Originally "Le Moribond" ("The Dying Man"), this was written and performed in French by Belgian poet-composer Jacques Brel in 1961.
Canadian singer Terry Jacks was in the duo The Poppy Family with his wife, Susan. After their divorce,Terry worked on a session with the Beach Boys, where he suggested this song. The Beach Boys recorded it but decided not to release it.
The Beach Boys' rejection - coupled with the death of a close personal friend of Terry's, which made the song's theme more meaningful to him - finally sent Terry back into the studio. Terry received permission, but not composer credit, for changing part of the song. He rewrote the last verse and rearranged the words and chords in the chorus in order to "lighten up" the song.
The tape with Jacks' version of the song sat on a shelf in his home for a year, until a delivery boy heard it and asked Jacks if he could play it for a few friends. Their enthusiastic reaction convinced Jacks to release it as his first solo single. His family and group, the Poppy Family (#2 "Which Way You Goin' Billy?") had broken up a few months earlier.
Link Wray ("Rumble") provided the guitar riff in the introduction.
Terry released this on his own label, Goldfish Records, and was amazed when it became the largest-selling single in Canadian history -- more than 285,000 copies sold in a matter of weeks. Bell Records vice president Dave Carrico heard the record, flew to Vancouver, and snapped up the American rights. Bell released the song in the US, and on February 14, 1974, it earned its first RIAA Gold Award for sales of over a million copies. Eventually, it sold more than three million copies in the United States alone. Worldwide, the figure is over six million.
"Seasons in the Sun" is the story of a dying man, bidding farewell to loved ones who have shared his life. Shortly before Terry's recording came out, Jacques Brel retired, at the peak of his popularity. Fans around the world were stunned, but the composer would give no reason. Finally, the truth was revealed. After a quiet, six-year battle against cancer, Brel succumbed to the disease and died, on October 9, 1978.
After gaining massive royalties from this, Terry named his power boat "Seasons In The Sun"...pls. enjoy!!!