C’est une belle journée is one of the three unreleased songs from the album best of Les mots (2001). It is the second single from it. It just turned 20 years (!!) and remains among the biggest hits Mylene/Laurent have ever made.
Yes, I realize I got it all backwards. I wrote about the Lonely Lisa before writing about the C’est une belle journée. Oh well, who said the time is linear? (haha!) And yet, perhaps, it makes a bit more fun tracing the footsteps from the end to the beginning – I love when they do it in the movies, don’t you? First, they show you a modern day just to tease you more with the flashbacks so you are on the edge of the seat just trying to figure out how at all started….so let’s see!
It all started in February 2002, Universal and Stuffed Monkey decided to release “C’est une belle journée”, one of the three unreleased songs from the compilation Les Mots and officially announced it in March. However, due to the huge success of the single “Les Mots”, recorded as duet with Seal, the new single was not released until April 2002.
Wait, a minute, I think I want to go back just a bit more…
Mylène’s first best of, Les Mots , has been in stores since November 26, 2001 and has met with immense commercial success with already more than 500,000 copies sold at the start of 2002.
From the first listening of this double album, the unreleased track C’est une belle journee stands out as an essential second single.
At the beginning of 2002, rumors announced both that C’est une belle jour would indeed be the second single from the best of and that a clip would also be being produced from drawings by Mylène. Well… what a jackpot! Both of the rumors actually turned out to be true!!! Rare case indeed especially concerning Mylene 🧡
By the way did you notice that a lot of super successful singles and even albums were in fact released in April? Perhaps it’s the renewal of the spring makes us want to buy new music and experience new things: like falling in love or buy a new home. The curious fact that growth spur in humans also occurs the most in the months of spring! Another smart planning, I’d say!
The promotional CD single was sent to radio stations on 4 March 2002, then the promotional vinyl on 28 March 2002. There were three versions of the CD single: one is supple, the second is thick, the third is a picture disc.
Then there were tons – I mean, tons!! – of remixes. I simply can’t keep track of them all. In the end of the article (feel free to scroll) there are few remixes I personally found distinct from the rest.
As usual, Mylène Farmer wrote the lyrics and Laurent Boutonnat composed the music.
About the lyrics, Farmer, interviewed by TF1, confessed she had to change the words of the chorus afterthought. Initially, “C’est une belle journée, je vais me tuer“, which could be taken as an incitement to suicide by vulnerable people (which I agree would be a disaster!) and was replaced in the end with “C’est une belle journée, je vais me coucher“. And for that I am very grateful to Mylene. There are still some limits to where the artist leads their admirers.
Jean-Claude Déquéant, who composed “Libertine” for Farmer in 1986, said he had “great admiration” for “C’est une belle journée”.
Expert of French charts Élia Habib considered that “C’est une belle journée” “has an intro worthy of a 1980s opus of Pet Shop Boys” (whoa! Really!? what a compliment! Always loved them!) and said it “is a song with a tempo surprisingly cheerful”; however, he maintained: “Under this cover are again recurring themes of the Farmer anthology: death, nostalgia, vision of a world torn between good and evil, brevity of life”.
To author Erwan Chuberre, “C’est une belle journée” is “a catchy and joyful song at the first hearing but that turns out to be, finally, rather dark”, and has “a lot of irony and humor”. And with that, I greatly agree!
According to French magazine Instant-Mag, “we find [in this song] all Farmer and Boutonnat’s art of the beautiful time, namely involve very delicately melancholy lyrics and skipping music, or even a bit commercial”. “Apology of suicide, sleep, pessimism, departure”, the song is “a call to sacrifice, to let go, to flee to a world of illusions and physical peace”. “Behind the joyful and optimistic notes of the song, we can perceive themes much less happy and much more ambiguous”. I see a lot of playfulness even if it is somewhat tinted, its very Mylene, it’s the bitter-sweet treat like the finest chocolate which is never (thanks to heavens!) monochromatic.
There is also an apparent parallel with Le Dormeur du val, written by poet Arthur Rimbaud (and it’s a beautiful poem which really just shocks you in the end…as you didn’t see it coming, did you? neither did Mylene, I bet…)
Les parfums ne font pas frissonner sa narine;
Il dort dans le soleil, la main sur sa poitrine,
Tranquille. Il a deux trous rouges au côté droit.
Fragrances do not make his nostrils quiver;
He sleeps in the sun, hand on the breast,
Peacefully. He has two red holes in his right side.
as well as Mylene favorite Pierre Reverdy Recueil Poèmes en prose
I can definitely see Reverdy influence over Mylene’s lyric in many instances, wouldn’t you agree?
