Brel’s birthday and Jon says, “I was only dimly aware of Jacques Brel when Pete Flood and Brendan Kelly from Bellowhead suggested we try this song out. I’m still yet to look much deeper into his work, but he was clearly an extraordinary poet and performer.”
My own introduction to Brel strated with Scott Walker and that came courtesy of Julian Cope, who compiled The Godlike Genius Of… LP in the early 80s. I subsequently became aware of If You Go Away (that I now understand to be a slightly ropy translation), especially Dusty’s version and Terry Jacks’ Seasons In The Sun. I’ve still only dabbled and I suppose part of the problem is that I never got very far with O Level French, although some of it lingers. So, French and Brel. Hmmmm. Another project then and probably as unrealistic as a sudden urge, based on Sunday’s post, to dive into Shakespeare. On the strength of this, however, does anyone fancy forming a free ranging study group? Start with the bio page on Wiki but do follow some of the song title links through. The Lines about the raindrops in Ne Me Quitte Pas quite brought a tear to my eye. This is a brilliant song, partially because of the purloining of the Greensleeves melody, but sung in a way that quite stopped me in my tracks this morning.