“Édith Piaf – La Foule/The Crowd (English Lyrics, Paroles Français)” 

24 Feb

“La Foule” (French pronunciation: ​[la ful]; “The Crowd”) is a song sung by famed French singer Édith Piaf, released in 1957. The song was composed by Ángel Cabral with lyrics written by Michel Rivgauche.

The song “Que nadie sepa mi sufrir” (“Let no one know my suffering”), was composed in 1936 by Ángel Cabral, with (Spanish) lyrics by Enrique Dizeo, both of Argentine origin. It was a Peruvian Vals, which, in the period between the 1930s and 1950s, was a very popular musical genre in Spanish-speaking America. The song became a regional hit.

Almost twenty years later, during a Latin American concert tour,[1] Edith Piaf heard it from the 1953 recording by Alberto Castillo. Piaf recorded a French language version, with lyrics by Michel Rivgauche, which became a hit itself. Subsequently, the original song was a hit once more, under the title “Amor de mis amores” (“Love of my loves”), the first verse of the chorus in the Spanish version.[2]

The rhythm respects the 3/4 of the regular Waltz, but, as a Peruvian Waltz, requires a light step and a much faster tempo.

Michel Rivgauche’s lyrics relate the chance meeting between the singer and a man in the middle of a dense and festive crowd. It’s love at first sight, at least from the singer’s part, who thanks the crowd for giving her this man. But, just as quickly as it brought them together, the crowd separates them and she never sees him again. “The crowd appears as a sort of demiurge (creator), like destiny, playing with the human beings who are helpless against the vagaries of chance.”[2]

Other versions
French jazz singer Raquel Bitton performed the song as part of her Piaf tribute show “Piaf: Her Story, Her Songs” Israeli singer Hava Alberstein recorded the song with Hebrew lyrics, written specially to the music (called “Smiles”; חיוכים in Hebrew), which became very famous

Canadian-American Martha Wainwright (daughter of folk singers Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, sister of Rufus Wainwright) covered it on her 2009 Piaf tribute album, Sans Fulils, Ni Souliers, à Paris

Québec blues/folk singer Bernard Adamus created a stylized version on his 2009 Album Brun

Los Lobos includes a version on their 1988 album La Pistola y El Corazón

Chico and the Gypsies (led by former Gypsy Kings member Chico Bouchikhi) recorded the song under the title “Amor de Mis Amores” on their 2013 album Fiesta

French Chanteuse Mireille Mathieu covered it (as well as other Piaf classics) on her 2012 tribute album Mireille Mathieu chante Piaf

French pop singer Patricia Kaas revisited it on the 2012 album KAAS chante Piaf – deux vois, deux destin, un hommage

Classical Guitarist Jean-Félix Lalanne performed it as a duo with Agnès Jaoui on the 2013 album Une Guitare

Classical composer and guitarist Roland Dyens made an performed and arrangement for classical guitar in his Chansons francaise album.

Margarita recorded a Cumbia version very popular in Latin America under the same title as the version by Chico and the Gypsies – “Que nadie sepa mi sufrir (Amor de mes amores)”

Puerto Rican musician José Feliciano covered “Que nadie sepa mi sufrir” with Mexican singer Alicia Villareal on his album José Feliciano y Amigos (2006). This version peaked at #27 on the Latin Pop Airplay chart[3]

British singer Izzy Bizu recorded a cover version with the BBC Concert Orchestra, which was used as the opening theme to the BBC’s coverage of UEFA Euro 2016[4]


Suffoquant sous le soleil et sous la joie

Et j’entends dans la musique les cris, les rires

Qui éclatent et rebondissent autour de moi

Et perdue parmi ces gens qui me bousculent

Étourdie, désemparée, je reste là

Quand soudain, je me retourne, il se recule,

Et la foule vient me jeter entre ses bras…

Emportés par la foule qui nous traîne

Nous entraîne

Écrasés l’un contre l’autre

Nous ne formons qu’un seul corps

Et le flot sans effort

Nous pousse, enchaînés l’un et l’autre

Et nous laisse tous deux

Épanouis, enivrés et heureux.

Entraînés par la foule qui s’élance

Et qui danse

Une folle farandole

Nos deux mains restent soudées

Et parfois soulevés

Nos deux corps enlacés s’envolent

Et retombent tous deux

Épanouis, enivrés et heureux…

Et la joie éclaboussée par son sourire

Me transperce et rejaillit au fond de moi

Mais soudain je pousse un cri parmi les rires

Quand la foule vient l’arracher d’entre mes bras…

Emportés par la foule qui nous traîne

Nous entraîne

Nous éloigne l’un de l’autre

Je lutte et je me débats

Mais le son de sa voix

S’étouffe dans les rires des autres

Et je crie de douleur, de fureur et de rage

Et je pleure…

Entraînée par la foule qui s’élance

Et qui danse

Une folle farandole

Je suis emportée au loin

Et je crispe mes poings, maudissant la foule qui me vole

L’homme qu’elle m’avait donné

Et que je n’ai jamais retrouvé…

English translation

I see a city in celebration and frenzy
Choking under sun and joy

And in the music I hear screams, laughter

Bursting and bouncing around me.

And lost in the crowd which jostles me

Dizzy, distressed, I stay there.

When suddenly, I turn around, he moves back,

And the crowd pushes me into his arms…

Carried away by the crowd which 

Drags us along

Crushed one against the other

We form one body

And we are effortlessly pushed by the flow,

Linked one to the other

And it leaves us together

Radiant, tipsy and happy.

Driven by the rushing crowd 

Who dances

A mad farandole

Our two hands remain held together

And raised sometimes

Our two hugging bodies soar

And fall back, the two of us

Jubilant, tipsy and happy.

And the joy splashed by his smile 

Pierces me to my core.

But suddenly I utter a scream among the laughter

When the crowd tears him from my arms…

Carried away by the crowd which drags us along

and moves us apart

One from the other

I fight and I struggle

But the sound of his voice

Is drowned in laughter of others

And I cry out in pain, fury and rage

And I cry…

Carried along by the rushing crowd 

Who dances

A mad farandole

I am carried far away

And I clench my fists, cursing the crowd which 

steals from me

The man that it had given to me

And whom I never found again


Posted by on February 24, 2017 in FRENCH FRIDAYS



3 responses to “ “Édith Piaf – La Foule/The Crowd (English Lyrics, Paroles Français)” 

  1. koolkosherkitchen

    February 24, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Thank you for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. America On Coffee

    February 24, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    You are so welcome!! Hugs!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. koolkosherkitchen

    February 24, 2017 at 2:23 pm


    Liked by 1 person


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