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"C'est une belle journée" (French for "It's a Beautiful Day") is a 2001 song recorded by the Frenchmarker artist Mylène Farmer. Second single from her best of Les Mots, it was released on April 16, 2002. Dealing with suicide on a dance music, the song achieved great success in France where it remained ranked for several months on the top 50.

Background and writing

In February 2002, Universal and Stuffed Monkey decided to release "C'est une belle journée", one of the three unreleased from the compilation Les Mots and announced it officially in March. However, due to the huge success of the single "Les Mots", recorded as a duet with Seal, the new single was not released until April 2002.

Several remixes were produced on the three media (CD single, CD maxi, 12" maxi): 'elegie's club remix ', by Blue Planet Corporation, 'such a beautiful day's remix' and 'beauty and bed remix', by StarCity , 'what a souci's remix', by Tom Novy. Another remix was only available on the German Promotional CD single, 'elegie's remix club radio edit', also by Blue Planet Corporation. In 2004, a new remix was made by Devis Head, engineered by Jérôme Devoise at Studio Guillaume Tell, in Parismarker. Two other maxi CDs were released in Germanymarker and Canadamarker, with the same track listings as the French one, but with a crystal case. The promotional CD contains two white feathers : one on the cover (at the end of the word "journée"), the other inside.

The promotional CD single was sent to radio stations on March 4, 2002, then the promotional vinyl on March 28, 2002. There were three versions of the CD single : one is supple, the second is thick, the third is a picture disc.

Like for her other singles, Mylène Farmer wrote the text and Laurent Boutonnat composed the music. The photography was directed by Ellen von Unwerth, and the cover design was made by Henry Neu. About the lyrics, Farmer, interviewed by TF1marker, confessed to have changed 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, was replaced in the end with "C'est une belle journée, je vais me coucher"."Mylène Farmer : "Je me suis auto-censurée dans un titre"", Ozap, Julien Mielcarek, May 7, 2009 Ozap.com (Retrieved May 8, 2009)

Interview, "Sept à Huit", TF1, January 2006

The song was performed during the 2006 tour.

Music and lyrics

Elia Habib, an expert of French charts, considers that "C'est une belle journée" "has an intro worthy of a 1980s opus of Pet Shop Boys". According to him, it "is a song with a tempo surprisingly cheerful" ; however, he maintains : "Under this cover unusual are concealed again recurring themes of the Farmer's anthology : death, nostalgia, vision of a world torn between good and evil, brevity of life".

In this song, Farmer talks about "her irresistible need to see the bad side of things, contrary to most people". This song is very similar in its structure to "Je t'aime mélancolie" : indeed, the two songs have heavy dance sounds and deal with the same gloomy themes. Concerning the lyrics, death and religious references are present, including the angels in the refrain.

According to the 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 spiritual and physical peace". "Behind the joyful and optimistic notes of the song, we can perceive stenchs much less happy and much more ambiguous. Farmer is in a pessimistic perspective, referring to the death behind the apparent sleep, the emptiness instead of the full, the completion instead of the beginning, and the flight as a reunion." There is also a parallel with Le Dormeur du val, written by the Frenchmarker poet Arthur Rimbaud.

Music video

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 indeed the case -, 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, was produced as a cartoon film. Shot in Parismarker, 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, a 1943 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry novella.

At the beginning of the video, we see a dead tree and leaves flying. A slender young woman (Farmer) begins the day doing some stretches on her bed. Inadvertently, she kicks her sheep and looks for it around her. Then while she is bathing, a spider appears in a phylactery. The sheep eats the soap, hiccups, finds itself in a bubble and falls in the bathtub. Then, at noon, Farmer encloses the sheep in her refrigerator. She sits on it and swings her legs to the rhythm of the clock's hands which go round very quickly. Farmer then juggles with her frozen sheep. In the afternoon, she goes and sits on her bed, plays with a spider and seems to be very sad. Suddenly, a young boy appears at the door, hung by his feet. He plays with a ball and flies to the dead tree. Farmer looks at him for a while, and eventually follows him. There the boy dances and plays leapfrog. The sheep, a car and some words fly at their turn. At the end of the day, Farmer lies down with the sheep and the video ends with a mention "To be continued".

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 Œdipus, but also to Farmer's song "Jardin de Vienne" in which a child finds freedom by hanging.

The music video is included on the videos album Music Videos IV.

Chart performances

Like "Les Mots", this song is one of the few Farmer singles to have a long running on the French SNEP Singles Chart, proving that it has managed to win over the general public. It debuted at number 5, its peak position, on April 20, and remained for 10 weeks in the top 20, thanks to numerous broadcasts by various radio stations. The single fell off the chart after 25 weeks, on October 5. Certified Gold disc five months after its release by the SNEP, for selling over 200,000 copies in Francemarker, "C'est une belle journée" peaked at number thirty-eight (#38) in the 2002 French singles year end chart, five places behind the former single "Les Mots" (#33).

In Belgiummarker (Walloniamarker), the single started at number 20 in the Ultratop 40 Singles Chart on May 1 before jumping to its best position, #11, the week after. It stabilized for the following seven weeks in the top 20, and stayed in the chart until August 7. It was the 51st best selling single in the 2002 Belgian Singles Chart, well ahead of the two other Farmer singles released that year : "Les Mots" (#81) and "Pardonne-moi" (#85).

