Je vois la vie en rose: the story of the song

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When we saw this amazing sunset over the city of Paris (see photo below), we could have sung: “Je vois la vie en rose!” (or should we say: “Je vois Paris en rose!”). Here are a little story and the lyrics of a song that has become some kind of an anthem for anything ‘French’ to the world.


Paris in Pink!

A photo we took while staying in Paris: a beautiful pink sunset above the Eiffel Tower:


About the song

La Vie en rose” is arguably one of these French songs that have met international recognition. It was written in 1945 by French singer Édith Piaf (19 December 1915 – 11 October 1963) and released as a single in 1947.

The literal translation of the song’s title is “Life in Pink” but can translated as “Life in Rosy Hues” or “Life through Rose-coloured glasses“. If the lyrics were written by Édith Piaf, the melody was composed by Marguerite Monnot and Louis Guglielmi aka Louiguy.

Édith Piaf had initially written “les choses en rose” (“Things in pink”) before Marianne Michel modified it to “la vie en rose”. Part of the success of the song is due to the lyrics which, in the aftermath of WW2, talked directly to the heart of those who had suffer from the war.

Many cover versions of “La Vie en rose” have been sung by show-biz celebrities: Andrea Bocelli, Audrey Hepburn, Bing Crosby, Carla Bruni, Céline Dion, Dalida, Dean Martin, Diana Krall, Grace Jones, Josephine Baker, Julio Iglesias, Katherine Jenkins, Liza Minelli, Louis Armstrong, Luciano Pavarotti, Madeleine Peyroux, Shirley Bassey, Tony Martin, Yves Montand…


The French lyrics of “La Vie en Rose”

Des yeux qui font baisser les miens
Un rire qui se perd sur sa bouche
Voilà le portrait sans retouche
De l’homme auquel j’appartiens

Quand il me prend dans ses bras
Il me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose
Il me dit des mots d’amour
Des mots de tous les jours
Et ça me fait quelque chose

Il est entré dans mon coeur
Une part de bonheur
Dont je connais la cause
C’est lui pour moi, moi pour lui dans la vie
Il me l’a dit, l’a juré pour la vie
Et dès que je l’aperçois
Alors je sens en moi
Mon coeur qui bat

Des nuits d’amour à plus finir
Un grand bonheur qui prend sa place
Les ennuis, les chagrins s’effacent
Heureux, heureux à en mourir

Quand il me prend dans ses bras
Il me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose
Il me dit des mots d’amour
Des mots de tous les jours
Et ça me fait quelque chose
Il est entré dans mon coeur
Une part de bonheur
Dont je connais la cause
C’est toi pour moi, moi pour lui dans la vie
Il me l’a dit, l’a juré pour la vie

Et dès que je l’aperçois
Alors je sens en moi
Mon coeur qui bat


The English Translation: Under the Parisian Sky

With eyes which make mine lower,
A smile which is lost on his lips,
That’s the unembellished portrait
Of the man to whom I belong.

When he takes me in his arms
He speaks to me in a low voice,
I see life as if it were rose-tinted.
He whispers words to declare to me his love
Words of the everyday
And that does something to me.

He has entered into my heart
A piece of happiness
the cause of which I know full well.
It’s him for me, me for him in life
He said that to me, swore to me “forever”.
And as soon as I see him
So I feel in me
My heart which beats

May the nights on which we make love never end,
A great joy which takes its place
The trouble, the grief are removed
Content, content to die of it

When he takes me in his arms
He speaks to me in a very low voice,
I see life as if it were rose-tinted.
He whispers words to declare to me his love
Words of the everyday
And that does something to me.

He has entered into my heart
A piece of happiness
the cause of which I recognise.
It’s him for me, me for him in life
He said that to me, swore to me forever.

And as soon as I see him
So do I feel in me
My heart which beats

English Translation: find out more on lyricstranslate.


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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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