Hymne à l'amour

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"Hymne à l'amour"
Cover of a 1956 vinyl single featuring Hymne à l'amour as the B-side
Single by Édith Piaf
LabelLes Industries Musicales Et Electriques Pathé Marconi
Songwriter(s)Édith Piaf (Original lyrics)
Geoffrey Parsons (English lyrics)
Marguerite Monnot (music)
Audio sample
Édith Piaf, 1950 (20 seconds)

"Hymne à l'amour" (French pronunciation: ​[imn a lamuʁ]; French for "Hymn to Love") is a popular French song originally performed by Édith Piaf.

Édith Piaf[edit]

The lyrics were written by Piaf and the music by Marguerite Monnot. It was written to her lover and the love of her life, the French boxer, Marcel Cerdan.[1] On October 28, 1949, Cerdan was killed in the crash of Air France Flight 009 on his way from Paris to New York to come to see her. She recorded the song on May 2, 1950.[1]

English versions[edit]

"Hymne à l'amour" was translated into English by Piaf's protégé Eddie Constantine as "Hymn to Love", which was recorded by Piaf on her album La Vie En Rose / Édith Piaf Sings In English (1956).[2] This version was featured on Cyndi Lauper's 2003 album At Last.[3]

It was also adapted into English as "If You Love Me (Really Love Me)" with lyrics by Geoffrey Parsons. Kay Starr brought fame to this version in 1954, with her version reaching No. 4 on Billboard's charts of Best Sellers in Stores and Most Played by Jockeys.[4] Starr's version was ranked No. 20 on Billboard's ranking of 1954's Most Popular Records According to Retail Sales and No. 20 on Billboard's ranking of 1954's Most Popular Records According to Disk Jockey Plays.[5]

Mary Hopkin released a version of "If You Love Me (Really Love Me)" in 1976, which reached No. 32 on the UK Singles Chart.[6]

Japanese versions[edit]

"Hymne à l'amour" was adapted into Japanese in 1951 as "Love Hymn" (愛の讃歌, Ai no Sanka), by singer Fubuki Koshiji, featuring lyrics by Tokiko Iwatani. The song became one of her signature songs, amassing around 2,000,000 copies sold of various singles featuring this song.[7] "Love Hymn" was covered by Keiko Masuda in her 2014 covers album Ai Shōka (愛唱歌, Love Songs).[8][9]

"Hymne à l'amour" was covered by Japanese singer-songwriter Utada Hikaru in 2010, under the name "Hymne à l'amour" (愛のアンセム, Ai no Ansemu).[10] The title is unique to Utada's version, as most Japanese renditions have the same title as Fubuki Koshiji's 1951 cover, "Love Hymn" (愛の讃歌, Ai no Sanka).[7] Utada's version reached No. 5 on Billboard Adult Contemporary Airplay,[11] No. 7 on Billboard Japan Hot 100,[12] and No. 19 on RIAJ Digital Track Chart Top 100.[13]

Singer-actress Atsuko Maeda performed the Japanese version of the song in the 2019 film To the Ends of the Earth. The lyrics also give the film its title.[14]

In literature[edit]

The song is a central plot point to Anne Wiazemsky's 1996 autobiographical novel Hymnes à l'amour,[15] which won the Prix Maurice Genevoix that year.[16]


  1. ^ a b Cramer, Alfred W. (2009). Musicians and Composers of the 20th Century. 4. Salem Press. p. 1107. ISBN 9781587655166.
  2. ^ Édith PiafLa Vie En Rose / Édith Piaf Sings In English, Discogs
  3. ^ Eddie Constantine, Discogs
  4. ^ "The Billboard Music Popularity Charts: Popular Records", Billboard. June 5, 1954. p. 32. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  5. ^ "1954's Top Popular Records", Billboard. December 25, 1954. p. 17. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Mary Hopkin – Full Official Chart History, Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  7. ^ a b 夢を語るシーンでの衣装は越路吹雪さんご本人の私服! (in Japanese). Fuji TV. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  8. ^ "★6年ぶりのオリジナル・アルバム『愛唱歌』本日12/10発売! オリジナルの大内義昭とデュエットしたミリオン・セラー・ソングのカバー「愛が生まれた日」のビデオ公開!". Warner Music Japan. 2014-12-10. Retrieved 2020-03-22.
  9. ^ "「愛唱歌」発売記念イベント・レポート". Kei-Office. 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2020-03-22.
  10. ^ "先行デジタルシングルHymne à l'amour ~愛のアンセム~" (in Japanese). EMI. Archived from the original on October 15, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  11. ^ "Japan Billboard Adult Contemporary Airplay". Billboard. October 20, 2010. Archived from the original on October 20, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  12. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. October 20, 2010. Archived from the original on October 20, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  13. ^ "レコード協会調べ 2010年10月06日~2010年10月12日<略称:レコ協チャート(「着うたフル(R)」)>" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. October 15, 2010. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  14. ^ To the Ends of the Earth - Review, The Guardian
  15. ^ Hymnes à l'amour [Broché] (in French). ASIN 2070743012.
  16. ^ "Site de la ville de Garches – Les lauréats (1985–2007)" (in French). Sortir à Garches & Equipements culturels. Retrieved November 10, 2010.

External links[edit]