Comme d'habitude

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"Comme d'habitude" ([kɔm], French for "As usual") is a French song composed in 1967 by Claude François and Jacques Revaux with lyrics by Claude François and Gilles Thibaut.


"For Me"[edit]

Originally titled "For Me" with lyrics in English, the song was initially refused by numerous artists, most notably Michel Sardou and Hervé Vilard.[1]

"Comme d'habitude"[edit]

Revaux reportedly not satisfied with Vilard's version of the song, approached Claude François to re-record it. François accepted but asked that an underlying theme of a couple in a strained relationship be included, in reference to his recent breakup with fellow French singer France Gall. Revaux agreed and with some rewriting from Gilles Thibaut the song became "Comme d'habitude" and was released by Claude François in 1968.

"My Way"[edit]

Main article: My Way

Paul Anka, after hearing the song while watching French television in Paris, bought the song's publication and adaptation rights for only one dollar; the original songwriters retained the music-composition half of their songwriter royalties.[2] Anka wrote English lyrics specifically for Frank Sinatra, who then recorded a cross-Atlantic version of it in 1969 under the title "My Way". "My Way" has since been covered by many artists.

Cover versions[edit]

Many artists sang Comme d'Habitude in French after Claude François's success (and international success through My Way), notably:

  • Michel Sardou, who had refused the first version of the song offered to him by Claude François and Jacques Revaux but sang it a bit slower and reorchestrated.
  • Florent Pagny covered the song in 1989 and released as a single in France.
  • Jason Kouchak covered and arranged a modern version in 2011.
  • Rachid Taha, Khaled and Faudel, three French-Algerian artists sang it live in Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy. The live version produced and arranged by Steve Hillage, was included in joint Taha / Khaled / Faudel live album 1, 2, 3 Soleils was released by Barclay in 1999 reaching #4 in French Albums Chart and #14 in Belgium's French (Wallonia) Albums Chart. The cover of "Comme d'habitude" found on the album as performed by the trio proved very popular and was released in 1999 as a single in France and it reached #40 on both SNEP, the official French Singles Chart and on Belgium's French Wallonia Singles Chart.
  • Jozsef Gregor the renowned Hungarian bass-baritone/basso buffo recorded the song with Andras Ruszanov's Hungarian lyrics version in 1996. Two year later, he sang this version in one of the most popular tv show in Budapest, since then this version has been permanently on the playlists of numerous radio stations in Hungary.[3]
  • Singers of musical Belles belles belles covered the song in 2003.


David Bowie has said that in 1968 – the year before Paul Anka acquired the French song – his manager, Tony Defries, asked him to write English lyrics for "Comme d'habitude" but that his version, titled "Even a Fool Learns to Love", was rejected. The unfinished work would later inspire his 1971 song "Life on Mars?"[4][5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Fresh Air (radio program produced by WHYY [Phila., Pa.] and syndicated by National Public Radio), "With Paul Anka, 'Rock Swings'" (interview with Paul Anka), part 1 (August 8, 2005) and part 2 (August 10, 2005)
  3. ^
  4. ^ VH1 Storytellers: David Bowie on YouTube
  5. ^ David Bowie - Life on Mars? - (VH1 Storytellers) FULL (Video). see 3:10 minute mark: YouTube. 

External links[edit]