Edith Gassion better known as Edith Piaf was born to a contortionist and a street singer in 1915 died in 1963 as an icon of France.
Saint or prostitute? Some call this names society archetypes some other stereotypes nevertheless Piaff was identified with both because of her gut-wrenching voice and because of her life vicissitudes.
Untrained singer she began her career as an interpreter of la chanson realiste, stories about the downtrodden, the life of the working class, which in 1933 counted 1.3 million of unemployed.
“ah! le petit vin blanc“
with the Second World War and France occupied by Nazi forces her style changed: no more songs about the hardship of real life but music aimed at inspire the imagination to rise beyond constraints. At first Nazi prohibited all forms of entertainment but after a while to maintain an air of normality cinemas, cabaret and radio stations were allowed to reopen under the supervision of the Propaganda Staffel (censor). Her career proceeded relatively undisturbed even if Edith was ordered by the Nazi to take out of her repertoire 3 songs (Le Fanion, Mon Legionnaire, L’Accordnoiste) for their references to the French Army and because one of them was written by a Jew.
In a Paris swept by Nazi raids against Jewish population, Edith Piaff herself after starring in the movie Monmartre sur Seine with Jewish artists, became for Pro-Nazi the personification of nonaryaness.
One of her most famous song is la vie en rose written for celebrating the end of the war and the freedom found again in France.