Tous ceux qui ont peur sont debout Les autres dorment On descend l’autre côté du monde On glisse dans un trou qui n’a pas de fond All those who are afraid are standing The others are sleeping We go down the other side of the world We slip into a hole that has no bottom
About the lyrics, Farmer said: “It would be indecent to directly address the topic of suicide. I am protected by my family circle and by this success that gives me some strength. Those who listen to me do not always have that security. “However, as noted by psychologist Hugues Royer, suicide evoked in the lyrics is not only intended to relieve heavy sadness, but also to avoid, paradoxically, the horizon of a possible happiness. And that perhaps is the message?
To me personally, the more spend time with the song doing edits for tri- language close captions (French, English and Russian), the more I got to understand how heavy loaded with meaning of the text actually is… Every line is a one liner and a metaphor on its own. I see a lot of my own dilemmas and the inner paradoxes. I love that!
Well, here are my 2 cents to the topic. I am not a stranger to depression myself (as I already mentioned in the earlier chapters particularly in the Sans Contrefacon and Plus Grandir). In my mind, I see gorgeous Dalida all dressed up with a makeup on, striking the final pose on her death bed with the note by her side “La vie m’est insupportable… Pardonnez-moi” which translates to “life is unbearable for me… Forgive me.” Her voluntary departure profoundly saddened me for years…
I know what it feels like to be disconnected from the outer world and I know what its like not to wish to go on any longer. I have been there. It can be sunny and beautiful out but all you want to do is not to wake up…I remember the days that I wished would be nights instead so I can just sleep, sleep and sleep some more. By the way, the sheep are the clever reference to the “counting sheep” meaning trying to make oneself to fall asleep when you can’t. Isn’t it an another deeply metaphorical message wrapped into the childish playfulness? Sometimes I wonder about the “sheep” in this context. Is she also referring to herself as being a “white sheep” (aka nonconformist; an unusual or unconventional person) who doesn’t belong to the flack.
I don’t want to disagree with all the other very smart people on the topic, but to me it is again about not belonging. The inner world being in dissonance with the outer one, which very often overrides the physical reality. And its no secret when you are under the dark cloud inside of you, the wish to “sleep” (as in flee) sounds like a solution although deep down we know such an escapism won’t bring us any relief on the long run. It’s a temporary measure and sooner or later, we will have to wake up. It reminds me “Get up, girl” song a bit, no?
I am thinking that being awake is also a powerful allegory about the general state of consciousness/awareness as opposed to being “asleep”.
Earlier, I have called Mylene our wakeup call. And I stand by that statement. Even when she shares with us her pessimistic and depressed thoughts and feelings, they are in their turn make us more conscious of them and therefore become the wake-up call. Depression is an extremely common nowadays and with Covid got even worse. We are all depressed as families, communities, countries, and a planet in its entirety. We are all in the state of “sleeping”. Maybe it is a time to grow up or otherwise revisit our childhood in order to reconnect with our genuine (not peripheral) joy and fulfillment? Prophetic and mystical as always, isn’t she, our beloved Mylene?
It is not possible of course to pass by the famous “glass half-full” vs “glass half-empty” concept. Mylene brings it up with a humorous spin and hints that one will need some philosophical elegies in order to see the life’s bright side…I wonder is some healthy dose of Buddhism has helped her with it. At least for me, some philosophical and spiritual prospective definitely helps to be more awaken and joyful. How about you?
So, lets talks about the video. I think its just brilliant. It is a masterpiece and I love everything about it! I love the character of Lonely Lisa which is later took the life of her own. Its brilliant! I hope Mylene continues writing Lisa-Loup preferably with her own drawing as illustrations…Hope the little redhead girl (Mylene’s inner child) lives on!
This video became a defining moment in Mylene’s life. She has finally found a man who became her life partner and with whom she is sharing her everyday life for almost 20 years. Let’s wish Mylene and Benoit much happiness for many more years!
On the Internet, some fans asserted that the videoclip would be released as a digipack DVD in a limited edition and would contain the making of. There are also rumors about the fact that the video would be produced from the singer’s drawings – and that was right – as it had done for the CD maxi and vinyl’s covers for “Dessine-moi un mouton”.
Finally, for the first time in the star’s career, the video, directed by Benoît Di Sabatino (sounds like it was an attraction at the first sight!), was produced as a cartoon film. Shot in Paris, it cost about 120,000 euros. As always, it was a Requiem Publishing and Stuffed Monkey production, and the screenplay was written by Farmer. The music video was announced in the media.
In addition to Farmer, the video features a young girl, Lisa, who has already appeared on the cover of the second Marc Levy novel, Où es-tu? ,
a sheep already seen on “Dessine-moi un mouton”s cover, a spider (initially created for the program of the 1996 concert tour) and a rat, in a childish style. There are several references to Le Petit Prince by 1943 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry novella. Which references have you noticed? Pease comment!
