Skip to Next Poll »
Few (One/Two) Hit Wonder - TERRY JACKS (1974)
Few (One/Two) Hit Wonder - TERRY JACKS (1974) Photo


"Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks - 

Originally "Le Moribond" ("The Dying Man"), this was written and performed in French by Belgian poet-composer Jacques Brel in 1961.
The Canadian singer Terry Jacks was in the duo The Poppy Family with his wife, Susan. After their divorce, Terry worked on a session with the Beach Boys, where he suggested this song. The Beach Boys recorded it but decided not to release it. The Beach Boys' rejection - coupled with the death of a close personal friend of Terry's which made the song's theme more meaningful to him - finally sent him back into the studio.
Terry received permission, but not composer credit, for changing part of the song. He rewrote the last verse and rearranged the words and chords in the chorus in order to lighten up the song.
In 1973, the song was released as Jacks' second single ("Concrete Sea" was his first), and it was a huge hit, going to #1 in America for three weeks and also topping the UK chart.
Terry released this on his own label, Goldfish Records, and was amazed when it became the largest-selling single in Canadian history: more than 285,000 copies sold in a matter of weeks. Bell Records vice president Dave Carrico heard the record, flew to Vancouver, and snapped up the American rights. Bell released the song in the US, and on February 14, 1974, it earned its first RIAA Gold Award for sales of over a million copies. Eventually, it sold more than three million copies in the United States alone. Worldwide, the figure is over six million.
"Seasons in the Sun" is the story of a dying man, bidding farewell to loved ones who have shared his life. Shortly before Terry's recording came out, Jacques Brel retired, at the peak of his popularity. Fans around the world were stunned, but the composer would give no reason. Finally, the truth was revealed: after a quiet, six-year battle against cancer, Brel succumbed to the disease and died on October 9, 1978.
With royalties from this song, Jacks purchased a yacht, which he named "Seasons In The Sun."
Terry knew the song from an English-language version by Rod McKeuen, who translated the lyrics from the original French. That version of the song was recorded by The Kingston Trio in 1964. McKeuen is the credited writer on the song along with Jacques Brel.
Jacks' previous group, The Poppy Family, had a #2 Hot 100 hit with "Which Way You Goin' Billy?" in 1970, and also made #29 with "That's Where I Went Wrong" (both songs were written by Jacks). After "Seasons In The Sun" hit, he recorded anther Jacques Brel song with an English translation by Rod McKeuen: "If You Go Away." This one has the the French title "Ne me quite pas," which literally translates as "Don't Leave Me." It hit #68 in the US.
David Foster played piano on this song. Foster, a fellow Canadian, has contributed to numerous hits as a songwriter, producer and musician. A sampling of his credits:
- Producing the All-4-One "I Swear."
- Writing and recording the original version of "Mornin'."
- Co-writing the Chicago hit "You're the Inspiration."
The B-side of the single was a song titled "Put the Bone In," which described a woman in a butcher shop, apparently begging the butcher to "put the bone in" for her because "her doggy had been hit by a car." Near the end, the lyrics say: "Put the bone in, she yelled out once more."
In the UK, Westlife had the 1999 Christmas #1 with their Double-A-side of "I Have A Dream" and their cover of this song. "I Have A Dream" was originally a #2 hit for Abba in 1979. When this topped the UK chart, Westlife became the first act since Elvis Presley in 1962 to have 4 #1s in the same year.
Nirvana did a version of this song, but it didn't appear until 2004 on the With The Lights Out out boxed set.

Billboard Top 10 Songs of 1974

1  Barbra Streisand The Way We Were
2  Terry Jacks Seasons In The Sun
3  Love Unlimited Orchestra Love's Theme
4  Redbone Come And Get Your Love
5  Jackson 5 Dancing Machine
6  Grand Funk Railroad The Loco-Motion
8  Ray Stevens The Streak
9  Elton John Bennie And The Jets
10  Mac Davis One Hell Of A Woman
| Closed on 12/14/13 at 05:00PM
FanIQ Pts? No | Locker Room, Music | Multiple Choice Opinion Poll
4 Fans 
25%a. 10 (Great Song)
50%b. 7-9 (Like that song)
25%c. 5-6 (ok song)
0%d. Who? What? Huh?
0%e. What a depressing song! This should be a country song! :D

5 Comments | Sorted by Most Recent First | Red = You Disagreed
Vote for your favorite comments. Fans decide the Top Comment (3+ votes) and also hide poor quality comments (4+ votes).
#1 | 340 days ago

Skinned our hearts and skinned our knees.
My friend
It's hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky;
Now that the spring is in the air

yeah....funny the words you remember
7-9 (Like that song)  
#2 | 340 days ago
Nick__ (+)

NIRVANA'S version…….me no likey!  frown
5-6 (ok song)  
#3 | 340 days ago

I liked this song ...
7-9 (Like that song)  
#4 | 340 days ago

I love the yacht naming story. Can't argue with the logic.
#5 | 334 days ago

(Edited by icfeet)
Too much wine and too much song wonder how we got along....

The KINGS are a GREAT team!!
10 (Great Song)  

Post a Comment   Already a user? Sign in here
Join FanIQ - It's Free
FanIQ is the ultimate free community for sports fans.
Talk sports with fans from all over - 1,649,417+ Comments
Track your game picks - 38,670,182,382+ Sports Predictions
Prove you know sports - 116,275+ Trivia Questions
Find fans of your teams - 11,453,110+ New Friends
8-08; Fan IQ's Summertime Music Poll in Review
Asked by hclcdestin | Locker Room, Music | 5 questions asked 08/08/14
60 opinions | 4 comments | Last by Burrellfan1
What is your single of the year #4
Asked by huskerdoug2009 | Locker Room, Music | 10 questions asked 12/10/12
120 opinions | 5 comments | Last by SOONERS1980
What is your single of the year #2
Asked by huskerdoug2009 | Locker Room, Music | 10 questions asked 12/10/12
110 opinions | 5 comments | Last by SOONERS1980
What is your single of the year #3
Asked by huskerdoug2009 | Locker Room, Music | 10 questions asked 12/10/12
120 opinions | 5 comments | Last by SOONERS1980
Which song is your favorite
Asked by huskerdoug2009 | Locker Room, Music | 10 questions asked 12/07/12
240 opinions | 9 comments | Last by SOONERS1980