Every Time I Hear “Seasons In The Sun” by Terry Jacks, It Brings Tears To My Eyes

Every Time I Hear “Seasons In The Sun” by Terry Jacks, It Brings Tears To My Eyes

There’s always that one song that would never stop pulling at the strings of your heart, no matter how many times you’ve heard it. The song that makes you cry, leaves you nostalgic, and makes you wish for one more moment with a special person. 

One such nostalgic song is Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks, released in 1973. The original version of this song — sung in French and called Le Moribond” (“The Dying Man”) — belongs to Belgian singer Jacques Brel. It told the painful tale of an old man who was dying of a broken heart after his wife cheated on him. While the original song is an equally sad piece, Terry Jacks’ cover told stories about loss, regret, and memories that speaks to everyone in different tones.

I hadn’t even been born when this song was released but my grandmother loved it, and so did I. This is a song that cuts across many generations, a song about memories that refuses to fade.

Jacks removed the parts that highlighted the old man’s tale and told his own stories of three different characters. The first, who appears to be the main motivation for the song, was a childhood friend who was dying of leukemia at the time. The second was his father who had apparently tried desperately to raise him right as a child, but he’d turned out to be the “black sheep” of the family. The last character was Michelle, who is assumed to be a child as Jacks referred to her as “little one.” There’s not much known about her — she could have been a daughter, a niece, or a friend — but the song implies that she helped raise his spirits whenever he was in a dark place.

Forever in our hearts

Jacks’ cover turned out to be a major global hit as soon as it was released in the U.S. in December 1973. It made Billboard Hot 100 just a month later, and in March 1974, it topped the Hot 100 chart for three weeks. Outside of the U.S., the song also topped the charts in many other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Austria. Almost everyone could relate deeply to the song, a verbal and emotional craving for someone you dearly loved, almost as though you were reliving your precious moments with them through music. A truly beautiful and ageless masterpiece.

“Seasons in the Sun” reminds me of Daniel, a wonderful friend I went to high school with. Daniel was a small, stoutly-built, free-spirited guy who was all about living life to the fullest. He made our days fun, memorable, and always gave us something to laugh about. Barely a few months out of high school, we learned that our dear friend had passed away from an electrical accident at his workplace. Our young hearts blanched painfully for a long time, but his memory lives on. Rest on, Danny. I still have your paintings.

A few other artists have covered “Seasons in the Sun” over time. 

  • Bobby Wright in 1974
  • Nirvana in 1993
  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes in 1997
  • Black Box Recorder in 1998
  • West Life in 1999

There are many other timeless songs like this one that triggers deep feelings of nostalgia and longing. Some of the best ones from the 80s and 90s are:

I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston [1992]

Alphaville” – Sounds Like a Melody [1984] 

Visage” – Fade to Grey [1980] 

Candle In The Wind” – Elton John [1997]

Simple Minds” – Don’t You (Forget About Me) [1984]

Lyrics to “Seasons In The Sun” by Terry Jacks

Goodbye to you my trusted friend 

We’ve known each other since we were nine or ten 

Together we’ve climbed hills and trees

 Learned of love and ABC’s

Skinned our hearts and skinned our knees.

Goodbye, my friend, it’s hard to die

When all the birds are singing in the sky

Now that the spring is in the air

Pretty girls are everywhere

Think of me and I’ll be there.

We had joy, we had fun

We had seasons in the sun

But the hills that we climbed

Were just seasons out of time

Goodbye Papa, please pray for me

I was the black sheep of the family

You tried to teach me right from wrong

Too much wine and too much song

Wonder how I got along.

Goodbye Papa, it’s hard to die

When all the birds are singing in the sky

Now that the spring is in the air

Little children everywhere

When you see them I’ll be there.

We had joy, we had fun

We had seasons in the sun

But the wine and the song

Like the seasons have all gone.

We had joy, we had fun

We had seasons in the sun

But the wine and the song

Like the seasons have all gone.

Goodbye Michelle, my little one

You gave me love and helped me find the sun

And every time when I was down

You would always come around

And get my feet back on the ground.

Goodbye Michelle, it’s hard to die

When all the birds are singing in the sky

Now that the spring is in the air

With the flowers everywhere

I wish that we could both be there.

We had joy, we had fun

We had seasons in the sun

But the stars we could reach

Were just starfish on the beach

We had joy, we had fun

We had seasons in the sun

But the stars we could reach

Were just starfish on the beach

We had joy, we had fun

We had seasons in the sun

But the wine and the song

Like the seasons have all gone

All our lives we had fun

We had seasons in the sun

But the hills that we climbed

Were just seasons out of time

References

  1. We Had Joy, We Had Fun, We Had “Seasons In The Sun”. Do You Remember. K. Gitter. Retrieved April 28, 2020
  2. Jacques Brel Le Moribond Live English Subtitles.” Youtube
#Incredible People #Life #Uplifting