- 1 Contents
- 2 Song history
- 3 Track listing
- 4 Chart performance
- 5 References in popular culture
- 6 Cover versions
- 7 Grace Jones version
- 8 Donna Summer version
- 9 References
- 2 Track listing
- 3 Chart performance
- 4 References in popular culture
- 5 Cover versions
- 6 Grace Jones version
- 7 Donna Summer version
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The song's title can be translated as "Life in Rosy Hues" or "Life Through Rose-Colored Glasses"; its literal meaning is "Life in Pink".
The lyrics of the song were written by Édith Piaf herself, and the melody was composed by Marguerite Monnot and Louis Guglielmi, known as Louiguy. Originally, the song was registered as being written by Louiguy only, since at the time Piaf did not have necessary qualifications to be able to copyright her work with SACEM. Piaf offered the song to Marianne Michel, who slightly modified the lyrics, changing "les choses" ("things") for "la vie" ("life"). English lyrics for the song were later written byMack David and Frank Eyton.In 1943 Piaf had performed at a nightclub/bordello called "la vie en rose". Initially, Piaf's peers and songwriting team did not think the song would be successful, finding it weaker than the rest of her repertoire. Having listened to their advice, the singer put the song aside, only to change her mind the next year. The song was performed live in concert for the first time in 1946. It became a favorite with audiences. "La Vie en rose" was the song that made Piaf internationally famous, with its lyrics telling about retaken love and appealing to those who had survived the difficult wartime.
"La Vie en rose" was released on a 10" single in 1947 by Columbia Records, a division of EMI, with "Un refrain courait dans la rue" making the B-side. It met with a warm reception and sold a million copies in the USA. It was the biggest-selling single of 1948 in Italy, and the ninth biggest-selling single in Brazil in 1949. Piaf performed the song in the 1948 French movie Neuf garçons, un coeur. The first of Piaf's albums to include "La Vie en rose" was the 10" Chansons parisiennes, released in 1950. The song appeared on most of Piaf's subsequent albums, and on numerous greatest hits compilations. The song went on to become Piaf's signature song and her trademark hit, sitting with "Milord" and "Non, je ne regrette rien" among her best-known and most recognizable tunes. Encouraged by its success, Piaf wrote 80 more songs in her career.
- 10" Single
- A. "La Vie en rose"
- B. "Un refrain courait dans la rue"
References in popular culture
Two films about Piaf named after the song's title have been produced. The first one, a 1998 documentary, used archive footage and interviews with Raquel Bitton, and was narrated by Bebe Neuwirth. The 2007 biographical feature film La Vie en rose wonMarion Cotillard an Academy Award for Best Actress for portraying Piaf in the film from childhood until her death at 47.
As music in films
- Stage Fright (1950)
- Operation: Rabbit (1952) – instrumental only (uncredited)
- Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (1953) – hummed by a mischievous Daffy Duck
- By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953) – instrumental only
- Sabrina (1954) – as Sabrina Fairchild's song
- Noches de Casablanca (1963) – sung by Sara Montiel
- The Cheap Detective (1978) – however, Eileen Brennan's character, Betty DeBoop, doesn't sing the words, and just sings "La la la la la la la en rose"
- Bull Durham (1988)
- A Foreign Field (1993)
- Natural Born Killers (1994)
- Prêt-à-Porter (1994)
- French Kiss (1995)
- Sabrina (1995)
- A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998)
- Summer of Sam (1999)
- View from the Top (2003)
- Love Me If You Dare (2003)
- Something's Gotta Give Deleted Scene (2003)
- Modigliani (2004)
- A World Without Thieves (2004)
- Valiant (2005)
- Lord of War (2005)
- The Yacoubian Building (2006)
- La Vie en rose (2007)
- Mister Lonely (2007)
- Jellyfish (2007)
- Fred Claus (2007)
- The Bucket List (2007)
- WALL-E (2008)
- The Wackness (2008)
- Map of the Sounds of Tokyo (2009)
- X-Men: First Class (2011)
- Monte Carlo (2011)
- The Hundred-Foot Journey (film) (2014)
- A Star Is Born (2018 Version with Lady Gaga)
- Bread Barbershop (2019)
As music in other media
- "La Vie en rose" appeared in the television show I Love Lucy in the episode entitled "Hollywood Anniversary", right before Desi Arnaz sang the song "The Anniversary Waltz". The episode was filmed and aired in 1955.
