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Trivia Q & A # 1 - 2016

Posted in: News, Trivia Q & A | 1 Comment | Posted on by Mary Anne

jan 8 jacksQ.  In 1974, Terry Jacks released a song, which provided a source of inspiration for many other bands, like Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. What is the name of the song?

A. “Seasons in the Sun” is an English-language adaptation of the song “Le Moribond” by Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel with lyrics by American singer-poet Rod McKuen. It became a worldwide hit in 1974 for Canadian singer Terry Jacks and became a Christmas Number 1 in 1999 for Westlife. Jacks’s version is one of the fewer than forty all-time singles to have sold 10 million copies worldwide.

The song is a dying protagonist’s farewell to relatives and friends. The protagonist mentions how hard it will be to die now that the spring season has arrived (historically, spring is portrayed as the season of new life).

The original French-language song is a sardonic ballad, in which the speaker gives backhanded farewells to his adulterous wife and her lover and the priest he disagreed with while sarcastically expressing his wish that there should be singing and dancing when he is buried. Before Jacks popularized the song, earlier recordings had been released by The Kingston Trio with the first cover version of McKuen’s translation in 1963 and the British band The Fortunes in 1968.

Jacks’s version was recorded in Vancouver in 1973 by Jacks and his wife at the time, Susan Jacks. They made the decision to record the song when the Beach Boys, who recorded a version with Terry Jacks producing, decided to abandon their recording.
Although prior English language versions had attempted to retain the sarcastic tone of the original French song, Jacks opted to make it more sentimental. In each verse, the protagonist bids farewell to someone important in his life.

Jacks’s version was released in the United States in December 1973, and made the Billboard  Hot 100 a month later. On March 2, 1974, the song began a three-week run at No. 1 atop the Hot 100, and remained in the top 40 until almost Memorial Day weekend. Jacks’s version also spent one week on the Easy Listening charts. Billboard ranked it as the No. 2 song for 1974. Although he released several other singles that were moderately successful in Canada, “Seasons in the Sun” would become Jacks’s only major solo hit in the United States.  In Canada, the single (Gold Fish GF 100) reached #1 on the RPM Magazine charts January 26, 1974, and remained there 4 weeks.

The song has also been covered by Andy Williams, The Beach Boys, Nana Mouskouri, The Fortunes, Bad Religion, Too Much Joy, the Squirrels, Spell,Black Box Recorder, Nirvana, Indochine, Karel Gott (Léta prázdnin), Klaus Hoffmann (in German), Pearls Before Swine, Alcazar, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Second Run, The Others, Television Personalities, and Gob featuring blink-182.

In 1993, Nirvana recorded an informal version of the song which was never intended for release, but was eventually included on the DVD portion of their 2004 box-set With the Lights Out. Nirvana’s lead singer, Kurt Cobain, would often reference the song in interviews, mentioning the fact that it made him cry as a child.


Total: 1 Comment

kevin says: January 9, 2022 at 10:28 am | Reply

wow, cool. I always liked this song….used to have it on 45