La Foule

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La Foule ("The Crowd") is a song sung by famed French singer Edith Piaf, released in 1957. The song was composed by Ángel Cabral with lyrics written by Michel Rivgauche.

Origin[edit]

The song "Que nadie sepa mi sufrir" ("Let no one know my suffering"), was composed in 1936 by Ángel Cabral, with (Spanish) lyrics by Enrique Dizeo, both of Argentine origin. It was a Peruvian Vals, which, in the period between the 1930s and 1950s, was a very popular musical genre in Spanish-speaking America. The song became a regional hit.

Almost twenty years later, during a Latin American concert tour,[1] Edith Piaf heard it from the 1953 recording by Alberto Castillo. Piaf recorded a French language version, with lyrics by Michel Rivgauche, which became a hit itself. Subsequently, the original song was a hit once more, under the title "Amor de mis amores" ("Love of my loves"), the first verse of the chorus in the Spanish version.[2]

Music[edit]

The rhythm respects the 3/4 of the regular Waltz, but, as a Peruvian Waltz, requires a light step and a much faster tempo.

Lyrics[edit]

Michel Rivgauche's lyrics relate the chance meeting between the singer and a man in the middle of a dense and festive crowd. It's love at first sight, at least from the singer's part, who thanks the crowd for giving her this man. But, just as quickly as it brought them together, the crowd separates them and she never sees him again. "The crowd appears as a sort of demiurge (creator), like destiny, playing with the human beings who are helpless against the vagaries of chance."[2]

Other versions[edit]

  • French jazz singer Raquel Bitton performed the song as part of her Piaf tribute show "Piaf: Her Story, Her Songs".
  • House musician Casita did a cover of the song, which was used as an ad for Perrier.
  • Israeli singer Hava Alberstein recorded the song with Hebrew lyrics, written specially to the music (called "Smiles"; חיוכים in Hebrew), which became very famous.
  • Canadian-American Martha Wainwright (daughter of Folk royalty Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, sister of Rufus Wainwright) covered it better than the original on her 2009 Piaf tribute album, "Sans Fulils, Ni Souliers, à Paris"
  • Australian-French singer Emma Hamilton includes a version on her 2011 album For Me, Formidable.
  • Québec Blues/Folk singer Bernard Adamus created a stylized version on his 2009 Album "Brun"
  • Los Lobos includes a version on their 1988 album "La Pistola y el Corazon"
  • Chico and the Gypsies (formerly The Gypsy Kings) recorded the song under the title "Amor de Mis Amores" on their 2013 album "Fiesta"
  • French Chanteuse Mireille Mathieu covered it (as well as other Piaf classics) on her 2012 tribute album "Mireille Mathieu chante Piaf"
  • French pop singer Patricia Kaas revisited it on the 2012 album "KAAS chante Piaf - deux vois, deux destin, un hommage."
  • Classical Guitarist Jean-Félix Lalanne performed it as a duo with Agnès Jaoui on the 2013 album "Une Guitare"
  • Margarita recorded a Cumbia version very popular in Latin America under the same title as the Gypsy Kings version "Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir (Amor de Mis Amores)."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Edith Piaf RFI (in French)
  2. ^ a b "Histoire de la chanson française et francophone", Ariela Sillam and Isabelle Taillandier (in French)[dead link]

External links[edit]