Edith Piaf’s ‘Non, Je ne regrette rien’ is most popular Desert Island Discs song
London: The song ‘Non, Je ne regrette rien’ sung by late French singer Edith Piaf has been chosen as the most popular non-classical track by castaways on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
Piaf’s chart-topping song ‘Non, Je ne regrette rien’, which translates as ‘No, I’m not sorry for anything’, dates back to 1960, three years before her death.
It has been chosen over the years by figures such as former Tory minister Baron St John of Fawsley and poet Pam Ayres.
The selection comes after the BBC for the first time put together a list of the most frequently picked songs, dating back to the show’s birth in 1942.
The song has been selected on 42 occasions, while Piaf’s songs have been featured 106 times during the past 59 years.
Piaf, who was known as “the little sparrow”, also ranked at number four on the list with another of her hits, ‘La Vie En Rose’.
Second on the list is Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’, which is another valedictory classic, and third is the Noel Coward track ‘Mad Dogs And Englishmen’.
Also in the top ten were Flanagan and Allen’s hit ‘Underneath the Arches’, Judy Garland’s ‘Over The Rainbow’, and ‘What A Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong.
The most popular single piece selected over the years, once classical music is included, has been Beethoven’s Symphony Number 9 in D Minor. Four of the top eight Desert Island Discs are by Beethoven.
Regular host Kirsty Young will present a 90-minute special to be broadcast next month, which will feature some of the public’s selections.
“Every castaway is unique, but the one thing they all say to me is how difficult it is to choose their eight discs,” the Daily Mail quoted Young as saying.
“Now the nation has a chance to share in the agony and ecstasy of making their very own selection,” she added.