Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jacques Brel

I wish there were a film of Jacques Brel performing this song or that I had a good translation of the lyrics to share but still, just to hear him perform the song in this spare and lovely arrangement is enough.

The song is called Voir un ami pleurer. Essentially, Brel describes — in his inimitable way — various sad things that we have no power over and ends of each verse "but, but to see a friend crying..."

A beautiful, wistful song for the end of the year.

If you ever find yourself in Brussels, I highly recommend that you visit Éditions Jacques Brel at 11 place vieille Halle aux Blés, where you can visit the exhibit which describes Brel's performing life from the dressing room with his artifacts, through the entrance to the stage and then to an after hours café. An amazing, true depiction of the life of a musician on the road.


Leena said...

Dear Suzanne,
I wish you Happy New Year and plenty of joy in your life !

All those French singers became familiar to me, when my daughter was studying French in the University.
I don`t understand French at all, but I am listening the sound of this wonderful language, it`s like a music.
Thank you for this video!

Suzanne McDermott said...

Hi Leena!

Happy New Year and much love and joy to you, too.

I'm glad you like the Brel song. I'm thinking I'll post a few more of my favorite classic French songs....

PB said...

Hi Suzanne, I am testing to see if this works so that I can be more profound and participate. Thanks for information on Jacques Brel.

Bob in NH

Suzanne McDermott said...

Yes, Bob. You're coming in loud and clear. No need to be profound... participation is AOK.

Anonymous said...

Hi Suzanne, thank you for this post, I do know a bit of French but not this singer until now. His voice is beautiful and made me cry as I thought of all the people that we have loved and lost as each year goes by, especially my parents. Thank you for this video on the last day of the year.

Suzanne McDermott said...

And thank YOU for coming by Carolann! I listened to a few other artists sing this song but no one does it justice like the writer, Brel. Glad you liked it. Happy New Year!