We visited the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris on November 11, which is still known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in Europe. It's a day in which not only the war dead, but all who have passed are remembered. Of all graves of the famous buried there, including Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Moliere, Chopin, and Sarah Bernhardt, none seemed to be as genuinely missed or as flower bedecked as Edith Piaf‘s. Piaf was the great French cabaret singer, who led a very hard and controversial life. She was active in Paris during the German occupation, singing in cabarets and brothels which were reserved only for German officers and collaborating French. After the war, she was reviled by many, but her reputation was revived when it turned out she was surreptitiously working to provide false ID photos which allowed many French prisoners to escape German captivity.
One of her songs was featured in the film Saving Private Ryan, which, I'm sure, is the first most Americans of our generation had heard of her. I don't remember when I first heard her, but I think it was in college. Her voice is unforgettable. Not only for me, but it seems for the French who crowd around and decorate her grave.
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2 thoughts on “Edith Piaf’s Grave, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris”
Tom and Kris, She sounds like a fascinating lady. I’ll have to look her up! I, too, love exploring cemeteries.
Corinne, she was indeed fascinating, and probably tragic. I read some about her, but I prefer to just listen to her music. It says a lot, even if my French is terrible. We were so taken by the outpouring of flowers on her grave. No other grave we saw had so many. And she’s been dead for 50 years.