Beset by terrorist violence, the Paris of today is far different from the romantic image long associated with the city by the Seine. To recapture that aura, you will need to watch Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris (2011) or an older film that offers romance or intrigue. One such film is Under Paris Skies ("Sous le Ciel de Paris") from 1951 which features a song of the same name. In the movie, the fates of multiple otherwise unconnected characters intertwine under the sky of Paris in the course of one day.
The song was sung by Jean Bretonnière in the movie, but the more famous version is by Édith Piaf who recorded it in 1954. Other recordings were by Yves Montand, Mireille Mathieu and Juliette Greco. The song has long been a staple of French sidewalk cafes and cabarets, often accompanied by accordion.
For other French songs on my site, try "La Vie en Rose" and "The Poor People of Paris", all of them hits for Édith Piaf.
Christine Andreas's Piaf: No Regrets is so many things at once: a collection of classic songs popularized by beloved French chanteuse Édith Piaf; a marvel of interpretation and reinvention by a Tony-nominated actress, whose deliveries overflow with deep feeling and passion; a dramatic demonstration of what made Piaf such a singular artist and cultural force; and a perfect pairing of singer and subject matter. Backed by a 32-piece orchestra, Andreas gives us "the most thrilling rendition of 'La Vie en rose' this side of Piaf," (The New York Times) along with such signature tunes as "Hymne à l'amour," "Autumn Leaves" and "Non, je ne regrette rien," sung in both French and English, in a program drawn from her hit one-woman show. Andreas's "ravishing, semi-operatic voice, with its rapid vibrato, metallic edge...[and] snapping emotional electricity, has made her a potent interpreter of Piaf" (The New York Times) and the perfect guide to rediscovering the true brilliance of one of the 20th century's great artists.