Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Terry Jacks

Seasons in the Sun

Recorded (in English) by The Kingston Trio (1963).
Adapted from “Le 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 the English-language adaptation of a 1961 song, ‘Le Moribond’, composed 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 had had considerable success in his native Canada as half of the duo The Poppy Family (‘Which Way You Goin’ Billy’, 1969) with his wife, Susan. He was friends with The Beach Boys, who asked him to produce a song for them – something Jacks was honored to do. Terry played them his arrangement of ‘Seasons in the Sun’ and suggested they record it, thinking it would sound great with Beach Boy harmonies and with Carl Wilson singing lead.