Sunday night’s long-awaited “Mad Men” season premiere may have left viewers with an earworm: “Zou Bisou Bisou,” the saucy French pop song that Don Draper’s new wife, Megan sings to him for his 40th birthday. It also left them with a whole new view of Megan Draper, the smart and liberated anti-Betty, and a star-making role for French Canadian actress Jessica Pare.
Lionsgate, the production company for Mad Men, announced Monday that it has released Pare’s version of “Zou Bisou Bisou” as a single on iTunes, with a special limited edition vinyl to be sold through the “Mad Men” Web site.
“Zou Bisou Bisou,” which roughly means “Oh! Kiss Kiss!” was originally recorded by Gillian Hills, a French “yé-yé” girl, referring to a style of fun and flirty teen pop music of the era (the phrase means “yeah yeah”).
The song was prominent in a ménage à trois scene featuring Hills, Jane Birkin and David Hemmings in the 1966 Michelangelo Antonioni movie “Blow-Up.” Slate offers a translation of the French lyrics, which David Haglund writes, is all “about openly declaring and displaying one's love, coming out from ‘the bushes’ where ‘lovers glide stealthily’ and feeling love ‘everywhere.’”
There’s also an English version, sung by Sophia Loren for the movie “The Millionairess.” Warning: Some shots in the following video show Loren less than fully clad.
Critics have been praising the song choice in recaps of “Mad Men.”
“Could Weiner have found a more perfect and surprising song with which to convey the sexual liberation of Megan and her generational cohort?” writes Slate’s David Haglund. “I doubt it.”