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Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (I Don't Regret Anything)

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Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (I Don't Regret Anything)

On October 24, 1960, when Charles Dumont and Michel Vaucaire visited Piaf’s home at Boulevard Lannes in Paris, she received them very impolitely and unfriendly. 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. 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 waiting for Piaf’s verdict. “Will you sing it again?” asked Piaf in a sharp voice. When he was hardly halfway she interrupted him. “Formidable [Fantastic],” she burst out. “Formidable,” she repeated, “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!” “Of course, Edith, the song is yours,” said Vaucaire, delighted.

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

The composer Charles Dumont tells in the book “Edith Piaf, Opinions publiques,” by Bernard Marchois (TF1 Editions 1995), that Michel Vaucaire's original title was "Non, je ne trouverai rien" and that the song was meant for the popular French singer Rosalie Dubois. But thinking on Edith he changed the title to "Non, je ne regrette rien".

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Charles Dumont

 

Dumont's career finally took off around 1956/1957 when he started setting Francis Carco's poetry to music. Dumont also went on to team up with the talented musician Michel Vaucaire (husband of French singing star Cora Vaucaire) with whom he wrote a number of best-selling hits over the years. In short, Dumont began to make a name for himself in music circles and before long he found himself composing songs (occasionally under a pseudonym) for all the big stars of the day, including Dalida, Gloria Lasso, Luis Mariano, Tino Rossi and Lucienne Delyle.

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Michel Vaucaire & Charles Dumont

 

"Je ne regrette rien" marked the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration with Piaf which produced more than thirty 'chanson' classics including "Les Flonflons du bal" and "Mon Dieu." Piaf and Dumont's partnership moved on to a new level in 1962 when they wrote and recorded "Les Amants" together. Dumont was completely lost after Piaf's death in 1963. Later in his career he would begin composing music for films (such as Jacques Tati's "Trafic" in 1971 and the television film "Michel Vaillant" in 1967). But for the meantime, following Piaf's advice, Dumont stepped behind the microphone and launched his own singing career again.

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Charles Dumont & Edith Piaf

 

This stirring song was immortalized when Edith Piaff dedicated her 1960 recording of it to the French Foreign Legion. 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.

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Insigne du REP

 

The song’s lyrics convey a strong message of optimism. Piaf sings that she does not have any regrets and has let go of all things that happened to her – both good and bad. The message is very positive: She expresses that she’s starting new today from zero and that her life and joys start with you!

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The song was featured prominently in Olivier Dahan’s 2007 biopic, “La Vie en rose,” which starred Marion Cotillard in an astonishingly authentic, Oscar-winning performance as Piaf. The film memorably ends with Piaf passionately belting out “Non, Je ne regrette rien” like Streisand’s climactic torch number in “Funny Girl.”

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According to the Watch and Listen magazine poll Édith Piaf 1960's hit “Non, je ne regrette rien” is now considered to be the Greatest Song in the History of Music. Now the Edith has been revealed as the most popular non-classical track to be chosen by castaways on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.

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Edith Piaf - Non, Je ne regrette rien, singel

 

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, lyrics


Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
Ni le bien qu'on m'a fait
Ni le mal tout ça m'est bien égal

Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
C'est payé, balayé, oublié
Je me fous du passé

Avec mes souvenirs
J'ai allumé le feu
Mes chagrins, mes plaisirs
Je n'ai plus besoin d'eux

Balayés les amours
Avec leurs trémolos
Balayés pour toujours
Je repars à zéro

Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
Ni le bien, qu'on m'a fait
Ni le mal, tout ça m'est bien égal

Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
Car ma vie, car mes joies
Aujourd'hui, ça commence avec toi!

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Edith Piaf

 

I Don't Regret Anything (lyricstranslate.com)


No, nothing of nothing
No! I don't feel sorry about anything
Not the good things people have done to me
Not the bad things, it's all the same to me.

No, nothing of nothing
No! I don't feel sorry about anything
It's paid for, removed, forgotten,
I'm happy of the past

With my memories
I lit up the fire
My troubles, my pleasures
I don't need them anymore

Broomed away my love stories
And all their tremble
Broomed away for always
I start again from zero

Non ! Je ne regrette rien
Ni le mal, tout ça m'est bien égal !

Non ! Je ne regrette rien
Because my life, my joys
Today, they begin with you.

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