Obscure Song Monday – Seasons In the Sun
Today is the start of a new weekly feature called 'Obscure Song Monday.' Each week we will spotlight a song from the 70's or 80's that was a big hit on the charts, but over time, seemed to have been forgotten about. This week we feature the 1974 #1 hit song, "Seasons In the Sun" from Canadian Terry Jacks. According to songfacts.com, the song was originally entitled "Le Moribond" ("The Dying Man"). It was written and performed in French by Jacques Brel in 1961. Shortly after, American poet Rod McKuen translated the lyrics to English. In 1964, the folk music group, The Kingston Trio released it as the first English-language version. This was the version Terry Jacks heard and decided to record. Jacks rewrote the song after learning his best friend was diagnosed with leukemia. The friend was given less than a year to live, but passed away in just four months.
Before recording it himself, Jacks who was friends with The Beach Boys was asked to produce a song for them. He was honored to do so and suggested they record "Seasons In the Sun", but because of creative differences and scheduling conflicts it was never completed.
In 1973, Jacks made the decision to record "Seasons In the Sun" himself and include it on his album of the same name. The song became a big hit.
"Seasons In the Sun" was released to radio stations in December, 1973 on Jacks record label, Goldfish Records. It reached the Billboard Hot 100 in January, 74 before finally peaking at #1 on March 2 of that year. It remained at the top of the Hot 100 for three weeks. "Seasons In the Sun" eventually dropped out of the top 40 a couple months later.