Tuesday, 12 February 2013

What's My Song?

This week's topic for The Writers' Post group on Facebook is 'What's My Song?' and is hosted by Suzie Que.

I’ve liked a lot of songs at different times of my life, but my favourite of all time is ‘A Certain Smile’ by Johnny Mathis. It comes from the film of the same name which was based on Francoise Sagan’s Bonjour Tristesse.
The film is about a young French student who falls in love with an older (married) man, but in the end has to accept that he doesn’t love her. The older man, Luc, is played by Rossano Brazzi, who certainly has a wonderful ‘certain smile’ (remember him as Emile de Becque in 'South Pacific'?)
The song is both romantic and bittersweet – the beginning of love with ‘a certain smile, a certain face, can lead an unsuspecting heart on a merry chase’ – leading to ‘you love awhile, and when love goes, you try to hide the tears inside with a cheerful pose' – but ‘in the hush of night, like a bittersweet refrain, comes that certain smile to haunt your heart again.’
I first saw the film and heard the song when I was in my teens, and it has remained a ‘special’ song for me ever since. I can’t really define why, but now, as a romance author, I find my heroines invariably go through this kind of experience. However, for them, everything eventually works out happily!
Here's the clip from the original film when Johnny Mathis first sang it:


  1. While I'm totally the wrong generation for Johnny Mathis, I love his songs. My mom and her college friend love him and whenever our families would visit each other, they would always play his songs. So for me, they're tied up with memories of my childhood. I think my favorite of his is "Hello"--and I love the movie it's from too (can't remember the name though).

  2. It's from the movie 'Same Time, Next Year', Jen. I like a lot of Johnny Mathis songs but none are as 'special' to me as 'A Certain Smile'.

  3. Such a smooth, romantic voice. I love Johnny Mathis' 'The Shadow of Your Smile'. Thanks for sharing, Paula.

  4. It seems like everyone has a different Johnny Mathis favourite, Corinne :-)

  5. I didn't know that song, Paula, but I love The Shadow of your Smile. I adore music but couldn't name just one favourite song.

  6. There are a lot of songs I love too, Rosemary, but this one has stayed with me for more years than I want to count! Whenever I listen to it, I still get tingles!

  7. Trying to catch up :)

    I had not heard this song before... I love it. So romantic and yes so right on-- bittersweet :)

    I love music from this era!!

    Thanks for sharing ;)

  8. In in 1966 my mother took my brother and me to a Johnny Mathis show in Singapore. I was very little but one song stood out and is my fav JM number - Everybody's Talkin' at me. Thanks for linking up to my prompt.