La Foule

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"La Foule" (French pronunciation: ​[la ful]; "The Crowd") is a song sung by famed French singer Édith Piaf, released in 1957. The song was composed by Ángel Cabral [es] with lyrics written by Michel Rivgauche [fr].


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 line of the chorus in the Spanish version.[2]


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


Michel Rivgauche's lyrics relate the chance meeting between the female singer and a man in the middle of a dense and festive crowd. It is love at first sight, at least on the singer's part, who thanks the crowd for giving her this man. Yet just as quickly as it brought them together, the crowd separates them and she never sees him again. "The crowd acts 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"
  • 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 singers Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, sister of Rufus Wainwright) covered it on her 2009 Piaf tribute album, Sans Fulils, Ni Souliers, à Paris
  • Quebec 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 Corazón
  • Chico and the Gypsies (led by former Gypsy Kings member Chico Bouchikhi) 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
  • Classical composer and guitarist Roland Dyens made an performed and arrangement for classical guitar in his Chansons francaise album.
  • La Sonora Dinamita featuring singer Margarita recorded a Cumbia version very popular in Latin America under the same title as the version by Chico and the Gypsies - "Que nadie sepa mi sufrir (Amor de mis amores)"
  • Puerto Rican musician José Feliciano covered "Que nadie sepa mi sufrir" with Mexican singer Alicia Villareal on his album José Feliciano y Amigos (2006). This version peaked at #27 on the Latin Pop Airplay chart[3]
  • British singer Izzy Bizu recorded a cover version with the BBC Concert Orchestra, which was used as the opening theme to the BBC's coverage of UEFA Euro 2016[4]


  1. ^ Edith Piaf Archived 2011-02-07 at the Wayback Machine RFI (in French)
  2. ^ a b "Histoire de la chanson française et francophone", Ariela Sillam and Isabelle Taillandier (in French) Archived December 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "José Feliciano – Awards". Allmusic. Rovi. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Euro 2016 BBC theme tune: Izzy Bizu performs Edith Piath's La Foule". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 3 June 2016.

External links[edit]