Back Cover

Complement to the Compact Disc:
Chansons sous l’Occupation :
French Songs of WWII
Born December 19, 1915 in Paris and deceased October 11, 1963, Édith Piaf, one of the most popular French singers of the 1940s and ’50s, is internationally famous for her husky, mournful voice and her songs of loneliness and despair. Her diminutive size, tossed auburn hair and signature gestures created the mood of doomed love, nostalgia and regret which earned her the nickname la môme Piaf [môme = kid or waif; piaf, slang for sparrow].

Piaf writes that she was born on the street outside her parents’ home at 72, rue de Belleville, as two gendarmes “took charge and handled the situation very capably.”[1] The birth was recorded in the Hôpital Tenan of that crowded, working-class neighborhood of the 20th arrondissement. Piaf's childhood was marked by poverty and illness, and her mother left shortly after her birth. Her father, a circus performer and acrobat, sent her to live with one grandmother and then the other, but by the age of seven she joined him in performing on street corners. This led to her formal career. [...]
[1] Édith Piaf, The Wheel of Fortune: The official auto-biography, with an introduction by Jean Cocteau, translated from the French Au Bal de la chance (London, Peter Owen Ltd., 1969) 48.
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Anna Marly (October 30, 1917–February 15, 2006), French singer and songwriter, composed over 300 songs, but is best remembered as composer of the music of Le Chant des Partisans, the protest song used as the anthem for resistants in both France and Great Britain during World War II.

Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie, code name Bernard and head of the Liberation movement in southern France, heard Marly sing Le Chant des Partisans in Russian when he visited London in 1943. He asked the writers Joseph Kessel and Maurice Druon (see page 19), who had travelled with him, to translate the song into French. D’Astier was searching for a replacement for France’s anthem, La Marseillaise, which had been banned by the Nazi party. Anna Marly would sing and whistle Le Chant des Partisans on BBC radio. Her crisp, clear whistling pierced the static caused by Nazi jamming.

Anna Marly was named Chevalier de La Légion d'honneur by François Mittérrand in 1985, the fortieth anniversary of the liberation of France.
Beach Lloyd Publishers, LLC. Softcover, 5.5 x 8.5 ins., 52pp.,
ISBN 978-0-9819417-5-2
Complement to the Compact Disc: Chansons sous l’Occupation : French Songs of WWII $16.95

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