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Edith Piaf – La foule (Piano and lyrics) Partition, sheet music
“Que nadie sepa mi sufrir” or “The crowd”, the song that an Argentinian composed and that Edith Piaf made immortal
It toured the world, had a great local version in the voice of Alberto Castillo that reached Edith Piaf’s ears and Peruvians and Mexicans claimed it as their own; however, it was two Argentinians who signed the original theme that it had and which has more than 700 versions.
It could be the scenario of a film: A couple meets at the ball, all is party, sun and joy. Also, music, shouting and laughter. And the crush is immediate. But it‘s “La Foule”, one of the most accomplished songs in Edith Piaf’s repertoire.
Lyrics in English
I see the city celebrating and delirious
Suffocating in the sun and in the joy
And I hear in the music the cries, the laughter
That burst and bounce around me
And lost among these people who jostle me
Dazed, distraught, I stay here
When suddenly I turn around, he steps back
And the crowd comes to throw me in their arms
Carried away by the crowd that drags us
Pulls us along, crushed against each other
We are one body
And the effortless flow pushes us, chained together
And leaves us both thriving, drunk and happy
Driven by the crowd that rushes and dances
A crazy farandole, our two hands remain united
And sometimes lifted, our two entwined bodies fly away
And both come back fulfilled, intoxicated and happy
And the joy splashed by her smile
Pierces me and springs up deep inside me
But suddenly, I let out a cry among the laughter
When the crowd comes to snatch her from my arms
Carried away by the crowd that drags us
Pulls us away, pulls us away from each other
I struggle and I struggle
But the sound of my voice is drowned out by the laughter of others
And I scream in pain, fury and rage and I cry
And dragged by the rushing and dancing crowd
A crazy farandole, I’m carried away
And I clench my fists, cursing the crowd that robs me
The man she gave me that I never found
Paroles en français
Je revois la ville en fête et en délire
Suffoquant sous le soleil et sous la joie
Et j’entends dans la musique les cris, les rires
Qui éclatent et rebondissent autour de moi
Et perdue parmi ces gens qui me bousculent
Étourdie, désemparée, je reste là
Quand soudain, je me retourne, il se recule
Et la foule vient me jeter entre ses bras
Emportés par la foule qui nous traîne
Nous entraîne, écrasés l’un contre l’autre
Nous ne formons qu’un seul corps
Et le flot sans effort nous pousse, enchaînés l’un et l’autre
Et nous laisse tous deux épanouis, enivrés et heureux
Entraînés par la foule qui s’élance et qui danse
Une folle farandole, nos deux mains restent soudées
Et parfois soulevés, nos deux corps enlacés s’envolent
Et retombent tous deux épanouis, enivrés et heureux
Et la joie éclaboussée par son sourire
Me transperce et rejaillit au fond de moi
Mais soudain, je pousse un cri parmi les rires
Quand la foule vient l’arracher d’entre mes bras
Emportés par la foule qui nous traîne
Nous entraîne, nous éloigne l’un de l’autre
Je lutte et je me débats
Mais le son de ma voix s’étouffe dans les rires des autres
Et je crie de douleur, de fureur et de rage et je pleure
Et traînée par la foule qui s’élance et qui danse
Une folle farandole, je suis emportée au loin
Et je crispe mes poings, maudissant la foule qui me vole
L’homme qu’elle m’avait donné que je n’ai jamais retrouvé
But the crowd (like the French title of the song) drags them from one part of the room to another, as in waves of people, dancing and swinging. And when the lovers, in the backwaters of this bursting of bodies, meet and look at each other, like two fish that have met in a school, the human tide soon separates them in the sea from the dance floor.
As in the scene of Love Without Barriers , Steven Spielberg’s 2021 film (this Romeo and Juliet between North Americans and Puerto Ricans in the streets of New York) where the lovers find themselves on the dance floor, and the public and the music and the whole world blurs and fades around them.
The song is “The crowd” (“The Crowd”). And, along with “La vie en rose” and “Non, je ne regrette rien”, it forms the canon of Edith Piaf’s most successful songs .
In addition to being a perfect drama of love, encounter and domestic misunderstanding, it bears two remarkable discoveries that link it to milestones that will come later: as in La Danse, by Ettore Scole, a contemporary film (1983 ) and yet silent, the action takes place only in a ballroom. And as in the Pink Floyd classic, “Wish you Were Here” (1975), he reveals that even a tiny space can separate two of them, as if they were floating in the ocean: “we are two lost souls / swimming in a fishbowl, year after year,” as David Gilmour and Roger Waters sing.
But the song, which Piaf recorded in 1957, is actually a very particular version of “Let nobody know my suffering” by Argentinians Ángel Cabral (music) and Enrique Dizeo (lyrics), composed in 1936 . Born between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the two artists composed a vast body of work, especially separately. The references of both reach musicians such as Osvaldo Pugliese, Roberto Grela, Nelly Omar and Ástor Piazzolla, who performed their works or composed them with them.
