C'est une belle journée

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"C'est une belle journée"
Single by Mylène Farmer
from the album Les Mots
Released 16 April 2002
(see: release history)
Format CD single, CD maxi, 7" maxi,
digital download (since 2005)
Recorded 2001, France
Genre Folk rock, trip hop
Length 4:10
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Lyrics: Mylène Farmer
Music: Laurent Boutonnat
Producer(s) Laurent Boutonnat
Certification Gold France, 2002
Mylène Farmer singles chronology
"Les Mots"
(2001)
"C'est une belle journée"
(2002)
"Pardonne-moi"
(2002)
Les Mots track listing
"Rêver"
(6)
"C'est une belle journée"
(7)
L'Âme-stram-gram"
(8)

"C'est une belle journée" (English: "It's a Beautiful Day") is a 2001 song recorded by French singer-songwriter Mylène Farmer. It was the second single from her best of Les Mots and was released on 16 April 2002. The song deals with suicide on a dance music and was illustrated by a cartoon video produced by Farmer's boyfriend. It achieved great success in France where it remained ranked for several months on the top 50.

Background and release[edit]

In February 2002, Universal and Stuffed Monkey decided to release "C'est une belle journée", one of the three unreleased songs from the compilation Les Mots and officially announced it in March. However, due to the huge success of the single "Les Mots", recorded as duet with Seal, the new single was not released until April 2002.[1][2] The promotional CD single was sent to radio stations on 4 March 2002, then the promotional vinyl on 28 March 2002. There were three versions of the CD single : one is supple, the second is thick, the third is a picture disc.[3]

Several remixes were produced on the three media (CD single, CD maxi, 12" maxi): 'elegie's club remix ', by Blue Planet Corporation, 'such a beautiful day's remix' and 'beauty and bed remix', by StarCity, 'what a souci's remix', by Tom Novy. Another remix was only available on the German Promotional CD single, 'elegie's remix club radio edit', also by Blue Planet Corporation. In 2004, a new remix was made by Devis Head, engineered by Jérôme Devoise at Studio Guillaume Tell, in Paris. Two other maxi CDs were released in Germany and Canada, with the same track listings as the French one, but with a crystal case.[1] The promotional CD contains two white feathers : one on the cover (at the end of the word "journée"), the other inside. The photography was directed by Ellen von Unwerth, and the cover design was made by Henry Neu.

As for her other singles, Mylène Farmer wrote the lyrics and Laurent Boutonnat composed the music. About the lyrics, Farmer, interviewed by TF1, confessed to have changed the words of the chorus afterthought. Initially, "C'est une belle journée, je vais me tuer", which could be taken as an incitement to suicide by vulnerable people, was replaced in the end with "C'est une belle journée, je vais me coucher".[4]

Jean-Claude Déquéant, who composed "Libertine" for Farmer in 1986, said he had "great admiration" for "C'est une belle journée".[5]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Cquote1.pngC'est une belle journée
Je vais me coucher
Une si belle journée
Qui s'achève...Cquote2.png

— Beginning of the chorus

In this song, Farmer talks about "her irresistible need to see the bad side of things, contrary to most people". This song is very similar in its structure to "Je t'aime mélancolie" : indeed, the two songs have heavy dance sounds and deal with the same gloomy themes. Concerning the lyrics, death and religious references are present, including the angels in the refrain.[6]

Expert of French charts Élia Habib considered that "C'est une belle journée" "has an intro worthy of a 1980s opus of Pet Shop Boys" and said it "is a song with a tempo surprisingly cheerful"; however, he maintained: "Under this cover unusual are concealed again recurring themes of the Farmer's anthology: death, nostalgia, vision of a world torn between good and evil, brevity of life".[7] To author Erwan Chuberre, "C'est une belle journée" is "a catchy and joyful song at the first hearing but that turns out to be, finally, rather dark", and has "a lot of irony and humor".[8] According to French magazine Instant-Mag, "we find [in this song] all Farmer and Boutonnat's art of the beautiful time, namely involve very delicately melancholy lyrics and skipping music, or even a bit commercial". "Apology of suicide, sleep, pessimism, departure", the song is "a call to sacrifice, to let go, to flee to a world of spiritual and physical peace".[9] "Behind the joyful and optimistic notes of the song, we can perceive stenchs much less happy and much more ambiguous. Farmer is in a pessimistic perspective, referring to the death behind the apparent sleep, the emptiness instead of the full, the completion instead of the beginning, and the flight as a reunion." There is also a parallel with Le Dormeur du val, written by French poet Arthur Rimbaud.[10]

