C'est si bon
|"C'est si bon"|
|Song by Jean Marco|
|English title||It's So Good|
|Released||18 January 1948|
|Recorded by||Jacques Hélian|
|Performed by||Louis Armstrong
"C'est si bon" is a French popular song, also known by 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.
Henri Betti was walking on the avenue Jean Médecin in Nice in July 1947 when the first nine notes of the tune popped into his head. He asked lyricist André Hornez to come up with a title. Hornez 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. Betti told Hornez he liked it, but hesitated because there was a current Charles Trenet song called C'est Bon. Henri Betti told him that si made all the difference. The song was registered with the SACEM on 16 August 1947 and was published by Paul Beuscher.
Before finding a professional singer for the song, Henri Betti sang it himself at the La Réserve restaurant in Nice. Yves Montand then turned the song down. The music publisher arranged to have it recorded by Jacques Hélian and his Orchestra for the radio on 18 January 1948, vocal by Jean Marco (French Columbia DF 3232). Then the publisher offered the song to the Sœurs Étienne with Raymond Legrand and his Orchestra, which became a hit. Yves Montand, now seeing a good thing, recorded the song on 11 May 1948 with Bob Castella and his Orchestra. Paul Beuscher then introduced the song to Suzy Delair who agreed to perform it in the first Nice Jazz Festival on 25 February 1948.
Louis Armstrong attended the festival, and asked the publisher if he could make a recording of the song in America. He recorded it 26 June 1950 in New York with Sy Oliver and his Orchestra with English lyrics by Jerry Seelen. The recording became a worldwide hit.
Later recordings: the Belgian-German singer Angèle Durand recorded a French version that was a hit in Belgium and then had a hit in Germany with her German version. 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 11 May 1949, released by MGM, and reached No. 25 on the Billboard chart. Kitt's recording was made in 1953, released by RCA Victor, and reached No. 11 on the Cash Box chart of best-selling records.
- 1948 : Jacques Hélian, Yves Montand
- 1950 : Louis Armstrong, Danny Kaye, Jean Sablon
- 1953 : Eddie Constantine, Stan Freberg, Patachou, Eartha Kitt
- 1958 : Caterina Valente
- 1959 : Paul Anka, Norma Bengell, Gale Robbins
- 1960 : Conway Twitty, Perry Como
- 1961 : Polly Bergen
- 1962 : Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Ann-Margret
- 1963 : Peter Kraus, Eddy Mitchell
- 1964 : Lloyd Price, Cliff Richard
- 1966 : Barbra Streisand, Dionne Warwick
- 1969 : Jacqueline Boyer, Gina Lollobrigida
- 1978 : Madleen Kane, Rhoda Scott, Mireille Mathieu, Petula Clark
- 1979 : Shirley MacLaine, Tom Jones
- 1988 : Rita Lee
- 1993 : Jeane Manson
- 1997 : Amanda Lear
- 2006 : Arielle Dombasle
- 2007 : Emilie-Claire Barlow, Smaïn
- 2011 : Halie Loren
- 2012 : Guy Marchand, Bob Sinclar, Jacky Terrasson, Awa Ly
- 2014 : Lisa Ono
C'est si bon was also included in several films and television films :
- 1954 : New Faces by Harry Horner.
- 1957 : Love in the Afternoon by Billy Wilder.
- 1966 : Color Me Barbra by Dwight Hemion.
- 1978 : Fedora by Billy Wilder.
- 1989 : American Masters (Satchmo : The Life of Louis Armstrong) by Gary Giddins.
- 1996 : Chloé by Dennis Berry.
- 2002 : Laurel Canyon by Lisa Cholodenko.
- 2003 : Something's Gotta Give by Nancy Meyers.
- 2013 : The Wolf of Wall Street by Martin Scorsese.
- 2014 : X-Men: Days of Future Past by Bryan Singer.
- 2015 : Mad Men (New Business) by Michael Uppendahl.
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 in which the male backup chorus aggravates him by constantly singing "si bon, si bon" at the wrong time. Another parody was written by Brazilian rock star Rita Lee called "Cecy bom", with a Salsa rhythm.
- MGM catalog number 10613
- RCA Victor catalog number 20-5358, 78rpm and 47-5358, 45rpm
- Whitburn, Joel. Billboard Top Pop Singles