Forty years ago, on the 9th of October, Jacques Brel died – at only 49, that was a short run.
Like many French speakers out there – or francophiles or offsprings of francophiles – I am very fond of the Belgian singer-songwriter. His intensity and amazing lyrics are so amazingly touching, how could anyone who’ve heard resist?
So for Jacques, here are a few of his songs that I love.
Ne me quitte pas (1959)
This is the song about love to end all songs about love. The images he draws are real while dreamlike and the intensity with which he sings makes me feel like no words was ever meant as much as those.
Le moribond (1961)
This song is about a dying man, it’s beautiful and yet it’s still funny. It’s the song that Seasons in The Sun is based on, the English version might be more on the cheesier side, I still think it’s worth a listen.
Les bigotes (1964)
This is a fun one – even if you don’t understand the lyrics, the vocals are well funny. He was one witty man.
Amsterdam is not only a popular destination for weed lovers, it’s mostly a beautiful city that inspired a strong song, that grows stronger and stronger each second from Jacques Brel. Also, the main instrument in this one is the accordion, what else do you want from Jacques?
Les bourgeois (1962)
No bougie shit for Jacques, as he sings the bourgeois are like pigs, the older the get the dumber and cuntier they get – forgive my clumsy translation.
Les vieux (1963)
The best song I’ve ever heard about waiting for death!
Ces gens-là (1966)
Oh! This one is just so huge! It starts all quiet and uneasy and then, it explodes and gets bigger than opera, it’s gigantic.