C'est si bon

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"C'est si bon"
("It's So Good")
Music by Henri Betti
Lyrics by André Hornez
Language French
Form Jazz
Original artist Suzy Delair
Recorded by Johnny Desmond
Eartha Kitt

"C'est si bon" is a French popular song, sometimes also referred to by the English translation of the title, "It's So Good". The music was composed in 1947 by Henri Betti. The French lyrics were written by André Hornez, the English lyrics by Jerry Seelen.

Betti was walking on the avenue Jean Médecin in Nice in July 1947 when the first nine notes of the tune occurred to him. He appealed to lyricist André Hornez to come up with a title. The lyricist said that the title should be three syllables, the first three notes of the song. The next day he showed Henri Betti a list of ten titles, each of three syllables, the last of which was C'est si Bon. Henri Betti told André Hornez he wanted the title, but hesitated because there was at that time a song sung by Charles Trenet C'est Bon. Henri Betti told him that si made all the difference. Before looking for professional singers to sing his song, Henri Betti has sung himself to the restaurant La Réserve in Nice the night in the opening and closing music services. He offered the song to Yves Montand, who declined. The editor of the song Paul Beuscher proposed that Henri Betti should get it sung by the Etienne Sisters Sœurs Étienne but the recording went unnoticed. Paul Beuscher then proposed the song to Suzy Delair who agreed to sing at the first Nice Jazz Festival in 1948. Louis Armstrong heard the song at the festival, and asked Suzy Delair and Paul Beuscher if he could make a recording in America. The disc was released in 1950 with worldwide success.

It was originally recorded by Jacques Hélian and his Orchestra (vocal by Jean Marco) on February 18, 1948 (French Columbia DF 3232). Later by the Belgian-German singer Angèle Durand, whose French version was a hit in Belgium, and then had another hit in Germany with her German version.[citation needed] The song was popularized in English by Eartha Kitt in the 1954 film version of New Faces of 1952, and by Johnny Desmond. The Desmond recording was made on May 11, 1949, released by MGM,[1] and reached #25 on the Billboard chart. Kitt's recording was made in 1953, released by RCA Victor,[2] and reached #11 on the Cash Box chart of best-selling records.

Cover versions[edit]

Louis Armstrong and Yves Montand have performed the song in English and French respectively. Joe Loss and His Orchestra recorded a version in London in 1950, released by EMI on the His Master's Voice label.[3] Danny Kaye recorded a version in 1950 and Conway Twitty recorded it in 1960. It was also recorded by Emilie-Claire Barlow on the The Very Thought of You.[4]

Dean Martin performed the tune on his French Style album released 1962.

Barbra Streisand performed her version on her 1966 album, Color Me Barbra.

Amanda Lear sang her version on her 1997 album, Made of Blood & Honey.

Pete Fountain performed (on Bb clarinet) this standard on the "A Touch of Class" album.

Filmography[edit]

C'est si bon was also included in several films :

Parodies[edit]

Allan Sherman did a parody of "C'est si bon" in 1963 called "I See Bones", in which a doctor recounts what he sees in an X-ray. Stan Freberg also did a parody of it, in which the male back-up chorus aggravates him by constantly singing "si bon, si bon" at the wrong time. Another parody has been written by Brazilian rock star Rita Lee called "Cecy bom", with a Salsa rhythm.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MGM catalog number 10613
  2. ^ RCA Victor catalog number 20-5358, 78rpm and 47-5358, 45rpm
  3. ^ HMV catalogue numbers BD 6070 and HE 2032
  4. ^ "DISCOGRAPHY | Emilie-Claire Barlow Official Site!". Emilieclairebarlow.com. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel. Billboard Top Pop Singles