Culture, Education, France, History, Music, Tourism, Travel

72 Rue de Belleville, Paris: Edith Piaf’s Birthplace

“On the front steps of this house was born
on December 19, 1915 in stark poverty
EDITH PIAF
whose voice, later, would awe the world”

On this doorstep, over a hundred years ago on December 19, 1915, the celebrated singer Edith Piaf was born into the arms of a policeman who swaddled her in his raincoat and handed the newborn back to her mother. Or so the legend goes, one that was maintained by Piaf herself… Her birth certificate attests that she was born in Hôpital Tenon, a more plausible if less romantic story.

We were fortunate to be able to step into the building…

… and walk down this hallway…

… which leads to this courtyard.

Although she would, in her short life, rise to the heights of celebrity and become wealthy in her own right, this neighbourhood is where it all began. Her music, which rang with the melancholy of poverty, loss, and despair, was the echo of the poorer parts of the Paris of her time. The neighbourhood unfortunately still remains seedy and unkempt, and this landmark stands broadly neglected, and even desecrated by the graffiti of local vandals.

Despite her humble origins and the tragic events of her life, La Môme kept singing, and taught the world to see la vie en rose

1 thought on “72 Rue de Belleville, Paris: Edith Piaf’s Birthplace

  1. […] Dying of liver cancer at the age of 47, chanteuse and national icon EDITH PIAF’s grave is one of the most visited in the cemetery. Her funeral ceremony drew more than 100,000 fans. Her headstone carries her married name Madame Lamboukas.Follow this link to see where Edith Piaf was born (blog post and video): 72 Rue de Belleville, Paris: Edith Piaf’s Birthplace  […]

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