According to some analyses, the video emphasizes melancholy and nostalgia. In this context, the dead tree could illustrate the faded beauty of the world, the spider would be the personification of the singer’s black thoughts, while the sheep would represent Farmer’s lost dreams and deepest disillusionment. The clock’s hands going round quickly are likely to illustrate the time gap between physical and mental time. As for the little girl, she would represent Farmer when she was younger and carefree. However, the final words leave a glimmer of hope. The fact that the child was hung by the feet at a certain time might refer to Oedipus, *I personally don’t see it, you?* but also to Farmer’s song “Jardin de Vienne” in which a child finds freedom by hanging. (oh boy it’s too sad!)
Like “Les Mots”, this song is one of the few Farmer singles to have a long trajectory on French SNEP Singles Chart, thus proving it has won over the general public. It debuted at a peak of number five on 20 April and remained for ten weeks in the top 20, thanks to numerous broadcasts by various radio stations. The single fell off the chart after 25 weeks on 5 October. It became a Certified Gold disc five months after its release by the SNEP with over 200,000 units sold, “C’est une belle journée” peaked at number thirty-eight in the 2002 French singles year end chart, five positions behind the single “Les Mots”.
In Belgium (Wallonia), the single started at number 20 on the Ultratop 50 Singles Chart on 1 May, then jumped to a peak of number 11. It stabilized for the next seven weeks in the top 20 and stayed in the chart until 7 August.It was the 51st best-selling single on the 2002 Belgian Singles Chart, ahead of Farmer’s two other singles released that year: “Les Mots” (number 81) and “Pardonne-moi” (number 85). I personally would rate “Pardonne-moi” higher then then “Les Mots” but…it’s a matter of taste, indeed!
Mylene performed the song in playback in two television programs: first, Farmer sang “C’est une belle journée” on 27 April on the nationally acclaimed show Hit Machine on M6; then, she performed the song on Zidane Ela, broadcast on France 2 on 19 May of 2002. For the first and only time, she appeared in the trailer, announcing her own performance in the broadcast (the fact that the singer sang that day for a humanitarian cause may have been a factor).
The choreography, “fluid, joyful” and carried out with two female dancers which eventually became 4 (like the extra sheep in the clip) Mylene looks radiant and smiling more than usual perhaps, something to do with her joyful period of life with Benoit? At each performance, she wore a hat on her head. And I think the whole thing was just super cute! And I got those combat boots too 😊 Its hard to believe she is almost 41 at the time. She looks like 20-year-old girl! Go, Mylene! You are for sure Timeless.
“C’est une belle journée” (It’s a beautiful day) thus joins the list of “classics” of Mylène.
avant que l’ombre 2006
The song was performed during the 2006 tour. When the song started, the letters CUBJ (the acronym of “C’est une belle journée”), then drawings from the music video, appeared on giant screens in the back of the stage.
It was also performed on the Timeless tour in 2013. I love the robotic theme and how she danced with them instead of the real dancers. Its super cool and high-tech but at the same time it still has the child-like playfulness as it is in the clip
It was on C’est une belle journée that two of the five robots (whom Mylène affectionately nicknamed her “daughters”) made their first appearance on stage: ” The questions were: when do they come out, how many times? part was quite difficult because they took a long time to decide which titles they would appear on. They finally told me that two robots would be doing a release on C’est une belle journée, because Mylène absolutely wanted to dance with them 1 ” , explains Phlippe Stegemann, the inventor of these robots.
There are two robots of 2 meters and three of 2.30 meters that perform pre-programmed movements.
C’est une belle journée is the first perfomance of the show with the robots which was designed by the company Robolounge. This work was carried out from the videos of the choreography: “I was inspired either by the movement of the hips, or that of the legs or arms, and of the head to transcribe them into a trajectory, and thus make the robots dance. Later, I had a meeting again at Laurent Boutonnat’s with Mylène, because she wanted to add an intrigue around the appearance of robots and we had to think about it . “
The idea of the robots came from Anthony Souchet, a friend of Mylène who discovered them in the program “France has an incredible talent”, during a semi-final in 2010 on M6. He contacted Philippe Stegemann in 2012, explaining to him that Mylène wanted a futuristic atmosphere for these future concerts. The creator of these robots initially thought it was “a prank 2 “! Then, he presented videos to Mylène and Laurent Boutonnat before giving a demonstration with four robots at the Halle Tony Garnier in Lyon. Mylène insisted that the robots wear at the end of their arm the mask they had during the presentation in Lyon because “that’s what touched and troubled her.
Visit my YouTube channel for more videos with close captions and translations to English and Russian as the once below:
VIDEO WITH SUBTITLES AND TRANSLATIONS
p.s. a racy photos of Mylene below are famous on the net. They are taken by photos were taken by renounce German photographer Ellen Von Unwerth during a photoshoot for creation Les Mots album cover. Enjoy!