Cabral (born Ángel Amato) was also the son of a guitarist by Carlos Gardel. In 1936, both composed a song which was neither tango nor exactly Argentine folklore. In any case, it was an Afro-Peruvian waltz.
The song “Let no one know my suffering”, otherwise known as “Amor de mis amores”, was performed by a successful singer of the time: Hugo del Carril. But his destiny of consecration will not arrive until 1953, when he lands in Argentina, in full Latin American tour, the sparrow of Paris: Edith Piaf. At some point during his stay in Buenos Aires, during which Piaf performed at the Teatro Ópera de Buenos Aires, someone approached him with Alberto Castillo’s single “Let nobody know my suffering”, ” the singer of the hundred neighborhoods of Buenos Aires” .
And the song and the French singer had, like on a dance floor where only two people dance, an instant passion.
Back in Paris, Edith Piaf did not translate the lyrics. Nor does he adapt it “freely”. Here the famous Italian proverb “traduttore, traditore” tells us that literal translation is always treacherous, it doesn’t even apply. The singer asks the lyricist Michel Rivgauche for a new lyric. Thus was born “The Crowd”. And it was no longer a song about the trials of a man (or woman) abandoned by his lover:
Love of my loves!/ My life…/ What have you done to me/ That I cannot/ Consol myself/ Without being able to contemplate you…/ Since you poorly repaid my sincere affection,/ What you will get / May I never name you again…
After the adaptation by Piaf and Rivgauche, the song, now with a large orchestra and a slightly stronger accent, became an absolute hit. And like so many cultural products which, while traveling in France, return to their country of origin (and to the world) legitimized, henceforth the original creation also took on more force than ever. But in French.
Composer and singer Daniela Horovitz , in addition to having released several solo albums, is part of the Francophile ensemble of La Impertinente Señorita Orquesta, an all-female group that interprets – and in some cases ingeniously reinvents – the songbook French song . They also investigate and compile the links between French and Latin song, but far from musicology and very close to humor. His live performances have become a café-concert classic in recent years.
“At that time, in the 1950s -explains Horovitz- it was more common to change the lyrics of a song. Or rather, there were far fewer checks on the rights of the original authors. What is curious with the French version is that it completely changes the original lyrics. And more: the worldwide success was such that the song, when it arrived in Mexico, became a very popular mariachi ranchera played in parties of 15 and that Mexicans claim as its own.
Something similar happened in Peru, because it’s a Peruvian waltz. At La Impertinente Señorita Orquesta, when we translate songs from French to Spanish or vice versa, we try to be very faithful to the original lyrics. The music must respect this original verbal emotion, its circumstance. On the other hand, it was done by a great performer like Edith Piaf. Piaf, like Mercedes Sosa or Elis Regina, transcend language barriers with their voice and their way of singing . They are artist-channels of emotions”.
Since the end of the 1960s, its original version in Spanish, which has been enriched thanks to the French version, has not ceased to be played on many occasions. Only on digital music platforms, there are about 700! (and surely there must be more) different versions of “Let No One Know My Suffering” .
For Cabral, the new world life of song gave him (albeit belatedly) an incredible economic advantage which, together with the international receipts, bought a large house in Mercedes, province of Buenos Aires. Humble and surprised, he always confessed that he never understood the success of the song since it didn’t seem to him that it had anything extraordinary.
In an Argentores talk in 2012, Susana Rinaldi herself recalled how, in the 1970s and living in Paris, the Barclay label insisted that she record “The Crowd”. Rinaldi refused to do so unless Cabral and not Piaf were credited as the author of the song. After many twists and turns, the label is accepted.
In Argentina, Soledad Pastorutti made it popular again in the 1990s . But the interpretations are impossible to count. Julio Iglesias’ version in Italian (“Arriangiati amore”) is ideal for ironic consumption and would not be out of place for the end of an Almodóvar film or in a future Tarantino who wants to pay homage to the giallo (horror films very popular in the 60s).
Ariel Ramírez recorded an exquisite folk version. Or as he himself called his best creations, “bien criollita”. Rock and Tex-Mex band Los Lobos included a version of it on their extraordinary acoustic album La pistol y el corazón .
On the dance side, the public can count on the cumbiera version of La Sonora Dinamita or on the most cuartetera of Cordovan Tru-la-lá. And if it wants to be a little more original, the milonguera version by Omar Mollo with bandoneonist Carel Kraayenhof (the one from Máxima’s wedding) is ideal for tango pieces. And among many others, the versions of Lila Downs, Raphael and Plácido Domingo.
