Music: Paris Sparrow

Like everything else in Paris, the Club des Cinq, at the foot of Montmartre, was down at heel. The decor—very modern—was shabby; the champagne—very expensive—was poor. The worn-looking, faded singer who came on half an hour after midnight matched the setting well. She had frizzled brown hair, a little black dress and cork-soled shoes. She was called La Piaf (Parisian argot for sparrow).

The Sparrow's voice, low and husky, was in character too. After she had sung, with a weary little smile, Un monsieur me suit dans la rue ("A gentleman follows me down...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!