About the lyrics, Farmer said: "It would be indecent to directly address the topic of suicide. Too easy. Because I am protected by my family circle, by this success that gives me some strength. Those who listen to me do not always have them, that security." However, as noted by psychologist Hugues Royer, suicide evoked in the lyrics is intended to relieve a too heavy sadness, but to avoid, paradoxically, the horizon of a possible happiness.[11]

Music video[edit]

The character drawn by Mylène Farmer and which represents her in the music video for "C'est une belle journée"

On the Internet, some fans asserted that the videoclip would be released as a digipack DVD in a limited edition and would contain the making of. There are also rumors about the fact that the video would be produced from the singer's drawings - and that was right -,[12] as it had done for the CD maxi and vinyl's covers for "Dessine-moi un mouton".[1]

Finally, for the first time in the star's career, the video, directed by Benoît Di Sabatino, was produced as a cartoon film.[13] Shot in Paris, it cost about 120,000 euros. As always, it was a Requiem Publishing and Stuffed Monkey production, and the screenplay was written by Farmer. The music video was announced in the media.[3]

In addition to Farmer, the video features a young girl, Lisa, who has already appeared on the cover of the second Marc Levy novel, Où es-tu ?, a sheep already seen on "Dessine-moi un mouton"'s cover,[14] a spider (initially created for the program of the 1996 concert tour) and a rat, in a childish style. There are several references to Le Petit Prince, a 1943 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry novella.

At the beginning of the video, we see a dead tree and leaves flying. A slender young woman (Farmer) begins the day doing some stretches on her bed. Inadvertently, she kicks her sheep and looks for it around her. Then while she is bathing, a spider appears in a phylactery. The sheep eats the soap, hiccups, finds itself in a bubble and falls in the bathtub. Then, at noon, Farmer encloses the sheep in her refrigerator. She sits on it and swings her legs to the rhythm of the clock's hands which go round very quickly. Farmer then juggles with her frozen sheep. In the afternoon, she goes and sits on her bed, plays with a spider and seems to be very sad. Suddenly, a young boy appears at the door, hung by his feet. He plays with a ball and flies to the dead tree. Farmer looks at him for a while, and eventually follows him. There the boy dances and plays leapfrog. The sheep, a car and some words fly at their turn. At the end of the day, Farmer lies down with the sheep and the video ends with a mention "To be continued".[10][15]

According to some analyses, the video emphasizes melancholy and nostalgia. In this context, the dead tree could illustrate the faded beauty of the world, the spider would be the personification of the singer's black thoughts, while the sheep would represent Farmer's lost dreams and deepest disillusionment. The clock's hands going round quickly are likely to illustrate the time gap between physical and mental time. As for the little girl, she would represent Farmer when she was younger and carefree. However, the final words leave a glimmer of hope.[10] The fact that the child was hung by the feet at a certain time might refer to Œdipus, but also to Farmer's song "Jardin de Vienne" in which a child finds freedom by hanging.[16]

Chart performances[edit]

Like "Les Mots", this song is one of the few Farmer singles to have a long trajectory on French SNEP Singles Chart, thus proving it has managed to win over the general public. It debuted at a peak of number five on 20 April and remained for ten weeks in the top 20, thanks to numerous broadcasts by various radio stations. The single fell off the chart after 25 weeks on 5 October.[17] Certified Gold disc five months after its release by the SNEP for over 200,000 units,[18] "C'est une belle journée" peaked at number thirty-eight in the 2002 French singles year end chart, five positions behind the former single "Les Mots".[19]

In Belgium (Wallonia), the single started at number 20 on the Ultratop 50 Singles Chart on 1 May, then jumped to a peak of number 11. It stabilized for the next seven weeks in the top 20, and stayed in the chart until 7 August.[20] It was the 51st best-selling single on the 2002 Belgian Singles Chart, ahead of Farmer's two other singles released that year: "Les Mots" (number 81) and "Pardonne-moi" (number 85).[21]

Live performances and cover versions[edit]

Mylène Farmer performing "C'est une belle journée" on Zinedine Ela show.

