Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

Soul Music, Series 13 Episode 4 of 5
Listen in pop-out player

The powerful song, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, made famous by Edith Piaf, is this week's Soul Music.

Written in 1960 by Charles Dumont, in a fit of despair, he gave the music to lyricist Michel Vaucaire, but was surprised by the words he wrote. Dumont thought the song should be about war or revolution. Vaucaire explained he wanted to give the song to Edith Piaf. She was living in Paris at the time, having recently finished her 'suicide tour' during which she had collapsed. At that time, Piaf didn't think much of Charles Dumont and tried to cancel their appointment. But on hearing the song, Piaf told Dumont that with this song, she would sing again.

Contributors include;

Charles Dumont who lives in Paris at the same apartment, with the same piano on which he wrote the song in 1960. He plays the song on the very same piano.

Lord Lamont, who became associated with the song when asked by a reporter which he regretted most - talking about the 'green shoots of recovery' or allegedly singing in the bath after the withdrawal of Britain from the Exchange Rate Mechanism. Lamont famously replied 'Je ne regrette rien.'

Christine Bovill, who tours a one-woman show about Piaf's life.

Carolyn Birke, biographer of Piaf.

Release date:

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 25 Mar 2012 13:30

To see the world differently, listen.


Immerse yourself in the emotional experiences of other voices, sounds and music.

Why Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come' became a Civil Rights anthem

Why Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come' became a Civil Rights anthem

Watch the animation - Professor Mary King describes how the song became a symbol of hope.

Craig Charles’ top 10 civil rights anthems

Craig Charles promo

6 Music's Funk and Soul presenter picks his favourite songs of freedom.

Podcasts and Downloads

Download this episode

Subscribe to this programme or download individual episodes.