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Susan Michals

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More French Songs for 'Mad Men' To Use, and One Not To

Posted: 03/26/2012 2:48 pm

On last night's debut of Mad Men Season 5, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is thrown into a bit of a tizzy when his new, hot French Canadian wife Megan (Jessica Pare) throws him a surprise birthday party. Now, those of us who know and love Don, know that he's a very private person - so anything 'surprise related' would probably never make its way to his proverbial bucket list.

But Don's young wifey has a special something up her sleeve (or rather, her mini dress) for our foxy creative director's 40th -- a lovely little ditty known as Zou Bisou Bisou (which translates to Ooh, Kiss Kiss). To say that the room became hot and bothered is an understatement; every man in the room was filled with envy and every woman (sans Peggy) is jealous, as evidenced by the tête-à-tête between Roger Sterling as his young wife, Jane: "Why don't you sing like her," mumbles Roger, to which a dead pan Jane responds: "Why don't you look like him?"

The original track of "Zou Bisou Bisou" was sung in English by Sophia Loren, but made it's mark when Gillian Hills, who rose to fame in the film Blowup but first was discovered by Roger Vadim as the heir apparent to Brigitte Bardot. One of the first French "yé-yé" girls, (that's yeah yeah, in English) Hills was an early forerunner in this sugary sweet musical pop movement.

Suffice to say due to Mad Men's current timing, there's a marvelous melange of all things French pop for creator Matthew Weiner to tap into - should he be so inclined. Here are a few suggestions:

"Je t'aime... moi non plus"
Serge Gainsbourg originally created and sang this song (which translates to "I love you...me neither") with Brigitte Bardot, but was recorded in 1967 with then lover, Jane Birkin. The song was banned initially for it's sexual content. (This would perhaps be a lovely little ditty for Joan Holloway Harris):



"Di Doo Dah"
While she had yet to become the namesake for Hermès Birkin bag, Birkin recorded this song from her solo album, circa 1973... If we see Betty Draper again, this might be one for her:

"Ça Plane Pour Moi"
Plastique Bertrand recorded this totally un-sexy, not to mention nonsensical song ("Wham!
Bam! Someone poured whiskey on my cat, Splash") in 1977. Should Mad Men get to this era, we'd love to see Lane Pryce take it to the dance floor:

"Foux Da Fa Fa"
Part of Episode 8 of Flight of the Conchords, "Foux Da Fa Fa" takes a satirical jab at pretty much every French pop song ever - again, with completely nonsensical lyrics in their haphazard attempt to pick up women with lines that translate to "Where is the library?" and "Here's the conversation at the park." While we don't recommend this for Weiner's use, he might want to consider casting Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement as 70's hippies.

 

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