»  Edith Piaf's rendering of  "Non, je ne regrette rien"

 

Non, je ne regrette rien

written by Charles Dumont, 1929-

sung by Edith Piaf, 1915-1963

 

•  Background

Edith Piaf was a French pop-music sensation of the 1940s and 1950s. Her fame became international: She appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show several times.

I have never been able to believe that Piaf's life was quite as dramatically bohemian as her publicity material described it. Nostalgie de la boue is, after all, a very French expression.

That life undoubtedly had its ups and downs, though. Since this can be said of almost any life, the desire to see oneself as the heroic bloody-but-unbowed survivor of fate's cruel assaults is one that stirs in most of us from time to time. When it stirs, here is Edith Piaf to validate it.


•  Notes

"je me fous" — A slightly less crude version of the commonplace "je m'en fous" — "I don't give a damn."

"trémolos" — just the same meaning as English "tremolos" — rapid variations of musical pitch. For one of those mysterious culturo-linguistic reasons, the metaphor works in French, but not in English.

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•  Play the reading

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•  Lyrics of the song

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.
Balayées les amours, avec leurs trémolos
Balayées 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.

•  English translation

No, nothing at all,
No, I don't regret anything at all:
Neither the good that was given me,
Nor the evil. They're all the same to me.

No, nothing at all,
No, I don't regret anything at all
It's all paid for, wiped out, forgotten,
And I don't care for what's gone by.

With my memories I've lit a fire.
My sorrows, my pleasures, I don't need them any more.
My romances wiped out with their turbulence.
Wiped out forever, I start again from nothing.

No, nothing at all,
No, I don't regret anything at all.
Neither the good that was given me,
Nor the evil. They're all the same to me.

No, nothing at all,
No, I don't regret anything at all
Because my life, because my joys —
Today, begin with you.