Friday, 30 January 2015

Rod McKuen: Seasons in the Sun

Farewell then to Rod McKuen, best selling American poet and musician, who translated the work of Jacques Brel  into English and introduced his work to an Anglophone audience.

His interpretations of the songs in English became better known through performances by other singers.

His translations of songs like If You Go Away and Le Moribund (retitled Seasons in the Sun) became hits and went on to become standards. Dusty Springfield would have a hit with If You Go Away, Terry Jacks would have an international hit with Seasons in the Sun in 1974.

McKuen lived in France in the early 60s and got to know Brel, translating his songs as well as those of others.

McKuen's work was hugely popular in the late 60s and the early 70s,  and he had a long career as a writer and musician, but his work with Brel probably led to much of the abiding interest in the work of one of the French language's greatest songwriters.

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