Monday 6 October 2008

Jacques Brel and Amsterdam

An article on cyberpresse reminded me today: on the 9th of October, it will be the 30th anniversary of the death of Jacques Brel. My francophone readers will forgive me to talk about him here first in English, but he is still too much of an unknown in the English speaking world. I discovered Jacques Brel in my early 20s, when I was working as a dishwasher in a fancy restaurant. We used to play his songs for the customers and then when we were closing down. I slowly got into it, and by the end of summertime he was one of my favourite singers. His songs like Le moribond and Amsterdam (among others) were adapted poorly in English and didn't do justice to his incredible talent. I will put Amsterdam here, a classic, with subtitles. Amsterdam is probably one of my favourite song of Brel, it is powerful, evocative and turns grim realities into poetry.


holly wynne said...

I downloaded the Brel song you recommended to me on Facebook. I haven't listened to it yet, but I wanted you to know :).

Guillaume said...

Cool. Tell me what you think of it. In the meantime, I will put more Jacques Brel here.