend, it was a vast collection of her music.
The effect was reverberating and automatically de-stressing.

Her voice was blustery and rousing...I often felt in a deceptive way that my life could be that alluring. lol.
I played her on Saturday mornings, imagining old French boulevards, open-air cafes with accordions playing and hot croissants for the taking...she commanded such a fruity atmospheric flavour with her rich voice. That memory has never faded and still contains the essence of sweetness.

This particular song feels a little sad somewhat everytime her voice rises to its sharp crescendo. :-)

S. Kearney said...

Thanks, Susan,

You really must see this new film if you get the chance ... if you already know her music and a bit about her, I'm sure you'll like it. The actress is amazing! :)

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful tribute, Shameless. I haven't really listened to Edith in many, many moons. I had a cassette tape of hers, that is how long it has been.

Musical biographies are always a little touch and go, so I am glad to hear that you enjoyed La Môme as you did. I don't know if my local video store will carry it, but I certainly hope so. It is worth checking into anyway.

Thanks for the smile this morning.

S. Kearney said...

Thanks GT,
I also had a cassette tape years ago that finally chewed itself up!
YouTube is great for finding old songs and video clips!
I would highly recommend you track down La Môme. Can I admit that I shed a few tears during the film, and I don't easily cry at the cinema! :)

Unknown said...

I am not a huge Piaf fan, I find her voice grates a little, but the film sounds interesting. I would rather chill out with Billy Holiday, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald but I do miss old LP recordings that have been updated and digitised. Nothing like a bit of hiss and the odd scratch!

S. Kearney said...

Yes, you either loved her or you ...
Count me in though for chilling out with Billy, Nina, and Ella! :)
I've heard some remixed versions of Edith, which took take away that raspy, grating effect she can have ... oh, I would've loved to have seen her in concert! I would've loved to have played the piano for her and written some songs for her. Oh well, the next life!

Unknown said...

You have earned big kudos from me and the hubby for that!

We have enjoyed your inclusion of the little sparrowm or the kid sparrow as you name her, and it's put us in the mood for more!

Many thanks and here's to the three disc CD which we are putting on now - thanks shameless!

Unknown said...

Ooh and looking forward to the film... hubby is really looking forward to that :)

S. Kearney said...

I'm pleased I've got you both going! There is nothing else like it, is there? Rare. A rare kid sparrow. And what a life she had! You will LOVE the film if you like her. :)

Unknown said...

I visited her grave last year when in Paris, with MOL (mum out-law). It's very close to Oscar's grave...!

Still looking forward and thanks for the jog!

S. Kearney said...

I get the feeling you will absolutely love La Môme! :)
Glad I was able to get you jogging!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I spent some time in Paris in the 60's, and her music was everywhere. To this day, hearing her voice is like an audial glimpse of my own youth, and France, which I loved so much.

Now I live in San Francisco, which has some of the same kind of charm and elegance, or as much as is possible in the U.S.

I hope to get back there again.

I'm enjoying your poetry and artwork so much.

S. Kearney said...

Hello heartinsanfran,
Welcome. Nice to have you stop by. I'm glad I was able to bring up some old memories ... all nice I hope. I'm also glad you're enjoying the poems and artwork.
I look forward to checking out your blog! :)
We were in San Fran in 2005 and had a real ball. I loved the city! I'm due to put my US photos up on the slide thing on the right. :)
Do stop by again. You will always have a hearty welcome! :)

genevieve said...

I especially love Piaf because my husband hates 'Je Ne Regrette Rien' (well, the sentiments it expresses. Silly ole thing he is.)
Scratchy? Who are we talking about?
Billie Holiday had more vocal difficulties and a slighter gift than Piaf (she of course compensated with musicality.)
Street training is like that, guys, we can't all be middle class - else the Sparrow would have been a dramatic soprano (a waste IMHO!).

Funny how they're the top interpreters of their generation, innit?
Lovely post, Mr.S.

S. Kearney said...

Thanks. Glad to come across someone else who understood Edith P. You will love the new film when it comes your way! Go and see it; it's not like others that have come before! :)