Forum - General Questions

"It Had Better Be Tonight" from The Pink Panther

Does anyone know where I can find the version of "It Had Better Be Tonight" (Meglio Stasera) that is heard in the movie The Pink Panther? It is sung by Fran Jeffries. All the soundtracks I've seen have only an instrumental version or the version sung by Henry Mancini and His Orchestra.

jason.kurinko, April 27, 2005; 1:24 AM


Don't know about that version, but Ennio Morricone also did an instrumental arrangement of this track (with his usual distinctive flair).

piano632, April 27, 2005; 5:37 AM

I assume this has never been issued. Much of Mancini music remains still unissued, as Mr. Mancini was then re-recording his scores for RCA, instead of using the original tracks for soundtrack albums. There has been a 7" of Claudine Longet performing "Nothing To Loose" on A&M records, and Audrey Hepburn's vocals to "Moon River" have been issued about ten years ago, but I'm quite unsure, if "It Had Better Be Tonight" has ever been published in any form.

shicorp, April 27, 2005; 8:29 AM

The soundtrack has an instrumental and a vocal (Chorus) version. The song by Fran Jeffries was never released. A good alternative is the Italian vocal version by Miranda Martino. - In Italy they were used to do an Italian hit version by an Italian vocalist. Ennio Morricone was in the 60's next to film composer also an (exelent) arranger and conductor for these Italian pop artists. He arranged the Mancini track for Miranda Martino who did the song in Italian. (Meglio Stasera) -to my personal taste better than the Mancini version. The arrangement was in 1963. Ennio Morricone did later also an instrumental version on compilation albums.

s.tonkens, April 27, 2005; 12:29 PM

You'll be pleased to know that there is a terrific version of "It Had Better Be Tonight" sung by Fran Jeffries on the CD "Mostly Mercer" which is currently available on the Harbinger label (HCD 1807). I bought one recently from my local Borders bookstore. It wasn't on the shelf so they had to order it for me but it only took about a week. The liner notes for the song state: "Introduced in 1964 by gorgeous Fran in the original PINK PANTHER movie, this Mercer collaboration with Henry Mancini is not as well known as some of their other movie songs, such as "Moon River," "Days of Wine and Roses" and "Charade." Fran is thrilled to finally record this song, which was taught to her by none other than Johnny Mercer."

As I recall, in the movie "The Pink Panther," Fran Jeffries sings the song in Italian. The title is "Meglio Stasera" and the Italian lyrics were written by Franco Migliacci. As stated above, the English lyrics were written by Johnny Mercer. I haven't seen the movie in awhile, so I don't recall whether or not she sings the English lyrics too.

The version which she sings on "Mostly Mercer" is the English version (the Mercer lyrics). Therefore, although it isn't exactly as she sang it in the movie, it's great and I highly recommend it.

Just for the record, the Italian (Migliacci) and English (Mercer) lyrics are as shown below:

(Henry Mancini & Franco Migliacci)

Meglio stasera, che domani o mai
Domani chi lo sa, quel che sara

Non mi dire d'aspettare
Il domani che verra
E una porta che tu chiudi
Fra me e te

Se stasera ti decidi
a rispondermi di si,
I domani che verrano
li dedico solo a te

Megglio stasera, che domani o mai
Domani chi lo sa, quel che sara

Nasce il giorno e il giorno muore,
e la notte portera
L'incertezza del domani,
chissa, chissa

Basta un desiderio solo
a non farti riposar,

e una pulce sul lenzuolo
che dormire non ti fa

Meglio stasera, che domani o mai
Domani chi lo sa, quel che sarra.

(Henry Mancini & Johnny Mercer)

Meglio stasera, baby, go go go!
Or as we natives say, "Fa subito!"

If you're ever gonna kiss me
It had better be tonight
while the mandolins are playing
and stars are bright

If you've anything to tell me
it had better be tonight
or somebody else may tell me
and whisper the words just right

Meglio stasera, baby, go go go!
Or as we natives say, "Fa subito!"

For this poor Americano
who knows little of your speach
be a nice Italiano
and start to teach.

Show me how in old Milano
lovers hold each other tight
but I warn you sweet paisano,
it had better be tonight.

Meglio stasera, baby, go go go!
Or as we natives say, "Fa subito!"

Note: The lyrics which Fran Jeffries sings on the "Mostly Mercer" CD are essentially Mercer's lyrics as shown above but, as many singers do, she modifies them a bit to make the song her own.

P.S. Can anyone out there can provide a literal translation of the Migliacci lyrics and of the phrase "Fa subito!" as used by Mercer?

ca-inc, September 28, 2005; 12:37 AM

Hi! I'm Italian!

A possible translation for "Fa' subito" can be "Do quickly!", or "Quick!"

