Song: The Three Bells / La Vie en Rose
Artist: Édith Piaf with Robert Chauvigny and his Orchestra
Record Label: Columbia Records 38948
Originally this song was written in French by Jean Villard Gilles as “Les trois cloches”. The three bells mentioned in the song stand for the three stages in life: birth, marriage, and death.
Piaf had enormous success singing this song with Les Compagnons de la chanson, their crystal clear harmonies resonating with the conservatism throughout post–war France.
Bert Reisfeld adapted the song into English, literally translating the title as “The Three Bells”. Jean-François Nicot became Jimmy Brown.
The English version was covered by The Browns in 1959 and reached number one on Billboard pop and country charts. It has also been covered by the Andrews Sisters, Johnny Cash, and Andy Williams.