Farmer performed the song in playback in two television programs:[22] first, Farmer sang "C'est une belle journée" on 27 April on the nationally acclaimed show Hit Machine on M6; then, she performed the song on Zidane Ela,[23] broadcast on France 2 on 19 May. For the first and only time, she appeared in the trailer, announcing her own performance in the broadcast (the fact that the singer sang that day for a humanitarian cause may have been a factor). At the end of the song, feathers were released on the set.[10] As noted by Instant-Mag, these performances were conducted with a great deal of relaxation. The choreography, "fluid, joyful" and carried out with two female dancers, "was much less ceremonial than that of "L'Âme-stram-gram"", and Farmer was smiling more than usual.[10] At each performance, she wore a hat on her head.[6]

The song was performed during the 2006 tour. When the song started, the letters CUBJ (the acronym of "C'est une belle journée"), then drawings from the music video, appeared on giant screens in the back of the stage. Farmer and her dancers performed an original and dynamic choreography, then the singer approached the audience and sat down.[24]

It was also performed on the Timeless tour in 2013.

In 2003, the single was covered by French singers MC Solaar, Alain Souchon and Jean-Louis Aubert, during the Les Enfoirés tour. Their version is available on the album La Foire aux Enfoirés.[25][26]

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of single releases of "C'est une belle journée":[27]

  • CD single
No. Title Length
1. "C'est une belle journée" (single version) 4:10
2. "C'est une belle journée" (instrumental) 4:15
  • CD maxi - Digipack / CD maxi - Canada, Germany
No. Title Length
1. "C'est une belle journée" (single version) 4:10
2. "C'est une belle journée" (elegie's remix club) 7:10
3. "C'est une belle journée" (such a beautiful day's remix) 8:05
4. "C'est une belle journée" (what a souci's remix) 4:10
  • 7" maxi / 7" maxi - Picture disc / 7" maxi - Promo
No. Title Length
1. "C'est une belle journée" (belle and bed remix) 8:10
2. "C'est une belle journée" (elegie's remix club) 7:10
  • Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "C'est une belle journée" (album version) 4:15
2. "C'est une belle journée" (2006 live version) 8:21
3. "C'est une belle journée" (Devil Head remix) 5:10
  • CD single - Promo / CD single - Promo - Luxurious edition
No. Title Length
1. "C'est une belle journée" (radio edit) 4:00
  • CD single - Promo - Germany
No. Title Length
1. "C'est une belle journée" (single version) 4:10
2. "C'est une belle journée" (elegie's remix club radio edit) 3:42
  • VHS - Promo
No. Title Length
1. "C'est une belle journée" (video) 4:12

Release history[edit]

Date[27] Label Region Format Catalog
7 March 2002 Polydor France, Belgium CD single - Promo 9984
7" maxi - Promo 0403
VHS - Promo
Germany CD single - Promo
16 April 2002 France, Belgium CD single - Promo 570 734-2
CD maxi - Promo 570 735-2
7" maxi - Promo 570 734-1
2003 Europe, Canada CD maxi 570 735-2

Official versions[edit]

Version[28] Length Album Remixed by Year Comment[6]
Album version 4:10 Les Mots 2001 See the previous sections
Single version 4:15 2001 This version is similar to the album one.
Radio edit 4:00 2001 The last refrain is deleted.
Instrumental 4:15 Laurent Boutonnat 2002 This version is the same as that of the album, but all lyrics are removed, including background vocals.
Elegie's remix club 7:10 Blue Planet Corporation 2002 This is a dance remix which contains all of the lyrics from the original version, but some "C'est une belle journée" and "Donne l'envie d'aimer" in a sampled version are added throughout the song.
Such a beautiful day's remix 8:05 StarCity 2002 This house version has a musical introduction which lasts two minutes.
What a souci's remix 4:10 Tom Novy 2002 This is a dance and techno remix in which many percussion are used.
Belle and bed remix 8:07 StarCity 2002 This remix is almost identical to "Such a Beautiful Day's Remix", except with slightly different vocal arrangements.
Elegie's remix club radio edit 3:35 Blue Planet Corporation 2002 This is the same version than 'Elegie's Remix Club', but shorter.
Music video 4:15 Music Videos IV 2002
Devil Head remix 5:10 RemixeS Devil Head 2002 This is a techno remix in which Farmer's voice is put forward.
Live version
(recorded in 2006)
8:21 (audio)
9:14 (video)
Avant que l'ombre... à Bercy 2006 See Avant que l'ombre... à Bercy (tour)

Credits and personnel[edit]

These are the credits and the personnel as they appear on the back of the single:[27][29]

  • Mylène Farmer – lyrics
  • Laurent Boutonnat – music
  • Requiem Publishing – editions
  • Polydor – recording company
  • Ellen Von Unwerth / H&K – photo
  • Henry Neu / Com'N.B – design
  • Made in the E.U.

