arr: Jeanne Rabin


Michelle (song)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Michelle" is the title of a love ballad by the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney which is featured on their Rubber Soul album. The song departs from most of the Beatles' other recordings in that some of the lyrics are in French, and in fact it is believed to be one of the first bilingual pop songs ever.

"Michelle" has its origins in the popularity of French Left Bank culture during McCartney's Liverpool days. McCartney had gone to a party of art students where a student with a goatee and a striped T-shirt was singing a French song. He soon wrote a farcical imitation to entertain his friends that involved French-sounding groaning instead of real words. The song remained a party piece until 1965, when Lennon suggested he rework it into a proper song for inclusion on Rubber Soul.
McCartney decided to remain with the French feel of his song and asked Jan Vaughan, the wife of his old friend Ivan Vaughan who was also a French teacher, to come up with a French name and a phrase that rhymed with it. "It was because I'd always thought that the song sounded French that I stuck with it. I can't speak French properly so that's why I needed help in sorting out the actual words," McCartney said.
Vaughan came up with "Michelle, ma belle," and a few days later he asked for a translation of "these are words that go together well" -- "sont les mots qui vont très bien ensemble". When McCartney played the song for Lennon, Lennon suggested that he put the verse of "I love you" in the middle, and the song was complete.
The song was a huge hit in 1966 by The Overlanders, who released a cover version of it after The Beatles declined to release it as a single themselves. In 1999, BMI named "Michelle" as the 42nd-most performed song of the 20th century.