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Origins: Sons of (Fils de)

Joe Offer 03 Aug 16 - 05:30 PM
Joe Offer 03 Aug 16 - 05:43 PM
keberoxu 03 Aug 16 - 05:49 PM
Joe Offer 03 Aug 16 - 06:09 PM
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Subject: Origins: Sons of (Fils de)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Aug 16 - 05:30 PM

We made a Song Database (click) to accompany the Rise Again Songbook, and now I'm researching all the songs in Rise Up Singing for a similar database. I know the song "Sons of" from the recording by Judy Collins, and I had wrongly assumed that Judy Collins had written it. A while back, Amos posted a version of the lyrics and said it came from Jacques Brel, but I'm not sure Brel is the author. Let's see what we can find out.
Here are the lyrics Amos posted:

Thread #80580   Message #1470036
Posted By: Amos
25-Apr-05 - 08:09 AM
Thread Name: BS: Ever wonder if you will end up old and a
Subject: RE: Lrics--Sons of Your Sons

This song from Jacques Brel was popularized by Judy Collins. It is relevant here, and in its own way quite poignant.

Sons Of Your Sons

© Jaques Brel

Sons of the thief, sons of the saint
Who is the child with no complaint
Sons of the great or sons unknown
All were children like your own
The same sweet smiles, the same sad tears
The cries at night, the nightmare fears
Sons of the great or sons unknown
All were children like your own

So long ago: long, long, ago

But sons of tycoons or sons of the farms
All of the children ran from your arms
Through fields of gold, through fields of ruin
All of the children vanished too soon
In tow'ring waves, in walls of flesh
Among dying birds trembling with death
Sons of tycoons or sons of the farms
All of the children ran from your arms

So long ago: long, long, ago

But sons of your sons or sons passing by
Children we lost in lullabies
Sons of true love or sons of regret
All of the sons you cannot forget
Some built the roads, some wrote the poems
Some went to war, some never came home
Sons of your sons or sons passing by
Children we lost in lullabies

So long ago: long, long, ago

But, sons of the thief, sons of the saint
Who is the child with no complaint
Sons of the great or sons unknown
All were children like your own
The same sweet smiles, the same sad tears
The cries at night, the nightmare fears
Sons of the great or sons unknown
All were children like your own

Like your own, like your own




Here's a Jacques Brel recording of "Fils de":
FILS DE
(as recorded by Jacques Brel)

de bourgeois ou fils d'apôtres
Tous les enfants sont comme les vôtres
Fils de César ou fils de rien
Tous les enfants sont comme le tien
Le même sourire
Les mêmes larmes
Les mêmes alarmes
Les mêmes soupirs
Fils de César ou fils de rien
Tous les enfants sont comme le tien

Ce n'est qu'après
Longtemps après...

Mais fils de sultan, fils de fakir
Tous les enfants ont un empire
Sous voûte d'or, sous toit de chaume
Tous les enfants ont un royaume
Un coin de vague
une fleur qui tremble
Un oiseau mort
qui leur ressemble
Fils de sultan, fils de fakir
Tous les enfants ont un empire

Ce n'est qu'après
Longtemps après...

Mais fils de bon fils ou fils d'étranger
Tous les enfants sont des sorciers
Fils de l'amour, fils d'amourettes
Tous les enfants sont des poètes
Ils sont bergers
Ils sont rois mages
Font des nuages
Pour mieux voler
Mais fils de bon fils ou fils d'étranger
Tous les enfants sont des sorciers

Ce n'est qu'après
Longtemps après...

Mais fils de bourgeois ou fils d'apôtres
Tous les enfants sont comme les vôtres
Fils de César ou fils de rien
Tous les enfants sont comme le tien
Le même sourire
Les mêmes larmes
Les mêmes alarmes
Les mêmes soupirs
Fils de César ou fils de rien
Tous les enfants sont comme le tien

Written by Eric Blau, Gerard Jouannest, Jacques Roman Brel, Mort Shuman • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

source: https://play.google.com/music/preview/Twlx7snvixebusbcu7vs2ysvx5e?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-songlyrics


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Subject: ADD Version: Sons of (Fils de)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Aug 16 - 05:43 PM

SONS OF
(English words by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman)
(French lyrics by Jacques Brel, music by Jouannest)

