Rod McKuen

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Jean, Jean, you're young and alive
Come out of your half-dreamed dream
And run, if you will, to the top of the hill
Open your arms, bonnie Jean.

Rod McKuen (born 29 April 1933) is an American poet, songwriter, composer, and singer, one of the best-selling poets in the United States during the late 1960s. Throughout his career he produced a wide range of recordings, which included popular music, spoken word poetry, film soundtracks, and classical music, earning two Oscar nominations and one Pulitzer nomination. McKuen's translations and adaptations of the songs of Jacques Brel were instrumental in bringing the Belgian songwriter to prominence in the English-speaking world.

Quotes[edit]

Adieu, Francoise, it's hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky.
  • As friends and as musical collaborators we had traveled, toured and written — together and apart — the events of our lives as if they were songs, and I guess they were. When news of Jacques’ death came I stayed locked in my bedroom and drank for a week. That kind of self pity was something he wouldn’t have approved of, but all I could do was replay our songs (our children) and ruminate over our unfinished life together.
    • On Jacques Brel, in liner notes for Greatest Hits - Without a Worry in the World (August 1992)

Music to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1968)[edit]

Musical suite at YouTube"Jean" · McKuen performance · cover version by Oliver
  • Jean, Jean, roses are red
    All the leaves have gone green
    And the clouds are so low
    You can touch them, and so
    Come out to the meadow, Jean.
  • Jean, Jean, you're young and alive
    Come out of your half-dreamed dream
    And run, if you will, to the top of the hill
    Open your arms, bonnie Jean.
  • Till the sheep in the valley come home my way
    Till the stars fall around me and find me alone
    When the sun comes a-singin' I'll still be waitin'

    For Jean, Jean, roses are red
    And all of the leaves have gone green
    While the hills are ablaze with the moon's yellow haze
    Come into my arms, bonnie Jean.

Translations and adaptations[edit]

  • Adieu, Francoise, my trusted wife;
    Without you I'd have had a lonely life.
    You cheated lots of times but then,
    I forgave you in the end
    Though your lover was my friend.

    Adieu, Francoise, it's hard to die
    When all the birds are singing in the sky.

    Now that spring is in the air
    With your lovers ev'rywhere,
    Just be careful; I'll be there.

    • Seasons in the Sun" (1961), as translated from the Jacques Brel song "Le Moribond"· McKuen performance · Beach Boys performance
    • Goodbye, Michelle, my little one;
      You gave me love and helped me find the sun,
      And every time that I was down
      You would always come around
      And get my feet back on the ground.

      Goodbye, Michelle, it's hard to die
      When all the birds are singing in the sky;
      Now that the spring is in the air,
      With the flowers everywhere,
      I wish that we could both be there!

  • We have only love,
    to offer as a prayer,
    for all the wrongs in the world.
    So... like singing troubadours we’ll go,
    singing love wherever we go.
    • "Only Love" by Jacques Brel as translated on the album After Midnight (1988)
  • We have only love,
    to help us find our way,
    as we go out into the world.
    So... like laughing children we’ll go
    singing love wherever we go.
    • "Only Love" by Jacques Brel as translated on the album After Midnight (1988)

External links[edit]