Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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September Morn

Co-written and first recorded (as “C’est en septembre”) by Gilbert Becaud (1978).
Hit version by Neil Diamond (US #17/MOR #2 1979).

From the wiki: “‘September Morn’ was adapted from ‘C’est en septembre’ (‘In September’) co-written by Gilbert Becaud (‘Let It Be Me‘) and Neil Diamond (‘Red Red Wine‘, ‘I’m a Believer‘), with original French lyrics by Maurice Vidalin. It was first recorded by Becaud in late 1978 for release in France in January, 1979.

“Becaud began collaborating with Neil Diamond in the 1970s, together writing ‘Love on the Rocks’, ‘Mama Don’t Know’, and Becaud was among Diamond’s collaborators for the soundtrack music to The Jazz Singer. He was a popular French singer-songwriter whose dynamic stage act and charismatic crooning earned him the soubriquet ‘Monsieur 100,000 volts’; he also wrote more than 400 songs, the best-known of which, ‘Et Maintenant’ (1962), (translated as ‘What Now My Love‘) was recorded by numerous singers, including Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Shirley Bassey.”

A translated portion of the original ‘C’est en septembre’ lyrics, by Maurice Vidalin:

Olive trees give up
The grapes turn red nose
And sand became cold
White sun
Masters swimmers and seasonal
Return to their real business
And figurines are carved
Before Christmas

In September
When boats are unveiled
And the beach trembles under the shade
On the fall débronzé
In September
That one can actually live

… compared to lyrics written by Neil Diamond:

September morn
We danced until the night
Became a brand new day
Two lovers playing scenes
From some romantic play
September morning
Still can make me feel that way

Look at what you’ve done
Why, you’ve become a grown-up girl
I still can hear you crying
In a corner of your room
And look how far we’ve come
So far from where we used to be
But not so far that we’ve forgotten
How it was before

Neil Diamond, “September Morn” (1979):

Gilbert Becaud interviews Neil Diamond (1979):

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