Goodbye to you my trusted friend

Charles Cowling

 

Posted by Richard Rawlinson, our funeral music correspondent.

 

It’s 1974, there are three day weeks in Britain due to fuel shortages, and, across the Pond, President Richard Nixon is resigning over the Watergate scandal. And the radio soundtrack to these troubled times includes some of the cheesiest treatments of death in pop history: Gilbert O’Sulivan’s ‘Alone Again (Naturally)’ (above) and (below) Paper Lace’s ‘Billy, Don’t be a Hero’:

 

 

Then we come to the nadir of them all, Terry Jacks’ ‘Seasons in the Sun’. ‘We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun/But the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time,” croons Jacks, as he appears to say goodbye in preparation for death by ‘too much wine and too much song’. I concur with the latter.

 

 

In fact, the maudlin hit has more credible, ‘Continental Cool’ roots, its original being Jacques Brel’s 1961 release, Le Moribund:

 

 

And amazingly, Kurt Cobain also recorded a cover of the Jacks version with Nirvana in the 1990s, which has added resonance as a suicide note from the junkie grunge star:

 

 

But if civil celebs out there ever get to play a rendition of ‘Seasons in Sun’ on the crem sound system, I do hope it’s this distinctly upbeat version by campy Cali-punk cover band, Me First and  the Gimme Gimmes. Somehow, it’s the most moving of the lot:

 

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Charles Cowling
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Richard, you have breathed, variously, earthquake, wind, fire and still, small voice into our little blog. It would be a lot duller without you.

Hello well bonkers, I have to agree. Great!

Richard
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Richard

Charles, I agree Me First and the Gimme Gimmes covers are invariably improvements on the original. They do an amusing version of Lionel Ritchie’s Hello, too. Glad Kim enjoyed it, too. But you must take a smidgen of credit – for giving me the opportunity to occasionally please (and displease) a few of your visitors!

Kim
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Kim

Go RR! 🙂

Kim
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Kim

Wow. Thanks Chazza – riches! Fabulous start to a Monday morning – always had a ridiculous soft spot for Seasons in the Sun. And also the equally syrupy Honey & Summer the First Time by Bobby Goldsboro, which are somehow twinned in my mind. Teenage 70’s radio innit. Lovely. Sniff. Plus – agree with you on the camp surf rockout version. It has just entered my list.