C'est si bon

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"C'est si bon"
Single by Jean Marco
Released 1948 (1948)
Format 10-inch 78 rpm reocrd
Recorded 18 February 1948
Genre Foxtrot
Length 2:40
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Henri Betti (music), André Hornez (lyrics)

"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 1950 by Jerry Seelen. The song is also adapted in several languages.

Story[edit]

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 it's the one he wants to choose but André Hornez replied that he did not mark him because there had been a few years ago a song by Charles Trenet named C'est Bon (1942). Henri Betti told him that si makes all the difference. The song was registered at the SACEM on 16 August 1947 and was published by Paul Beuscher.[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.

The publisher decided to pass the song on the radio station Programme Parisien of the French Broadcasting. The song is heard for the first time on the radio on 18 January 1948 and sung by Jean Marco of the orchestra of Jacques Hélian. The vinyl is recorded on 18 February 1948. Then the publisher offered the song to the Sœurs Étienne who record it with Raymond Legrand and his Orchestra, and this version became a hit. Yves Montand, now seeing a good thing, recorded the song on 11 May 1948 with Bob Castella and his Orchestra. The publisher then offers the song to Suzy Delair who sang it in public in the first Nice Jazz Festival on 25 February 1948. Louis Armstrong is present at the festival and asks the publisher if he can make a recording of the song in America. The publisher accepts and the song's lyrics are adapted into English by Jerry Seelen.

The adapted song in English was first recorded by Johnny Desmond with Tony Mottola and his Orchestra on 11 May 1949, then by Danny Kaye with Vic Schoen and his Orchestra on 10 February 1950, and by Frances Irvin with Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra on 20 February 1950. On 26 June 1950, Louis Armstrong recorded the song with Sy Oliver and his Orchestra. When it was released, the album became a worldwide success and the song was then performed by the greatest international singers and used in cinema, television and telephone rings.

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

In 1949, Nino Rastelli write the Italian lyrics of the song for the recording of Natalino Otto with Luciano Zuccheri and his Orchestra on 1 March 1949. The title song become Tutto è bello.

In 1950, Ralph Maria Siegel write the German lyrics of the song for the recording of Rita Gallos with Kurt Edelhagen and his Orchestra on 30 May 1950.

In 1953, Eartha Kitt records 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. Her version is also very successful and is used in several American films and television commercials.

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

In 1962, Dean Martin records 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 records 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 1978, Madleen Kane and Rhoda Scott records a disco version of the song in bilingual.

In 1988, Rita Lee records the song in Portuguese with the lyrics of Roberto de Carvalho for her album Zona Zen. The title song become Cecy Bom.

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

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

In 1995, Sophie Darel records the song in duet with Évelyne Leclercq for her album C'était les Années Bleues where she also recorded the other success of Henri Betti : Maître Pierre, in duet with Pierre Perret.

In 2003, Lisa Ono records 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 records 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 2014, Maximilien Philippe records a rock version of the song in French that is used in an advertisement for a Renault Clio car.

Cover versions[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Advertisements[edit]

  • 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.

References[edit]

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