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 1949 by Jerry Seelen. The song is also adapted in several languages.

History[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 that it was the one he wanted, but André Hornez replied that he did not agree because there had been a song by Charles Trenet named C'est Bon (1942) a few years previous. Henri Betti told him that si makes all the difference. The song was registered at the SACEM on 18 August 1947.[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.

Recordings[edit]

On January 5, 1948, Bernard Hilda recorded the song with his orchestra. On the other side of the disk, he records another song composed by Henri Betti the same year : Mais qu'est-ce que j'ai ? (lyrics by Édith Piaf).

On January 18, 1948, Jean Marco performed the song with Jacques Hélian and his Orchestra for the radio station Programme Parisien of the French Broadcasting.

On February 26, 1948, Lucien Jeunesse recorded the song with Émile Prud'homme and his Orchestra.

On May 5, 1948, the Étienne Sisters recorded the song with Raymond Legrand and his Orchestra and this version became a hit. In 1968, they recorded it again with Raymond Legrand and his Orchestra.

On May 7, 1948, Yves Montand recorded the song with Bob Castella and his Orchestra. In 1964, he recorded the song again but with Hubert Rostaing and his Orchestra for his album Le Paris de...

In 1949, Nino Rastelli wrote the Italian lyrics of the song for the recording of Natalino Otto with Luciano Zuccheri and his Orchestra on 1 March 1949. The title of the song become Tutto è bello. The same year, Jerry Seelen wrote the English lyrics for the recording of Johnny Desmond with Tony Mottola and his Orchestra on May 11, 1949. The title of the song is not translated into English. The German lyrics were written in 1950 by Ralph Maria Siegel for the recording of Rita Gallos with Kurt Edelhagen and his Orchestra on May 30, 1950.

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

In May 1950, the publisher proposed the song to Suzy Delair to sing it with Aimé Barelli and his Orchestra at the Monte Carlo Casino. During the rehearsals, Louis Armstrong is present in the room and enjoys the song. On June 26, he recorded the song with Sy Oliver and his Orchestra in New York City. When it was released, the album was a worldwide success and the song was then performed by the greatest international singers and used in film and television.

In 1951, Dolores Gray sang the song in English in the short film Holiday in Paris: Paris.

In 1953, Eartha Kitt recorded 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.

In 1954, Eddie Constantine recorded the song in French with Herman Garst and his Orchestra.

In 1957, Nat King Cole sang the song in English with Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra in The Nat King Cole Show.

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

In 1962, Dean Martin recorded 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 recorded 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 recorded a disco version of the song in bilingual.

In 1988, Rita Lee recorded 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 recorded an a cappella version of the song in bilingual for an advertisement on a toilet water by Yves Saint Laurent.

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

In 2003, Lisa Ono recorded 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 recorded 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.

Filmography[edit]

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References[edit]

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