Thursday October 9, 2003

Hommage Jacques Brel

Category: You Live & Learn | 7 Comments | Posted 13:30

I know this won't mean much to any of you, as I have next to no French-speaking readers, but I have to mention it anyway. 25 years ago to this day, Jacques Brel died of lung cancer in a French hospital. He was one of the most amazing chansonniers who ever lived, with beautiful, moving and thought-provoking lyrics about friendship, love, beliefs, morals, life and death... the power of his convictions was infectious. I can't say how much this man means to me. When I listen to his songs, I hear my dad speaking. He was incomparable and is sorely missed by many.

If you're interested to know more about him (to make this a Live & Learn entry), go here for an extensive biography in English. To get an idea of his lyrical genius, check these translations of some of his songs. On the left you can stream one of his most popular songs, Ne Me Quitte Pas.


...and also check out the following link to read David Bowie's translation of "Amsterdam":

Actually it's a translation by M. Shuman, I think. It doesn't say so at, but Shuman's name appears on my Pin Ups booklet.
BTW, Dave has done great work covering this song. You should all download it! *g*

Posted by: Katja at October 9, 2003 05:49 PM

LOL I was waiting for you to post that.
It's a nice enough remake, but the original is better

Posted by: Clarissa at October 9, 2003 06:00 PM

Will check out links... he sounds interesting

Posted by: The BML at October 9, 2003 07:20 PM

Oooh he is!

Posted by: Clarissa at October 9, 2003 10:02 PM

This is probably the only Brel song I know, and I definately love it. Now that I've read the lyrics in English I even actually know what the rest of the song says.. Very beautiful!!
Should check Brel out a bit more..

Posted by: Sebastiaan at October 9, 2003 10:27 PM

I'm tired of Brel. He's from belgium, and in the past few weeks, I've heard nothing but Brel, brel, brel on the media all the time. Sure, he's a good singer, but too much is too much.

Posted by: LAmbda at October 12, 2003 12:37 AM

LOL ok so they might overdo it, but hey, 25 years is a big thing! And it's not Brel's fault

Posted by: Clarissa at October 12, 2003 01:09 AM