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Zou Bisou Bisou

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"Zou Bisou Bisou"
AMC zou-bisou-bisou- artwork.jpg
Jessica Paré cover
Single by Gillian Hills, Sophia Loren, Jessica Paré, and others
Songwriter(s)Bill Shepherd, Alan Tew, Michel Rivgauche (French version)
Music video
Sophia Loren on YouTube
Music video
Jessica Paré on YouTube

"Zou Bisou Bisou" (also performed as "Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo") is a song written by Bill Shepherd and Alan Tew,[1] and Michel Rivgauche for the lyrics of the French version.[2] The song's origins stem from the Yé-yé movement with which an early version of the song was associated. Its theme is variously described as an open declaration of love and the joy of kissing.

"Zou Bisou Bisou" was Gillian Hills' first single in the summer of 1960.[3] A French recording, titled "Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo", was produced by George Martin and sung in English by Sophia Loren.[4] Although most sources associate the origins of the song with Hills, New York claims that the songwriting credits make it more likely that Loren's version was the original.[1] Slate's David Haglund notes that Hills' version is the best-known of the early recordings.[5]

It was performed by Jessica Paré as Megan Draper in the first episode of the Mad Men Season 5 (airdate March 26, 2012).[6][7] The morning after its on-air performance on AMC,[6] the song was released as a music download and as a vinyl special edition.[7] Paré's on-air performance of the song was lip synced to a prior recording.[8]

Versions[edit] sells music downloads of nine versions of the song but not Paré's. They carry the Hills version from Twistin': The Rock - Vol. 9, the Casabianca version from Les Chansons de ma jeunesse, three different remixes of the song by Bart & Baker featuring Lada Redstar from the Zou Bisou Bisou extended play, two versions by Loren by the name "Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo" from Pete & Sophia, and a karaoke version.[9] Additionally, they carry a cha-cha version by Gilles Dutey, from Ca Tourne En Gironde under the title "Bisou Zou Bisou".[9]

Background and production[edit]

Martin's production of "Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo" was originally recorded by Sophia Loren as publicity associated with the film The Millionairess (1960) on the album Peter and Sophia.[1][3][4][10] Several sources, including a posting at AMC's website,[11] state that Hills did not produce her version, with Rivgauche's lyrics,[2] until 1961, after Loren's October 1960 movie.[4] Another version of the song, by Israeli-French performer Maya Casabianca, appeared on France's Billboard chart in September 1961.[3] Additional cover versions have been produced by the Pennies and Kerstin Dahl.[1]

At the time of the Mad Men performance, Hills was working as a professional artist and illustrator married to Stewart Young, the manager for AC/DC, Cyndi Lauper, and Foreigner.[6]

Lionsgate Television released a music download edition of Paré's version at the iTunes Store as well as two vinyl editions made available online. It will also be released in the future on and in stores.[12] This version was produced by Matthew Weiner, Russell Ziecker, David Carbonara, and James T. Hill.[11] Paré recorded her lyrics in a recording studio, working with Carbonara, and choreographed her routine with Marianne Ann Kellogg.[13] The 7-inch vinyl version includes the B-side, "A Beautiful Mine" by RJD2, which is the theme music for the show.[14] Weiner tracked down the song and had many objectives[clarification needed] for Paré to achieve in the production of the song.[15]


Roughly translated from French to English "Zou Bisou Bisou" means "Oh! Kiss Kiss"[3][16] or "Oh You Kiss Kiss".[15][17] The Hills version is described as ". . .typical in style of the international yé-yé movement", which is much like the go-go music genre and was most popular in France, Spain, and Quebec, Mrs. Draper's homeland.[6] The movement's name has phonetic origins, stemming from the exclamation of "Yeah Yeah" in typical fashion during rock and roll music.[6] After translating the song, Haglund claimed that the theme of the song is about ". . .openly declaring and displaying one's love, coming out from 'the bushes' where 'lovers glide stealthily' and feeling love 'everywhere'".[5] The Huffington Post summarized the song more simply saying that it made the statement "about how kissing is fun".[18][19] Slate noted that yé-yé singers were often "teenage girls who exuded a faux-innocent sexuality", which played on Megan Draper's "youthful sex appeal and the generation gap between Megan and Don".[5] Paré stated that, "Megan, who is younger and more naïve than Don, was 'unknowingly putting their intimate connection on the line' in front of their friends and co-workers'. . .'The reason that it's so awkward isn't that she was doing anything wrong, but because it's private'. . ."[15]

Critical response to Mad Men scene[edit]

