The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #3230   Message #664922
Posted By: Lanfranc
08-Mar-02 - 06:23 AM
Thread Name: Lyr/Chords Req: Port of Amsterdam
Subject: RE: Port of Amsterdam
I have been a fan of Jacques Brel from way back. Some translations of his songs into English have been better than others (and some were dire - I agree with Bullfrog Jones about "Seasons in the Sun").

To my mind the best were those of Eric Blau and Mort Shuman as featured in the early 70s film "Jacques Brel is alive and well and living in Paris". I have the film (on Betamax!) and the CDs of the 1997 London revival to which I am listening as I post.

Judy Collins recorded "Le Chanson des Vieux Amants" (on one of her early albums ("Wildflowers"?)), "Marieke" and "La Colombe" was on her album "In My Life". The Johnstons (remember the Johnstons?) included at least one Brel song ("I Loved") on one of their albums.

The Scott Walker interpretations were mostly good, if bowdlerised. Marc Almond's CD is also pretty good.

Incidentally, Brel's "Timid Frieda", as translated by Mort Shuman, was one of the first songs to use the f*** word in a published lyric.

Great stuff all. There used to be a superb Brel website, with the lyrics in French and English based on, compiled by one B Batty, but it had disppeared last time I looked.