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: