C'est si bon

"C'est si bon" is a French popular song composed in 1947 by Henri Betti with the lyrics by André Hornez. The English lyrics were written in 1949 by Jerry Seelen. The song is also adapted in several languages.

"C'est Si Bon"
Single by Johnny Desmond
B-side"If You Could Care"
ReleasedJanuary 1950
Format78rpm
RecordedNew York
GenreFoxtrot
Length3:00
LabelMGM Records 10613
Songwriter(s)Henri Betti (music), André Hornez (French lyrics), Jerry Seelen (English lyrics)

History

It was while watching the showcase of a women's lingerie shop under the arcades of the avenue Jean Médecin in Nice in July 1947 that the first nine musical notes of the song come into the head of Henri Betti. He wrote the notes in a sheet of music paper to be able to recall them to play on the piano. Once home, he composed the melody in less than ten minutes. He then made an appointment with the lyricist André Hornez at the Hôtel Powers in Paris in order to find a title for the song. The lyricist said that the title should be three syllables, sung to the first three notes of the song. The next day the lyricist showed Henri Betti a list of ten three-syllable titles, the last of which was C'est si Bon. Henri Betti told him that it was the one he wanted, but André Hornez replied that he did not agree because there had been a song by Charles Trenet named C'est Bon (1942) a few years previous. Henri Betti told him that si makes all the difference. The song was registered at the SACEM on 18 August 1947.[1]

Before finding a professional singer for the song, Henri Betti sang the song himself at the restaurant La Réserve in Nice. He first proposed the song to Yves Montand together with Mais qu'est-ce que j'ai ? which he had just composed (with lyrics by Édith Piaf). On 9 October 1947, at the Théâtre de l'Étoile, Yves Montand sang Mais qu'est-ce que j'ai ? but did not sing C'est si Bon, preferring to wait a few weeks to sing it on stage or on the radio.

Recordings

On 5 January 1948, Bernard Hilda recorded the song with his orchestra. On the other side of the disk, he records another song composed by Henri Betti the same year : Mais qu'est-ce que j'ai ? (lyrics by Édith Piaf).

On 18 January 1948, Jean Marco performed the song with Jacques Hélian and his Orchestra for the radio station Programme Parisien of the French Broadcasting.

On 26 February 1948, Lucien Jeunesse recorded the song with Émile Prud'homme and his Orchestra.

On 5 May 1948, the Étienne Sisters recorded the song with Raymond Legrand and his Orchestra and this version became a hit. In 1968, they recorded it again with Raymond Legrand and his Orchestra.

On 7 May 1948, Yves Montand recorded the song with Bob Castella and his Orchestra. In 1964, he recorded the song again but with Hubert Rostaing and his Orchestra for his album Le Paris de...

On 30 March 1950, Jean Sablon recorded the French version of the song in London with Woolf Phillips and his Orchestra. On 23 November of the same year, he recorded the English version in Buenos Aires with Emil Stern and his Orchestra.

In May 1950, the publisher proposed the song to Suzy Delair to sing it with Aimé Barelli and his Orchestra at the Monte Carlo Casino. During the rehearsals, Louis Armstrong is present in the room and enjoys the song. On 26 June, he recorded the American version of the song with Sy Oliver and his Orchestra in New York City. When it was released, the album was a worldwide success and the song was then performed by the greatest international singers and used in film and television.

In 1951, Dolores Gray sang the song in English in the short film Holiday in Paris: Paris.

In 1953, Eartha Kitt recorded the song in French with Henri René and his Orchestra for her album That Bad Eartha. A year later, she sang the song in New Faces.

In 1954, Eddie Constantine recorded the song in French with Herman Garst and his Orchestra.

In 1957, Nat King Cole sang the song in English with Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra in The Nat King Cole Show.

In 1958, Caterina Valente recorded the song in English with Kurt Edelhagen and his Orchestra for her album A Toast To The Girls.

In 1962, Dean Martin recorded the song in English with the musical arrangements of Neal Hefti for his album French Style where he sings several popular French songs.

In 1966, Barbra Streisand recorded the song in English with the musical arrangements of Michel Legrand (son of Raymond Legrand) for her album Color Me Barbra which is promoted in a color TV show on CBS on 30 March 1966.

In 1976, Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band recorded the song (entitled "Se Si Bon") as a medley with "Cherchez La Femme," becoming an international Top 40 pop and Adult Contemporary hit.