The song, which originated as a plea for love and self-pity (“Let no one know my suffering”) in Argentina, was sung as anguish of love in French and continues to be and will be a world heritage site.
Biography of Edith Piaf, one of the most famous French singers of the 20th century. He had an exceptional and very particular voice, sometimes torn.
Many songs from the French-speaking repertoire known throughout the world are due to Edith Piaf; like ” La vie en rose” and “No, I don’t regret anything “.
This great singer has inspired many composers; and has mentored young artists who have achieved international fame.
She was also an outstanding film and theater actress. Its popular fame is contemporary with that of Violeta Parra, of Chile; and later with that of Mercedes Sosa, from Argentina.
Edith Piaf was born in Paris on December 19, 1915, in the midst of the First World War.
His father, Louis Alphonse Gassion was an acrobat.
His mother, Annetta Maillard, of Italo-Berber origin, was an itinerant singer.
To celebrate the imminent birth of Edith, Louis Alphonse Gassion gets drunk and leaves the house.
Without anyone’s support, Annetta had to face the birth alone.
She left the house on foot, but could not get to the hospital.
Edith Piaf was born in the middle of the street, under a lamppost, in front of number 72 rue de Belleville in Paris.
The beginnings of Edith Piaf’s life
Annetta was too poor and could not afford to raise her little Edith.
The girl passed into the hands of her maternal grandmother, Mrs. Emma, of Moroccan origin.
This good lady, instead of giving her milk from a bottle, fed her with wine.
Al grandma was convinced that nothing better than wine to kill germs.
Fortunately, Grandmother Emma felt unable to raise Edith any longer and managed to hand her over to her father, Louis Alphonse.
But, he was about to go to the front in the First World War; and Edith ended up with her paternal grandmother, who ran a brothel in Bernay, Normandy.
In short, that the daughter Edith was brought up by the prostitutes of the house.
The beginnings of Edith Piaf as an itinerant artist
At the end of the First World War, Edith’s father returned from the front and took her with him to live for a time the life of artists in small traveling circuses.
Then, he accompanies him to follow the life of the traveling artist.
Edith Piaf revealed her talent and her exceptional voice, singing in the streets with her father, as her mother did.
Edith Piaf’s beginnings as an independent singer
In 1929, Edith was 14 years old and was still called Edith Gassion.
The “little sparrow”, as it would be called, soon began to spread its wings.
With her friend Simone Berteaut, she walks the streets of the Belleville district in her spare time, singing songs and receiving money.
By the mid-1930s, he had saved enough to leave his father and rent a room at “ rue Véron, 18 ”; in the Montmartre district.
In a humble guest house, originally built for the workers who built the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
He made his own living as a singer, brightening the day for passers-by in Place Pigalle and criss-crossing the Parisian suburbs in search of a street audience.
Edith Piaf, wife and mother in 1933
In 1933, he fell in love with an errand boy, Louis Dupont.
Shortly after, she had with him her only child, a girl named Marcelle, who died at the age of two from meningitis.
Premiers pas professionnels d’Edith Piaf
In 1936, already 21 years old, Edith was quite well known and admired as singer Edith Gassion.
The Polydor record company offered him a contract and he recorded his first album: ” Les Mômes de la cloche “.
The album was an immediate popular success.
But in April of the same year, Louis Leplée, the owner of the cabaret where Edith Piaf performed, was murdered at his home.
The scandal and the bad reputation of the Parisian district of Pigalle affect the work of the artist. For the moment, he must return to the streets and small cabarets.
Fortunately, she meets the brilliant lyricist Raymond Asso , who becomes her protector, her trainer and her lover.
He wrote a large number of songs for her and helped her to become a professional singer in the music hall.
Edith Piaf, music hall singer
In March 1937, he made his debut in the “music hall” genre at the “Théâtre ABC” in Paris.
The triumph was formidable and from that day Edith was a star of French song, adored by the public; his songs were played on the radio.
In 1940, Edith Piaf triumphed at the “Bobino”, a famous “music hall” located on the “left bank” and whose prestige had increased since Edith Piaf began to sing there.
Next come Georges Brassens, Barbara Streisand and Joséphine Baker.
Edith made her debut with a play written especially for her by Jean Cocteau, entitled “ Le Bel Indifferent ”, which she performed with great success, accompanied by the actor Paul Meurisse.
The following year, in 1941, with Paul Meurisse as co-star, Edith Piaf was the main actress in the film ” Montmartre-sur-Seine ” by Georges Lacombe.
During the shooting of this feature film, Edith met Henri Contet, who has since been one of her favorite authors.
Edith Piaf during the German occupation of Paris
During the German occupation in Paris, the singer changed her stage name from Edith Gassion to “Edith Piaf”; and continued to give concerts, despite the Nazi invasion.
In such a difficult time for all the inhabitants of France, Edith Piaf turned to the protection of Jewish artists, who constantly risked being arrested.