Sons of the sea, sons of the saint
Who is the child with no complaint
Sons of the great or sons unknown
All were children like your own

The same sweet smiles, the same sad tears
The cries at night, the nightmare fears
Sons of the great, sons unknown
All were children like your own

Sons of tycoons, or sons from the farms
All of the children ran from your arms
Through fields of gold, through fields of ruin
All of the children vanished too soon

In towering waves, in walls of flesh
Amid dying birds trembling with death
Sons of tycoons, sons from the farms
All of the children ran from your arms

Sons of your sons, sons passing by
Children were lost in lullaby
Sons of true love, sons of regret
All of your sons you can never forget

Some built the roads, some wrote the poems
Some went to war, some never came home
Sons of your sons, sons passing by
Children were lost in lullaby
in lullaby, in lullaby.


source: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/judycollins/sonsof.html (corrected)

Here is the Judy Collins recording, from her 1970 album, Whales and Nightingales: Here's an interesting live performance by Judy Collins: The lyrics in the Rise Up Singing Songbook are just a little different in places.

Please post background information and lyrics corrections below.
-Joe-

Mort Shuman and Eric Blau translated Brel's French lyric for their 1968 Off-Broadway play, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, which had 1,847 performances. Elly Stone headed the cast and sang most of the important songs in the play.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sons of (Fils de)
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Aug 16 - 05:49 PM

"Fils de..." the original French lyrics appear on many webpages on the Internet.

There is also a singable English translation by Rod McKuen, and this, it seems, was covered and recorded by no less than Frank Sinatra. Let's see if I can get a blue clicky link to it.

I'm Not Afraid


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Subject: ADD: I'm Not Afraid (Rod McKuen)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Aug 16 - 06:09 PM

Gee, thanks, keberoxu. I vaguely recall the Sinatra recording, but I didn't make the connection with "Sons of." It's certainly not a translation, but it does use the tune of "Sons of."

I'M NOT AFRAID
(lyrics by Rod McKuen, to the tune of "Sons of")

One afternoon I came to hear
You sing a soft song into my ear
Who would have thought quite by chance
We might engage in the loving dance?

Coming together, staying apart
Lost in diversions, dancing stars
Caught in the quiet, off on our own
Coming together, staying alone

Are you afraid?
I'm not afraid

What about you, what about me?
Two years from now where will we be?
Each of us gone our separate ways
Lost in a headlong passage of days

Maybe we might give love a try
Extending the moment before "goodbye"
And for a gentle moment in time
We'll take what pleasure people can find

Are you afraid?
I'm not afraid

What is for real, what is false?
All of us seem to be caught in a waltz
Turning around, turning again
When will the dancing ever end?

As for us, you and me
Our eyes are open, we can see
Both of us know where we've been
Why must we both go dancing again?

Are you afraid?
I'm not afraid

Come join the dance, come join the waltz
Don't look too closely at my faults
Why can't I die here in your arms,
Safe from the night and away from the dawn?

Back to the nothing from where I came
Back to the nowhere that has no name
Don't worry of me, I know what I am
Where I'm going and where I've been

I'm not afraid!
I'm not afraid! (repeat to fade)

Source: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/franksinatra/imnotafraid.html (corrected to match McKuen recording)


A recording of "I'm Not Afraid" by McKuen:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki8B7KMS04o

Note this from http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=31866
    I'm Not Afraid
    One half of a Double A single along with Frank's duet with daughter Nancy Sinatra "Life's a Trippy Thing," this song flopped when it was released in 1971. However, the singer's son, Frank Sinatra Jr., told Mojo magazine that the Jacques Brel, Gérard Jouannest and Rod McKuen-penned tune is very much underrated. "This for me is a great song," he said. "The arranger was a man called Lenny Hayton. This never became a hit, unfortunately. It's a thoroughly sophisticated love song. It is not the usual mundane love song lyric. It's a very, very good piece of writing by a man who's been forgotten, named Rod McKuen. The music is by Jack Brel and Gérard Jouannest, but McEwan's lyrics."

    Sinatra continued: "Years ago, the concert pianist Arthur Rubinstein said, 'Chopin's music speaks directly to the heart of the people.' Certain lyrics do exactly that and Sinatra, as an interpreter of those lyrics, did that same thing. McKuen was a poet. A beautiful sadness."


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