In 1978, Madleen Kane and Rhoda Scott recorded a disco version of the song in bilingual.

In 1992, Take 6 recorded an a cappella version of the song in bilingual for an advertisement on a toilet water by Yves Saint Laurent.

In 1993, Abbey Lincoln recorded the song in French accompanied by Hank Jones on piano for her album When There Is Love.

In 2003, Lisa Ono recorded a Bossa nova version of the song in French with the musical arrangements of Mario Adnet for her album Dans Mon Île where she sings several popular French songs.

In 2006, Arielle Dombasle recorded the song in bilingual with the musical arrangements of Jean-Pascal Beintus for her album C'est si bon where she sings several popular American songs performed in Broadway.

In 2017, Mireille Mathieu recorded the song (in French) for her double CD album Made in France, which gathers the greatest French songs known around the world, interpreted by the singer. It was announced in her official website on 15 August that year.

Adaptations

In 1949, Nino Rastelli wrote the Italian lyrics of the song for the recording of Natalino Otto with Luciano Zuccheri and his Orchestra in March 1949. The title of the song become Tutto è bello.

The same year, Jerry Seelen wrote the English lyrics for the recording of Johnny Desmond with Tony Mottola and his Orchestra in January 1950. The title of the song is not translated into English.

In 1950, Ralph Maria Siegel wrote the German lyrics for the recording of Rita Gallos with Kurt Edelhagen and his Orchestra in May 1950. The title of the song is not translated into German.

The same year, Tapio Kullervo Lahtinen wrote the Finnish lyrics for the recording of Maire Ojonen with George de Godzinsky and his Orchestra. The title of the song become Hyvä on olla luonasi.

In the 1950s, Gustavo Dasca wrote the Spanish lyrics for the recording of Ana María González. The title of the song become Es Mejor.

Vécsey Ernő wrote the Hungarian lyrics for the recording of Záray Márta. The title of the song become Vártam rád.

In 1988, Roberto de Carvalho wrote the Portuguese lyrics for the recording of Rita Lee. The title of the song become Cecy Bom. In 2016, Izabella Rocha wrote more Portuguese lyrics for her version, which she named É Tão Bom.

In 2000, Wojciech Młynarski wrote the Polish lyrics for the recording of Irena Santor. The title of the song is not translated into Polish.

Filmography

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  • 1972 : Grapillon uses the song for their red grape juice.
  • 1980 and 1982 : Mont Blanc uses the song for their dessert cream.
  • 1983, 1985 and 1987 : Simmons uses the song for their mattresses.
  • 1990 : Yves Saint Laurent uses the version of Jill Jones for their toilet water Jazz.
  • 1992 : Yves Saint Laurent uses the version of Take 6 for their toilet water Jazz Prestige.
  • 1993 : Hautes-Pyrénées uses the song for their ski resort.
  • 1994 : Cidou uses the song for their juice Cidorange.
  • 1999 and 2000 : William Saurin uses the song for their ready-cooked dish.
  • 2005 and 2006 : LU uses the song for their cake Vandame.
  • 2007 : Jacques Vabre uses the song for their coffee Costa Rica and Pérou.
  • 2012 : Pierre Fabre uses the song for their drug Cetavlon.
  • 2012 : McDonald's uses the version of Bob Sinclar for their sandwich McBaguette.
  • 2013 : Géramont uses the version of Eartha Kitt for their cheese C'est bon.
  • 2013 : Harrys uses the version of Louis Armstrong for their pain de mie Beau et Bon.
  • 2013 : Palmolive uses the song for their shower gel Gourmet.
  • 2014 : Grey Goose uses the version of Eartha Kitt for their bottle of vodka The Gift.
  • 2014 : Renault uses the version of Maximilien Philippe for their car Renault Clio.
  • 2015 : Beats Electronics uses the version of Eartha Kitt for their headphones Solo2 Wireless.
  • 2016 and 2017 : Crédit Agricole uses the song for their bank Credit Agricole Bank Polska.
  • 2018 : Sabon uses the version of Dean Martin for their soap La Sabongerie.
  • 2018 : Jumbo uses the version of Eartha Kitt for their Mexican green salad and watermelon.

References

  1. Louis-Jean Calve, Cent ans de chansons française, Archipoche, 2008, p. 67
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