Numerous critics from prominent media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal,[15] Slate,[5] USA Today,[20] Rolling Stone, Daily Mail,[6] New York Daily News,[21] Los Angeles Times,[16] Chicago Sun-Times,[17] CBS News,[22] noted that the highlight of the 5th season premiere was Paré's performance of this song during Don Draper's surprise 40th birthday party, describing the performance and Paré as sexy, slinky, and sultry. Matthew Perpetua of Rolling Stone said that "Megan sings…for her husband, who can barely suppress his embarrassment and discomfort."[23] Erin Carlson of The Hollywood Reporter described Paré's performance as "bizarre, come-hither burlesque", noting that she "…stunned partygoers who openly ogled her while the ad exec (Jon Hamm) squirmed with polite embarrassment."[24]

The song's performance became a trending topic on Twitter.[15][17] Since the song was trending the entire following day, The Roots performed a brief rendition of a verse of the song as interstitial music the following night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[18] Despite the social media frenzy, the song did not crack the iTunes Top 100.[16] However, it did reach the final position of the Canadian Hot 100.[25]


Chart (2012) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[25] 100


  1. ^ a b c d Howe, Sean (March 25, 2012). "The Musical History of Megan's French Mad Men Tune". New York. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Zou Bisou Bisou". Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Streib, Lauren (March 25, 2012). "'Mad Men' Premiere: A History of 'Zou Bisou Bisou,' Megan's Sultry Song to Don". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Oldenburg, Ann (March 26, 2012). "Behind 'Mad Men' premiere's sexy 'Zou Bisou' song". USA Today. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d Haglund, David (March 25, 2012). "What Was That French Song on Mad Men?". Slate. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Fleming, Olivia (March 26, 2012). "The sexiest song in the world? From a teen Bardot lookalike to Mad Men, the story behind Megan Draper's Zou Bisou Bisou". Daily Mail. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Miller, Gregory E. (March 27, 2012). "Story behind the song". New York Post. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  8. ^ Marikar, Sheila (March 26, 2012). "'Mad Men' Actress Lip-Synced 'Zou Bisou Bisou'". ABC News. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "MP3 Downloads - "Zou Bisou Bisou"". Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  10. ^ "Peter and Sophia (Remastered)". Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Jessica Paré's Recording of "Zou Bisou Bisou" From Mad Men season 5 Premiere Now Available". AMC. March 26, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  12. ^ Makarechi, Kia (March 26, 2012). "'Zou Bisou Bisou' On iTunes: Lionsgate Releases Song From 'Mad Men' Premiere". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  13. ^ Weingus, Leigh (March 26, 2012). "'Mad Men' Actress Jessica Paré Talks 'Zou Bisou Bisou,' Don Draper And More". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  14. ^ "Mad Men - Zou Bisou, Bisou". Insound. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  15. ^ a b c d e Kaptik, Alexandra (March 27, 2012). "Jessica Paré of 'Mad Men' Kisses and Tells About 'Zou Bisou Bisou'". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  16. ^ a b c Day, Patrick Kevin (March 26, 2012). "'Zou Bisou Bisou': 'Mad Men' attempts to boost a '60s French pop hit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  17. ^ a b c Rackl, Lori (March 26, 2012). "'Mad Men' puts 'Zou Bisou Bisou' in millions' heads". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  18. ^ a b "'Zou Bisou Bisou' & 15 Other Awkward TV Serenades (VIDEOS)". The Huffington Post. March 27, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  19. ^ 104.3 WOMC (March 27, 2012). "ON AIR: 'Zou Bisou Bisou' Lyrics Translated – Jessica Pare's 'Mad Men' Song". Detroit's Greatest Hits.
  20. ^ Keveney, Bill (March 26, 2012). "Jessica Pare gets the world humming 'Zou Bisou Bisou'". USA Today. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  21. ^ Sacks, Ethan (March 26, 2012). "'Mad Men's' Jessica Paré sings 'Zou Bisou Bisou' on premiere -- now it's a single! Actress' character Megan sings 1961 song to husband Don Draper (Jon Hamm) on his 40th birthday". Daily News. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  22. ^ Moraski, Lauren (March 27, 2012). ""Zou Bisou Bisou" released as a single following "Mad Men" premiere". CBS News. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  23. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (March 26, 2012). "'Mad Men' Version of 'Zou Bisou Bisou' in iTunes Store: Cover of French pop tune by Jessica Paré will be released as seven-inch single". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  24. ^ Carlson, Erin (March 26, 2012). "'Mad Men' Premiere Song 'Zou Bisou Bisou' Released on iTunes: Actress Jessica Paré's recording of the '60s French pop hit is now available for digital download". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
  25. ^ a b "Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. April 14, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2012.