Hymne à l'amour

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"Hymne à l'amour"
Cover of a 1956 vinyl single featuring Hymne à l'amour as the B-side
Single by Édith Piaf
LabelLes Industries Musicales Et Electriques Pathé Marconi
Songwriter(s)Édith Piaf (Original lyrics)
Geoffrey Parsons (English lyrics)
Marguerite Monnot (music)
Audio sample
Édith Piaf, 1950 (20 seconds)

"Hymne à l'amour" (French pronunciation: ​[imn a lamuʁ]; French for "Hymn to Love") is a popular French song originally performed by Édith Piaf.

Édith Piaf[edit]

The lyrics were written by Piaf and the music by Marguerite Monnot. Piaf first sang this song at the Cabaret Versailles in New York City on September 14, 1949.[citation needed] It was written to her lover and the love of her life, the French boxer, Marcel Cerdan.[1] On October 28, 1949, Cerdan was killed in a plane crash on his way from Paris to New York to come to see her. She recorded the song on May 2, 1950.[1]

Fubuki Koshiji's version[edit]

"Hymne à l'amour" was adapted into Japanese in 1951 as "Love Hymn" (愛の讃歌, Ai no Sanka), by singer Fubuki Koshiji, featuring lyrics by Tokiko Iwatani. The song became one of her signature songs, amassing around 2,000,000 copies sold of various singles featuring this song.[2]

English versions[edit]

"Hymne à l'amour" was translated into English by Piaf's protégé Eddie Constantine as "Hymn to Love", which was recorded by Piaf on her album La Vie En Rose / Édith Piaf Sings In English (1956).[3] This version was featured on Cyndi Lauper's 2003 album At Last.[4]

It was also adapted into English as "If You Love Me (Really Love Me)" with lyrics by Geoffrey Parsons. Kay Starr brought fame to this version in 1954, with her version reaching No. 4 on Billboard's charts of Best Sellers in Stores and Most Played by Jockeys.[5] Starr's version was ranked No. 20 on Billboard's ranking of 1954's Most Popular Records According to Retail Sales and No. 20 on Billboard's ranking of 1954's Most Popular Records According to Disk Jockey Plays.[6]

Mary Hopkin released a version of "If You Love Me (Really Love Me)" in 1976, which reached No. 32 on the UK Singles Chart.[7]

In literature[edit]

The song is a central plot point to Anne Wiazemsky's 1996 autobiographical novel Hymnes à l'amour,[8] which won the Prix Maurice Genevoix that year.[9]

Hikaru Utada version[edit]

"Hymne à l'amour" was covered by Japanese singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada in 2010, under the name "Hymne à l'amour" (愛のアンセム, Ai no Ansemu).[10] The title is unique to Utada's version, as most Japanese renditions have the same title as Fubuki Koshiji's 1951 cover, "Love Hymn" (愛の讃歌, Ai no Sanka).[2] Utada's version reached No. 5 on Billboard Adult Contemporary Airplay,[11] No. 7 on Billboard Japan Hot 100,[12] and No. 19 on RIAJ Digital Track Chart Top 100.[13]


  1. ^ a b Cramer, Alfred W. (2009). Musicians and Composers of the 20th Century. 4. Salem Press. p. 1107. ISBN 9781587655166.
  2. ^ a b 夢を語るシーンでの衣装は越路吹雪さんご本人の私服! (in Japanese). Fuji TV. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  3. ^ Édith Piaf – La Vie En Rose / Édith Piaf Sings In English, Discogs
  4. ^ Eddie Constantine, Discogs
  5. ^ "The Billboard Music Popularity Charts: Popular Records", Billboard. June 5, 1954. p. 32. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  6. ^ "1954's Top Popular Records", Billboard. December 25, 1954. p. 17. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  7. ^ Mary Hopkin - Full Official Chart History, Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  8. ^ "Hymnes à l'amour [Broché]" (in French). Amazon.fr. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  9. ^ "Site de la ville de Garches – Les lauréats (1985–2007)" (in French). Sortir à Garches & Equipements culturels. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  10. ^ "先行デジタルシングルHymne à l'amour ~愛のアンセム~" (in Japanese). EMI. Archived from the original on October 15, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  11. ^ "Japan Billboard Adult Contemporary Airplay". Billboard. October 20, 2010. Archived from the original on October 20, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  12. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. October 20, 2010. Archived from the original on October 20, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  13. ^ "レコード協会調べ 2010年10月06日~2010年10月12日<略称:レコ協チャート(「着うたフル(R)」)>" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. October 15, 2010. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2010.

External links[edit]