Non, je ne regrette rien

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"Non, je ne regrette rien"
Song by Édith Piaf
LanguageFrench
Released1960
Composer(s)Charles Dumont
Lyricist(s)Michel Vaucaire

"Non, je ne regrette rien" (French pronunciation: ​[nɔ̃ ʒə nə ʁəɡʁɛt ʁjɛ̃], meaning "No, I do not regret anything") is a French song composed by Charles Dumont, with lyrics by Michel Vaucaire. It was written in 1956, and is best known through Édith Piaf's 1960 recording, which spent seven weeks atop the French Singles & Airplay Reviews chart.[1]

Background[edit]

The composer Charles Dumont tells in the book Édith Piaf, Opinions publiques, by Bernard Marchois (TF1 Editions 1995), that Michel Vaucaire's original title was "Non, je ne trouverai rien" (No, I will not find anything) and that the song was meant for the popular French singer Rosalie Dubois. But, thinking of Édith, he changed the title to "Non, je ne regrette rien" (No, I Regret Nothing).

According to journalist Jean Noli, in his book Édith (Éditions Stock 1973), when Charles Dumont and Michel Vaucaire visited Piaf's home at Boulevard Lannes in Paris, on 24 October 1960, she received them in a very impolite and unfriendly manner. Dumont had several times tried to offer Piaf his compositions, but she disliked them and had refused them – the standard was too low, according to her. On that day she was furious that her housekeeper Danielle had arranged a meeting with the two men without informing her. So she let them wait an hour in her living room before she appeared. "As you can see I am extremely tired", she said to them, very irritated. "Hurry up, only one song! Quick to the piano, go ahead!" she commanded. Nervous and perspiring, Dumont sang the song in a low voice. When he finished there was a big silence, as they waited for Piaf's verdict. "Will you sing it again?" asked Piaf in a sharp voice. When he was hardly halfway through, she interrupted him. "Formidable! [Fantastic!]" she exclaimed. "Formidable. This is the song I have been waiting for. It will be my biggest success! I want it for my coming performance at L'Olympia!" Vaucaire, delighted, replied, "Of course, Édith, the song is yours".

Piaf dedicated her recording of the song to the French Foreign Legion.[2] At the time of the recording, France was engaged in a military conflict, the Algerian War (1954–1962), and the 1st REP (1st Foreign Parachute Regiment)—which backed the failed 1961 putsch against president Charles de Gaulle and the civilian leadership of Algeria—adopted the song when their resistance was broken. The leadership of the Regiment was arrested and tried but the non-commissioned officers, corporals and Legionnaires were assigned to other Foreign Legion formations. They left the barracks singing the song, which has now become part of the French Foreign Legion heritage and is sung when they are on parade.[3]

Other recordings[edit]

The song has been recorded by other performers, including:

Other languages[edit]

  • "Nej, jag ångrar ingenting" (Swedish) by Anita Lindblom in 1961
  • "Ne oplakujem" (Croatian) by Tereza Kesovija in 1962
  • "Ne oplakujem" (Croatian) by Ana Štefok in 1964
  • "Ne, ne žalim ni za čim" (Serbian) by Lola Novaković in 1964
  • "Nej, jag ångrar ingenting" (Swedish) by Gun Sjöberg in 1966
  • "Nelituj" (Czech) by Světlana Nálepková in 2005
  • "Ne, ni mi žal" (Slovenian) by Aleš Polajnar in 2014
  • "No dico no" (Italian) by Dalida
  • "No me puedo quejar" (Spanish) by Dalida
  • "Nah de Nah" (Spanish) by Javiera Mena
  • "Nem, nem bánok semmit sem" (Hungarian) by Vári Éva
  • Elvina Makarian (Armenian Legendary Jazz Singer).

In popular culture[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for "Non, je ne regrette rien"
Chart (1960–2012) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[10] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[11] 1
France (IFOP)[12] 1
Italy (AFI)[13] 8
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[14] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 5

References[edit]

  1. ^ Archives on "InfoDisc" site. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  2. ^ Cooke, James J. (1990). "Alexander Harrison, Challenging de Gaulle: The O.A.S. and the Counterrevolution in Algeria, 1954–1962". The International Journal of African Historical Studies. Boston: Boston University African Studies Center.
  3. ^ While the officers were interned, they sang a variant of the song using lyrics relevant to their situation, which was recorded and is now available on YouTube. Video on YouTube
  4. ^ Johnston, Philip (16 March 2004). "It ain't over till the Home Secretary sings". The Daily Telegraph.
  5. ^ McWilliams, Ed (28 February 2002). "Princen sided with people" (Letter from Ed McWilliams, former US foreign Service Officer). The Jakarta Post.
  6. ^ "Hans Zimmer Explains the Intersection Between Edith Piaf and the Inception Score – /Film". Slashfilm. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  7. ^ Hern, Alex (31 December 2017). "Tesla founder mines rich marketing seam by selling Boring hats". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Hat — The Boring Company". The Boring Company. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  9. ^ Heldenfels, Rich (8 October 2020). "TV Mailbag: What's the song in the Allstate commercial?". Akron Beacon Journal.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Toutes les Chansons No. 1 des Années 60" (in French). Institut français d'opinion publique. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Tutti i successi del 1961" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  15. ^ "Édith Piaf – 26 Top 50" (in French). Chartsventes. 7 June 2016. Archived from the original on 25 March 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2021.

External links[edit]