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During last night’s Mad Men season premiere, Don Draper’s wife Megan (Jessica Pare) performed a very sexy public serenade to Draper (Jon Hamm) that had everyone at his surprise birthday party shocked and stunned.
Pare, aka Megan Draper, performed “Zou Bisou Bisou,” a 1961 recording by yé-yé girl Gillian Hill. Sophia Loren also sang an English version in the film The Millionairess (1960), where the track was dubbed “Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo.”
Ye-ye music was a mostly European music craze featuring young, sexy female performers with breathy little girl voices singing songs about first loves and lusts. Whereas now we are accustomed to pubescent pop singers such as Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Willow Smith, the musical movement was considered racy in the ’60s. France Gall was only 16 when she burst on the European scene. Serge Gainsbourg called her the French Lolita and composed a famous sexually suggestive song, “Les Sucettes” (translation: “Lollipops”) in her honor. Françoise Hardy was another ye-ye girl who sang “Tous Les Garçons et Les Filles.” Sample lyric: “All the guys and girls my age know how it feels to be happy, but I am lonely. When will I know how it feels to have someone?”
Another ye-ye girl, Sylvie Vartan, married rock star Johnny Hallyday in 1965 and toured in America and Asia. In 1968 she recorded the song “Jolie Poupée” about a girl who regrets abandoning her dolls. Even Johnny Depp paramour Vanessa Paradis is considered a ye-ye singer. She began singing in 1987 when she was just 14, with her song, “Joe Le Taxi.”
The ye-ye’s also set ‘60s fashion trends, most wearing long, straight hair with full bangs, miniskirts, and baby doll or A-line short dresses.
In case you don’t speak French like Megan, here are the song’s lyrics in English:
Zou kiss kiss/Zou kiss kiss, zou kiss kiss, zou kiss kiss
My God, they are soft/zou kiss kiss/zou kiss kiss
Zou kiss kiss/ zou kiss kiss/ zou kiss kiss
The noise of kisses!/In the bushes, under the August sky
Lovers glide stealthily/Like birds, they have returned
You can hear everywhere:/Zou kiss kiss, etc.
But tell me, do you know/Between us, what it means
What does “zou kisses” mean?/It is to say, I admit
That yes, I love only you/Zou kiss kiss, etc.
But who needs the bushes of\August when you hold me/Softly around the neck?
It’s curious, you see, I admit/All over it makes me feel, “zou kiss”
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