Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Seasons in the Sun

Recorded (in English) by The Kingston Trio (1963).
Adapted from “L’e Moribond” by Jacques Brel & Rod McKuen (1961).
Also recorded by Rod McKuen (1964), The Beach Boys (1973).
Hit version by Terry Jacks (US #1/UK #1/CAN #1 1974).

From the wiki: “‘Seasons in the Sun’ is an English-language adaptation of the 1961 song ‘L’e Moribond’ by Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel with English lyrics by American singer-poet Rod McKuen (‘Jean‘). The original French-language song included sarcasm and references to the speaker’s wife’s infidelity.

“The Kingston Trio recording was the first cover version of McKuen’s translation in 1963. McKuen would include a performance of his own work on the 1964 album Rod McKuen Sings Jacques Brel.

“Terry Jacks recorded his version in Vancouver in 1973, making the decision to record the song when The Beach Boys, who had recorded their own version of it with Terry Jacks producing, decided to abandon their recording. Jacks recorded it instead and released it in 1974 on his label, Goldfish Records.

“The Jacks version is one of the fewer than forty all-time singles to have sold 10 million (or more) physical copies worldwide.”

Jacques Brel, “L’e Moribund” TV performance (c. 1961):

Rod McKuen, “Seasons in the Sun” (1964):

The Beach Boys, “Seasons in the Sun” (1973):

Terry Jacks, “Seasons in the Sun” (1974):

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