As for the literary translation of the Italian lyrics, there you go:

It had better been tonight than tomorrow or never,
Who knows what tomorrow will be

Don't tell me to wait
For tomorrow to come
It's a door you're closing
Between you and me

If tonight you finally
Tell me yes
I'll dedicate just to you
The tomorrows that will come

It had better been tonight than tomorrow or never,
Who knows what tomorrow will be

The day is born, the day dies
And the night will bring
The uncertainties of tomorrow
Who knows, who knows

One desire is enough
Not to let you sleep
It's a flea on the sheet
That keeps you awake

It had better been tonight than tomorrow or never,
Who knows what tomorrow will be

...Hope I've been of any help!


PS: Sorry for my not-so-perfect English! ;)

, October 24, 2005; 9:50 PM

I found one in another forum and there's also a link for the song. Yes, it seems to be the original song from the movie or anyway in italian.

link for the forum:

link for the song:


whatever2006, January 14, 2006; 8:55 AM

Thanks so much "whatever2006" That is definitely the song as sung in the movie (complete
with Inspector Clouseau and the rest clapping at the end). I really like that song! I also have a
version that is pretty good - the English lyrics - that I got off iTunes. It's performed by the
group 4 To The Bar and the album is Blue Casino Moon. It's very up-tempo and rich in
instrumentals and vocals. The Fran Jeffries recording on the Mostly Mercer cd is performed by
her in English with a piano and limited percussion accompaniment. It's like a nightclub singer
version and is stylized by Ms. Jeffries - nothing like the movie version unfortunately.

whtknt77, January 14, 2006; 9:27 AM

Thanks, whatever2006, but does anyone know where I could find "The Shadows of Paris" from the sequel,' A Shot in the Dark'?

stopitplease92, March 4, 2006; 8:47 PM

Thanks to Valentina (a.k.a. "laskarlett") for her 10/24/05 translation of the Migliacci lyrics. Good job!

Also, in response to the 1/14/06 posting by "whtknt77", may I say that while it is true that Fran Jeffries' rendition of "It Had Better Be Tonight" as found on the "Mostly Mercer" CD has a more spare accompaniment than does her rendition of "Meglio Stasera" as performed in "The Pink Panther", I don't think that it's the least bit unfortunate that it isn't exactly the same as the movie version. After all, variety is the spice of life!

ca-inc, April 1, 2006; 10:59 PM

There are lots of recordings of the english version on iTunes; Buddy Greco, Sarah Vaughan,
Monica Mancini, Lena Horne (my favorite), and others. Check out the Ultra-Lounge series of
cd's, volumes 15 and 16, for a couple of fun ones.

terese, June 3, 2006; 1:57 AM

I recorded the song from my DVD copy of "The Pink Panther" which means it's exactly the
version that was sung in the movie. I also did "Shadows of Paris" and both links are below.

Meglio Stasera

Shadows of Paris

To the best of my knowledge neither of these is available on a commercial soundtrack so
hopefully I haven't just committed a major faux pas making them available in mp3 form.

preety510, June 18, 2006; 8:20 AM

I have an original EP vinyl disc from the film Pink Panther which includes It had better be tonight, Pink Panther, The lonely Princess and Something for Sellers, which is a cha cha. If you'd like a copy of this I can send you an audio cassette of these.

paulebclarke, June 10, 2007; 5:41 PM

Another GREAT version is by Michael Buble on his new CD "Call Me Irresponsible". From what I understand, although he is Canadian by nationality, he is full blooded Italian!

pingram913, August 20, 2007; 9:15 PM

Response to \

pingram913, August 20, 2007; 9:17 PM

I thought I was probably the only guy would have such a profound enjoyment of this particular song. I remember being a young boy around 11 or 12 sitting by my phonograph in the early seventies listening to the soundtrack to the PP movie that my father had purchased years before. Meglio Stasera was always one of my favorites but as I reached my teens and discovered Led Zepplin, Elton John, Deep Purple and the whole rock music thing, I guess I lost track of this other aspect of lovely music.

Now at 47, I happened to catch the original movie on TMC and sat down to watch it with my fiancee. I had NEVER seen the movie in its entirety...only the last ten or fifteen minutes or so and never new this song was originally sung in Italian by Ms. Jeffries....and to be honest, it gave me chill bumps I enjoyed it so!

It is now nearly 1 AM and having searched the web trying to find the original lyrics, I have discovered who sang the original song, Fran Jeffries, have become somewhat of an expert in her career and also found a web site dedicated to the two nude pictorials of her in Playboy...but in all honest, as incredibly beautiful as she was, her Italian rendition of Meglio Stasera is as beautiful as she is.

Thank you to the lovely lady who translated the original lyrics (I speak Spanish so its not too hard for me to understand Italian but her translation really brought life to the words for me) And A HUGE thank you to the gentleman who recorded Ms. Jeffries singing from the original DVD.

Jeezus! I'm almost in tears!

f6wyvern, January 9, 2008; 12:56 AM

try this...

spkah, March 10, 2008; 9:21 PM

The link to the song in the forum did not work. Can you download from Youtube?

ancientscribe, March 29, 2009; 7:02 AM

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