Thousands of people from France and Europe, including Germany, risked their lives to save those of persecuted Jews.
One of them was Suzanne Noël , a brilliant plastic surgeon from Paris, who saved dozens of Jews by altering their features.
In the spring of 1944, at the Moulin Rouge, he met Yves Montand; the young singer at the time, was part of the show. There was a crush between the two artists.
Edith Piaf after the world war
At the end of the war, in 1945, Edith Piaf wrote the lyrics to “ La vie en rose ”, her most famous song. He performed it for the first time at the Comédie-Française.
Yves Montand becomes a star of the “music hall”. He made his film debut alongside Edith Piaf in the film “ Star Without Light ”.
Later, they both went on tour in 1946; finished this tour, they went their separate ways.
Edith Piaf ended the year 1946 by performing ” Les Trois Cloches “, with the group “Les Compagnons de la Chanson”. With the triumph of this song on his lips, he went on tour in the United States in 1947.
Emotional life of singer Edith Piaf
In 1948 , during a triumphal tour in New York, he saw his great love story.
The lucky winner was Marcel Cerdan, a French boxer of Algerian origin. Marcel Cerdan had won the world middleweight championship on September 21, 1948.
Cerdan is the only French member of the International Boxing Hall.
Misfortune befell Edith Piaf on October 28, 1949, when Marcel Cerdan went to meet her; He died in the plane crash on the Paris-New York flight.
Edith sang her hit “ Hymne à l’amour ” in his memory. Since then, Edith Piaf has always worn black.
This courtship had not even lasted two years and had given rise to the film “Edith and Marcel”, by director Claude Lelouche, released in 1983.
In 1951, Edith Piaf hired the young singer-songwriter Charles Aznavour as secretary, assistant, driver and confidant. Aznavour wrote some of the best songs for him, like ” More blue than your eyes “.
On July 29, 1952, Edith married the famous French singer Jacques Pills, in New York. Marlene Dietrich was one of the witnesses.
Pianist Gilbert Bécaud and Jacques Pills wrote the lyrics to ” I’ve Got You Under Your Skin ” for Edith Piaf.
In 1956, Edith Piaf was hailed throughout the world as a great “music hall” star.
In particular in the United States, where he triumphed at the “Carnegie Hall” in New York. He frequently returned to New York, where he had begun morphine addiction.
She had started a love affair with Georges Moustaki whom Edith helped to enter the world of song.
At his side, he had a serious car accident in 1958; this aggravated Edith’s already deteriorated state of health.
It also increased her addiction to morphine, which had begun when her great love, boxer Marcel Cerdan, died.
Deterioration of health and death of Edith Piaf
In 1959, while on stage during a tour in New York, Edith collapsed.
He had to undergo many surgeries. He returned to Paris in a pitiful state of health.
In France, he had the joy of seeing the enormous success of his song “ Milord ”.
At the request of the owner of the Olympia hall in Paris, he gave a series of concerts in 1961, perhaps the most memorable and moving of his career.
The Paris Olympia is threatened with extinction, due to serious financial problems.
Since Edith Piaf performed her new song “ Non, je ne regrette rien ” there, the public has been so numerous that the Olympia has been saved from bankruptcy. Later, many of his songs will be interpreted, here in Paris, by the fabulous American singer Nina Simone.
The brave “Paris Sparrow” as she was called, was then very ill. He could move and sing thanks to large doses of morphine.
On October 9, 1962, at the age of 46, very tired and sick, she married the singer Theo Sarapo.
Théo was young and handsome, he was 26 years old. Théo and Edith sang in duet, among other songs, ” What is love for “, Why love?
At the beginning of 1963, Edith recorded her last song “ L’Homme de Berlin ”, written by Francis Lai and M. Vendôme.
The great Edith Piaf died on October 11, 1963, at the age of 47, from liver cancer.
Shortly after, the same day, his friend the filmmaker Jean Cocteau died.
On learning of Edith Piaf’s death, Jean Cocteau declared: “ The ship has just sunk. This is my last day on this earth. I have never known to be more detached from his soul. She didn’t give her soul, she gave it, she threw gold out the window.
His burial took place in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, with the homage of a huge crowd of admirers.
Since World War II, traffic throughout the city had not been interrupted in this way.
Despite her Catholic faith, she was denied a religious funeral due to her divorcee status.
However, the theater and music chaplain, Father Villaret Thouvenin, gave him the final blessing, in the presence of a huge crowd of admirers.
In the Père-Lachaise cemetery, Edith Piaf rests with her father, Louis Alphonse Gassion, and her granddaughter Marcelle, who died in 1935 at the age of 2. Her last husband, Theo Sarapo, who died seven years after the death of Edih Piaf, is buried with her in the same grave.
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