Charts and sales[edit]

References[edit]

  • Bee, Caroline; Bioy, Antoine; Thiry, Benjamin (January 2006). Mylène Farmer, la part d'ombre (in French). L'Archipel. ISBN 2-84187-790-6. 
  • Cachin, Benoît (2006). Le Dictionnaire des Chansons de Mylène Farmer (in French). Tournon. ISBN 2-35144-000-5. 
  • Chuberre, Erwan (2007). L'Intégrale Mylène Farmer (in French). City. ISBN 978-2-35288-108-7. 
  • Chuberre, Erwan (2008). Mylène Farmer, phénoménale (in French). City. ISBN 978-2-35288-176-6. 
  • Chuberre, Erwan (18 June 2009). Mylène Farmer : Des mots sur nos désirs (in French). Alphée. ISBN 2-7538-0477-X. 
  • Khairallah, Sophie (2007). Mylène Farmer, le culte - L'envers du décor (in French). Why Not. ISBN 2-916611-25-8. 
  • Royer, Hugues (2008). Mylène, biographie (in French). Spain: Flammarion. ISBN 978-2-35287-139-2. 
  • Violet, Bernard (2004). Mylène Farmer, biographie (in French). J'ai lu. ISBN 2-290-34916-X. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "C'est une belle journée" (in French). Sans-logique. Retrieved 21 December 2007. 
  2. ^ "Mylène Farmer - "C'est une belle journée" - Histoire" (in French). Mylene.net. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Mylène Farmer, l'icône". Jukebox (in French) (Devant-soi) 253: 7. Retrieved 13 May 2008. [dead link]
  4. ^ Julien Mielcarek (7 May 2009). "Mylène Farmer : "Je me suis auto-censurée dans un titre"" (in French). Ozap. Retrieved 8 May 2009. 
    Interview, "Sept à Huit", TF1, January 2006
  5. ^ Royer, 2008, p. 306.
  6. ^ a b c Cachin, 2006, pp. 69-72.
  7. ^ Habib, Élia. Muz hit.tubes (in French). Alinéa Bis. p. 554. ISBN 2-9518832-0-X. 
  8. ^ Chuberre, 2008, pp. 241-42
  9. ^ Bee, Caroline; Brunet, Océane; Thiry, Benjamin; Bénard, Katia (2002). "Peste of". Instant-Mag (in French) (Pantin: Tear Prod) 9: 12. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Bee, Caroline; Brunet, Océane; Thiry, Benjamin; Bioy, Antoine (2002). "Beeeeeele". Instant-Mag (in French) (Pantin: Tear Prod) 10: 12. 
  11. ^ Royer, 2008, p. 128.
  12. ^ Germonville, Jean-Paul (26 June 2002). "Quelle belle journée". L'Est Républicain (in French) (Devant-soi). Retrieved 22 March 2008. 
  13. ^ "C'est une belle journée — Clip". Animeland (in French) (Devant-soi). June 2002. Retrieved 22 March 2008. 
  14. ^ Chuberre, 2007, pp. 67-68.
  15. ^ ""C'est une belle journée", music video" (in French). Sans-logique. Retrieved 28 December 2007. 
  16. ^ Bee, 2006, pp. 134-35.
  17. ^ a b ""C'est une belle journée", French Singles Chart" (in French). Lescharts. Retrieved 21 December 2007. 
  18. ^ a b "2002 certifications in France" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 21 December 2007. 
  19. ^ a b "2002 French Singles Chart" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 21 December 2007. 
  20. ^ a b ""C'est une belle journée", Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 3 January 2008. 
  21. ^ a b "2002 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  22. ^ "Mylène Farmer - "C'est une belle journée" - TV" (in French). Mylene.net. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  23. ^ "Le retour de Mylène Farmer". La Dernière Heure (in French) (Devant-soi). 2 April 2002. Retrieved 22 March 2008. 
  24. ^ "Avant que l'ombre... À Bercy (2006) - Description du live" (in French). Sans-logique. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  25. ^ "Les Enfoirés, La Foire aux Enfoirés, track listing and charts" (in French). Lescharts. Retrieved 21 December 2007. 
  26. ^ Violet, 2004, p. 222.
  27. ^ a b c "Mylène Farmer - "C'est une belle journée" - Supports" (in French). Mylene.net. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  28. ^ "Mylène Farmer - "C'est une belle journée" - Versions" (in French). Mylene.net. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  29. ^ "Mylène Farmer - "C'est une belle journée" - Crédits" (in French). Mylene.net. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  30. ^ Royer, 2008, p. 365.
  31. ^ Cachin, 2006, p. 69.
  32. ^ a b "2002 French Airplay and Video Charts" (in French). Yacast. Retrieved 20 January 2008. 

External links[edit]