- Barbara Feldon sang "La Vie en rose" in a 1966 episode of Get Smart entitled "Casablanca".
- The song appeared in the television show Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, in the episode entitled "Pheromone, My Lovely".
- "La Vie en rose" appeared in an episode of Relic Hunter entitled "Memories of Montmarte".
- In "Cold Stones", the 76th episode of The Sopranos, Rosalie Aprile hums a throaty version of the song to comfort Carmela Soprano. The episode was aired in May 2006.
- In the 2006 Egyptian film The Yacoubian Building, chanteuse Christine (Yousra) includes "La Vie en rose" in her repertoire, singing it on at least one occasion for Zaki el Dessouki (Adel Emam).
- In the 1954 movie Sabrina this song is mentioned and played many times throughout the movie. Actress Audrey Hepburn even sang part of this song.
- Steampunk chanteuse Veronique Chevalier does a parody version – which turns out to be about a battle with slugs.
- In the 2003 romantic comedy Something's Gotta Give, the song is played several times during scenes of Paris, and actor Jack Nicholson (Harry Sanborn) sings it during the closing credit roll.
- In the first season of The Voice, Rachael Leahcar performed "La Vie en rose" as her blind audition, receiving a standing ovation from the in-studio audience and the four celebrity coaches.
- Bosom Buddies sang "La vie en rose" on episode 4 of Britain's Got Talent series 7 and received a standing ovation. The two males sang as females shocking all in the audience with Simon Cowell likening the pair to Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham, stating the difference being Bosom Buddies can sing.
- Cristin Milioti performed the song in the sixteenth episode of the ninth and final season of How I Met Your Mother, "How Your Mother Met Me".
- It is used prominently multiple times in BioShock Infinite's DLC BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea.
- Madonna performed the song during her "Rebel Heart Tour" in 2015 and 2016.
- Lady Gaga performed the song in the 2018 version of "A Star Is Born", directed by Bradley Cooper.
- Ian Fleming references the song in his first James Bond novel Casino Royale, when Bond is eating with Vesper Lynd, and again in his fourth novel Diamonds Are Forever, when Bond chooses to skip it on the record player as it has "painful memories".
- The Avengers TV series used this song as an episode title. It was played repeatedly in a house in which Emma Peel was held against her will by an enemy agent she had seduced and betrayed by utilizing the song.
- Lyrics from the song are quoted in Albert Cohen's 1968 novel Belle du Seigneur (chapter LVI).
- La Vie en Rose was the name of a spaceship in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, as well as an episode title of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory.
- In the 1990s anime Di Gi Charat, the name Rabi~en~Rose is based in "La Vie en rose".
- La Vie en rose is mentioned in John Boyne's 2006 novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
- Canadian singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne has a tattoo reading 'La Vie en rose'.
- Alex Swings Oscar Sings
- Amália Rodrigues
- Amanda Lear
- Anat Cohen
- Andrea Bocelli
- Aretha Franklin
- Audrey Hepburn
- BB King
- Belinda Carlisle
- Bette Midler
- Bing Crosby
- Bob Brozman
- Brenda Lee
- Candan Erçetin
- Celine Dion
- Connie Francis
- Cyndi Lauper
- Cristin Milioti
- Daniela Andrade
- Danny Chan
- Danny Vera
- Dean Martin
- Diana Krall
- Evelina Sašenko
- Frank Chacksfield & His Orchestra
- Grace Jones
- Hadiqa Kiyani
- Herb Alpert
- Hildegard Knef
- Iggy Pop
- Jack Nicholson
- Jackie Evancho
- Jeff Buckley
- Jerry Vale
- Jo Stafford
- Joni James
- José Carreras
- Josephine Baker
- Julio Iglesias
- Katherine Jenkins
- KT Tunstall
- La Toya Jackson
- Lady Gaga
- Lesley Garrett
- Liza Minnelli
- Louis Armstrong
- London Symphony Orchestra
- London Philharmonic Orchestra
- Luciano Pavarotti
- Lucy Dacus
- Madeleine Peyroux
- Marija Naumova
- Marlene Dietrich
- Melissa Manchester
- Melody Gardot
- Mia Doi Todd
- Michael Bublé
- Natacha Atlas
- National Philharmonic Orchestra
- Pablo Alborán
- Paula Cole
- Petula Clark
- Pearl Django
- Plácido Domingo
- Raquel Bitton
- Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
- Richard Clayderman
- Sally Kellerman
- Sara Montiel
- Shirley Bassey
- Sophie Milman
- Susan Werner
- Tatsuro Yamashita
- The Three Tenors
- Tony Bennett (with k.d. lang)
- Tony Martin
- Ute Lemper
- Ý Lan
- Yves Montand
- Yvette Giraud
Grace Jones version
|"La Vie en rose"|
|Single by Grace Jones|
|from the album Portfolio|
|B-side||"I Need a Man", "Tomorrow", "Send in the Clowns"|
|Length||7:27 (full album version)
3:35 (single edit)
|Writer(s)||Édith Piaf, Louiguy, Mack David|
|Grace Jones singles chronology|
Grace Jones covered "La Vie en rose" in 1977 for her debut album Portfolio. It was the third and the last single off that album, and at the same time, her first single release on Island Records after having signed with the label.
