A. “Seasons in the Sun” is an English-language adaptation of the song “Le Moribond” by Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel with lyrics rewritten by American singer-poet Rod McKuen.
Terry Jacks recorded “Seasons in the Sun” in Vancouver in 1973 with his then-wife Susan Jacks (who went under the name The Poppy Family). They made the decision to record the song when The Beach Boys, who had recorded a version with Terry Jacks producing, decided to abandon their recording.
The single soon topped the record charts in the U.S., in Canada, and the UK, selling over 14 million copies worldwide.
Jacks’s version was released in the United States in December 1973, and made the Billboard Hot 100 a month later. On March 2, 1974, the song began a three-week run at number one atop the Hot 100, and remained in the top 40 until almost Memorial Day weekend. Jacks’s version also spent one week on the Easy Listening charts. Billboard ranked it as the number two song for 1974
The song is a farewell from the dying main character to his loved ones. In the Jacks version, the protagonist bids farewell to a childhood friend of his, his father, who had tried to dissuade him from his lifestyle and Michelle, his little daughter, who will grow without her father. Despite its success when it was released, today it is frowned upon by critics and the general public.