MY POETRY INSPIRED BY THE SONG
In the anticipations of you…
I am searching myself to be found in the ancient ruins of my soul
In the reflections of you
I am shining the light through my hidden
In the lost pathways of you
I am finding the uncharted archipelagos and the oceans within myself
All my love that blossoms for you
Makes it so easy to fall madly in love with Myself
with all my
deepest and sacred,
…forsaken and darkened,
…enlightened and blessed
aspects of ME…
how can I ever repay…?
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lyrics with translation
Allongé, le corps est mort Pour des milliers c'est un homme qui dort À moitié pleine est l'amphore C'est à moitié vide qu'on la voit sans effort Voir la vie, son côté pile Oh philosophie, dis-moi des élégies Le bonheur, lui me fait peur D'avoir tant d'envies et j'ai un souffle au cœur Aussi c'est une belle journée Je vais me coucher Une si belle journée Qui s'achève Donne l'envie d'aimer Mais je vais me coucher Mordre l'éternité À dents pleines C'est une belle journée Je vais me coucher Une si belle journée Souveraine Donne l'envie de paix Voir des anges à mes pieds Mais, je vais me coucher M'faire la belle Allongé, le corps est mort Pour des milliers c'est un homme qui dort À moitié pleine est l'amphore C'est à moitié vide que je la vois encore Tout est dit puisqu'en amour si c'est du lourd Si le cœur léger des élégies toujours Les plaisirs, les longs, les courts Vois-tu mon amour moi, j'ai le souffle court Vois-tu c'est une belle journée Je vais me coucher Une si belle journée Qui s'achève Donne l'envie d'aimer Mais, je vais me coucher Mordre l'éternité À dents pleines C'est une belle journée Je vais me coucher Une si belle journée Souveraine Donne l'envie de paix Voir des anges à mes pieds Mais je vais me coucher M'faire la belle Belle, la vie est belle Comme une aile qu'on ne doit froisser Belle… la vie est belle Mais je fais la Belle La vie est belle Et la mienne Un monde emporté Elle J'entre en elle Et mortelle, va C'est une belle journée Je vais me coucher Une si belle journée Qui s'achève Donne l'envie d'aimer Mais, je vais me coucher Mordre l'éternité À dents pleines C'est une belle journée Je vais me coucher Une si belle journée Souveraine Donne l'envie de paix Voir des anges à mes pieds Mais je vais me coucher M'faire la belle C'est une belle journée Je vais me coucher Une si belle journée Qui s'achève Donne l'envie d'aimer Mais, je vais me coucher Mordre l'éternité À dents pleines C'est une belle journée Je vais me coucher Une si belle journée Souveraine Donne l'envie de paix Voir des anges à mes pieds Là, je vais me coucher M'faire la belle
While lying still, the body is dead For many, it is a man who is sleeping. The glass is half full It is half empty is easy to see with no efforts. To see the life’s flip side Oh philosophy, tell me elegies. The happiness I am afraid of To have so many desires and breathe through the heart But, it is a beautiful day I am going to sleep Such a beautiful day Which is coming to an end It makes you want to love But I'm going to bed To take a bite out of eternity With all my teeth It's a beautiful day I'm going to bed Such a beautiful day Sovereign Makes you wish for peace To see angels at my feet But I'm going to sleep To make me beautiful While lying still, the body is dead For many, it is a man who is sleeping. A glass half full I still see it as being half empty It's been said it is heavy when in love, Only with the light heart of elegies there are always The pleasures, the long and short ones You see my love, I have a shortness of breath You see it is a beautiful day But I am going to bed A such a beautiful day That is coming to an end Gives the desire to love But I'm going to bed To take a bite out of eternity With all my teeth It's a beautiful day I'm going to sleep Such a beautiful day Sovereign Gives the desire for peace To see angels at my feet But I'm going to bed To make me beautiful Beautiful…life is beautiful Like a wing that must not be ruffled. Beautiful…life is beautiful But I'm going Beautiful…life is beautiful And so is mine. A world gone away It…I enter it And mortal go It's a beautiful day I'm going to bed Such a beautiful day That is coming to an end Makes you want to love But I'm going to sleep To take a bite out of eternity With all my teeth Beautiful …It's a beautiful day I'm going to bed Such a beautiful day Sovereign Gives the desire for peace To see angels at my feet But I'm going to bed To make me beautiful It's a beautiful day I'm going to sleep now Such a beautiful day That's coming to an end Makes you want to love But I'm going to bed To take a bite out of eternity With all my teeth It's a beautiful day I'm going to sleep now Such a beautiful day Sovereign Gives the desire for peace To see angels at my feet I'm going to bed now I'm going to bed To make me beautiful