The single version was heavily edited from its original album version being more than seven minutes long to a 3.5-minute track. Jones' fairly radical bossa nova/disco interpretation of Édith Piaf's signature tune became her first international hit single and a staple of her repertoire. It was later performed as part of her 1981 A One Man Show, then the only track from her disco era to be included in the show. In Spain and Mexico the track was billed as "La Vida en rosa" on the 7" single release, although it was not a Spanish version of the song. Jones' recording of "La Vie en rose" was later re-released a number of times in the early 1980s and finally reached #12 in the UK charts when re-released as a double A-side with "Pull Up to the Bumper" in 1985.
Grace Jones about the song: "That's a very special song to me. Oh God, I cry every time I sing it. I had quite a few French lovers, so every time I sing it I think about them."
The music video for the song was made using the chroma key technique. It presents Grace dancing and singing the song with the famous 1978 montage picture of herself in the background, which was later used for the cover of her 1985 Island Life compilation. The video begins with Grace wearing a rose-patterned coat. Having removed it, the singer dances in a scant gold dress which reveals her right nipple as well as black underwear.
- A. "La Vie en rose" – 3:35
- B. "I Need a Man" – 3:22
- 7" Italian Single (1977)
- A. "La Vie en rose" – 3:35
- B. "Tomorrow" – 5:48
- 7" Promotional Single (1977)
- A. "La Vie en rose" – 3:35
- B. "La Vie en rose" – 3:35
- 12" Mexican Single (1984)
- A. "La Vida en rosa" ("La Vie en rose") – 7:27
- B. "Manden a los payasos" ("Send in the Clowns") – 7:33
Donna Summer version
|"La Vie en rose"|
|Single by Donna Summer|
|from the album Tribute to Edith Piaf|
|Writer(s)||Édith Piaf, Louigny, Mack David|
|Donna Summer singles chronology|
American singer Donna Summer covered "La Vie en rose" in 1993 for the tribute album called Tribute to Edith Piaf or Edith Piaf Tribute, on which several contemporary stars recorded interpretations of some of Piaf's best known songs. Released on both vinyl and CD, the American release of the album and single contain a different mix of Summer's synth-driven performance than the French release. These releases are among the most sought after of Summer's collectables. The U.S. single features a variety of remixes by DJ Chris Cox.
- 12" Single
- A. "La Vie en rose" – 4:58
- B. "La Vie en rose" – 4:58
- 12" Maxi-Single
- A1. "La Vie en rose" (Techno Mix) – 7:36
- A2. "La Vie en rose" (US Radio Mix) – 3:43
- B1. "La Vie en rose" (Extended Soul Mix) – 7:40
- B2. "La Vie en rose" (Full Bass Mix) – 4:25
- 12" Promotional Single
- A. "La Vie en rose" (Remodelled Mix)
- B1. "La Vie en rose" (Radio Mix)
- B2. "La Vie en rose" (12" Mix)
- CD Single
- "La Vie en rose" (US Radio Mix) – 3:43
- "La Vie en rose" (Full Bass Mix) – 4:25
- "La Vie en rose" (Extended Soul Mix) – 7:40
- "La Vie en rose" (Stringapella Mix) – 5:43