TV performances and cover versions

Mylène Farmer performing "C'est une belle journée" on Zinedine Ela show.


Farmer performed the song in playback in two television programs. These TV performances were conducted with a great deal of relaxation. The choreography, "fluid, joyful" and carried out with two female dancers, "was much less ceremonial than that of "L'Âme-stram-gram"", and Farmer was smiling more than usual. At each performance, she wore a hat on her head.

First, Farmer sang "C'est une belle journée" on April 27, on the nationally-acclaimed show "Hit Machine" on M6.

Then, she performed the song on "Zidane Ela", broadcast on France 2, on May 19. 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). At the end of the song, feathers were released on the set.

In 2003, the single was covered by the French singers MC Solaar, Alain Souchon and Jean-Louis Aubert, during the Les Enfoirés tour. Their version is available on the album La Foire aux Enfoirés (track 14, CD 1, 4:07).

Formats and track listings

CD single
  1. "C'est une belle journée" (single version) — 4:10
  2. "C'est une belle journée" (instrumental) — 4:15


CD maxi - Digipack
  1. "C'est une belle journée" (single version) — 4:10
  2. "C'est une belle journée" (elegie's remix club) — 7:10
  3. "C'est une belle journée" (such a beautiful day's remix) — 8:05
  4. "C'est une belle journée" (what a souci's remix) — 4:10


7" maxi
  1. "C'est une belle journée" (belle and bed remix) — 8:10
  2. "C'est une belle journée" (elegie's remix club) — 7:10


7" maxi - Picture disc
  1. "C'est une belle journée" (belle and bed remix) — 8:10
  2. "C'est une belle journée" (elegie's remix club) — 7:10


CD maxi - Canada
  1. "C'est une belle journée" (single version) — 4:10
  2. "C'est une belle journée" (elegie's remix club) — 7:10
  3. "C'est une belle journée" (such a beautiful day's remix) — 8:05
  4. "C'est une belle journée" (what a souci's remix) — 4:10


CD maxi - Germany
  1. "C'est une belle journée" (single version) — 4:10
  2. "C'est une belle journée" (elegie's remix club) — 7:10
  3. "C'est une belle journée" (such a beautiful day's remix) — 8:05
  4. "C'est une belle journée" (what a souci's remix) — 4:10


Digital download
  1. "C'est une belle journée" (album version) — 4:15
  2. "C'est une belle journée" (live at Bercy 2006) — 8:21
  3. "C'est une belle journée" (Devil Head remix) — 5:10


CD single - Promo
  1. "C'est une belle journée" (radio edit) — 4:00


CD single - Promo - Luxurious edition
  1. "C'est une belle journée" (radio edit) — 4:00


CD single - Promo - Germany
  1. "C'est une belle journée" (single version) — 4:10
  2. "C'est une belle journée" (elegie's remix club radio edit) — 3:42


7" maxi - Promo
  1. "C'est une belle journée" (belle and bed remix) — 8:10
  2. "C'est une belle journée" (elegie's remix club) — 7:10


VHS - Promo
  1. "C'est une belle journée" (video)


Versions

Official versions
Version Length Album Remixed by Year Comment
Album version 4:10 Les Mots 2001 See the previous sections
Single version 4:15 2001 Similar to the album version.
Radio edit 4:00 2001 One latter refrain is deleted.
Instrumental 4:15 Laurent Boutonnat 2002 Similar to the album version.
Elegie's remix club 7:10 Blue Planet Corporation 2002 This is a dance remix which contains all of the lyrics from the original version, but some "C'est une belle journée" and "Donne l'envie d'aimer" in a sampled version are added throughout the song.
Such a beautiful day's remix 8:05 StarCity 2002 This house version has a musical introduction which lasts two minutes.
What a souci's remix 4:10 Tom Novy 2002 This is a dance and techno remix in which many percussion are used.
Belle and bed remix 8:10 StarCity 2002 This remix is almost identical to "Such a Beautiful Day's Remix", except with slightly different vocal arrangements.
Elegie's remix club radio edit 3:42 Blue Planet Corporation 2002 This is the same version than 'Elegie's Remix Club', but shorter.
Devil Head remix 5:10 RemixeS Devil Head 2002 This is a techno remix in which Farmer's voice is put forward.
Live version (recorded in 2006) 8:21 Avant que l'ombre... à Bercy 2006 See Avant que l'ombre... à Bercy


Unofficial mentionable fan remixes
  • Freemind mix — 4:42
  • Happy dayz mix — 3:37
  • Axl C.'s disco mix — 6:43


Credits and personnel



  • Photo : Ellen Von Unwerth / H&K
  • Design : Henry Neu / Com'N.B
  • Made in the U.S.


Certifications and sales

Country Certification Date Sales certified Physical sales
France Gold September 18, 2002 250,000 250,000+


Charts

Chart (2002) Peak
position
Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart 11
French SNEP Singles Chart 5
French Airplay Chart 11


End of year chart (2002) Position
Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart 51
French Singles Chart 38
French Airplay Chart 44
French TV Airplay Chart 40


References


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