5 Songs That Will Introduce You To The Music Of Jacques Brel

1 – Amsterdam

Brel’s gripping depiction of the lives of sailors in the Dutch city is undoubtedly his masterpiece, and most people’s introduction to the music of Jacques Brel.

Covered by a diverse list of artists from David Bowie to John Denver, the rich imagery – complete with Brel’s dramatic performance – makes this Brel classic one of the singer’s most influential and well-known works.

2 – Ne Me Quitte Pas

Arguably the most tragic songs ever written, Ne Me Quitte Pas depicts the desperation that men will go to in order to cling onto a failing love.

Starting with bold statements about covering his partner with gold and sunlight, and how he is a king and her a queen – in the last lines the narrator is reduced to the “shadow of a dog” as he pines for the lost love.

3 – Ces Gens-La

In Ces Gens-La, Brel’s narrator introduces us to a family of despicable people whom he has nothing but contempt for.

The song, which was released in 1965, is a biting critique of modern society and the people who inhabit it.

With masterfully poetic lyrics, Brel paints a picture of a world filled with people who are superficial, hypocritical, and lacking in empathy.

4 – Le Play Pays

Le Plat Pays is a nostalgic tribute to Brel’s native Belgium. The song’s melody is gentle and contemplative, and the lyrics paint a picture of the beauty and simplicity of life in the “flat country.”

The song’s timeless appeal and powerful emotion have made it a classic of the chanson genre and a hallmark of Jacques Brel’s legacy.

5 – La Chanson Des Vieux Amants

Gerard Jouannest’s piano work on this song is sublime, and sets the mood for Brel’s tale of the relationship of two old lovers whose tumultuous love isn’t without its troubles.

Here, Brel isn’t describing a perfect romance; he’s singing about a raw passionate love that remains strong despite the issues life throws at it.

The song, which was released in 1967, is a touching tribute to the lasting power of love. With its moving melody and powerful lyrics, it remains one of Brel’s most popular songs.

In conclusion, these five performances by Jacques Brel demonstrate the power and timeless appeal of his music. From the powerful ‘Amsterdam’ to the melancholic ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’, these songs continue to captivate audiences around the world, and the popularity of these YouTube performances is a testament to Brel’s lasting impact on the world of music.

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