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Quiz about The Life and Times of Jacques Brel
Quiz about The Life and Times of Jacques Brel

The Life and Times of Jacques Brel Quiz


I was dismayed to discover that no quiz had yet been created on Jacques Brel, one of my favourite singers of all time. That omission is hereby corrected!

A multiple-choice quiz by jensj2. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
jensj2
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
220,159
Updated
Jul 23 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
1644
Awards
Editor's Choice
Last 3 plays: tingav (9/10), Stoaty (6/10), patrickk (10/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Although he was based in Paris throughout his artistic career and is considered a major contributor to the modern French chanson, Jacques Brel was never a French citizen. From which country did Brel hail? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. In 1959, Brel recorded what is probably his most famous song, a haunting love soliloquy. It is almost certainly the most covered one, having been sung by artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich, Julio Iglesias and Cyndi Lauper, among others. Its English title is "If you go away". What is the original name of the song?

Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. A musical was created in the US revolving around Brel's songs translated into English. What is the name of this musical?
Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. In 1974, Canadian singer Terry Jacks had a worldwide hit with a cover of "Le moribond", a song depicting the last words of a dying man. What was the English title? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. In 1967, Brel discovered a musical in the USA that he helped to launch in France, with himself in the title role. The play is based on a famous literary figure. Which one?

Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. In 1961, Brel achieved a definite breakthrough with a knockout performance at a legendary concert hall in Paris. In 1966, having announced his farewell to the music scene, he would perform his final Paris concerts of the farewell tour in the same hall. What is the name of this music hall? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. After his goodbye to the music scene, Brel dedicated himself to the cinema, both starring in others' films and directing a couple of ones of his own. In one of these, "Franz", a famous French female singer starred alongside Brel himself. Which one? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Brel was never one to shy away from challenges. He humbly claimed that his own career as a singer was mostly due to strength of will (I don't quite believe him). In the 1970's, done with singing and acting, he picked up a new passion, one which he came to dominate almost as a professional. Which was this new racy hobby of his? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. In 1975, Brel set out to sail around the world with one of his daughters and his fiancée. During the voyage, he discovered an island that became his last home and eventually his final resting place. In which geographic area is it located? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. An artist's habits, alas, are not always conducive to good health. On October 9, 1978, Brel's life was cut short at the age of 49. What was the cause of his death? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jul 20 2024 : tingav: 9/10
Jul 16 2024 : Stoaty: 6/10
Jul 07 2024 : patrickk: 10/10
Jun 29 2024 : fado72: 10/10
Jun 25 2024 : Dreessen: 9/10
Jun 14 2024 : i-a-n: 7/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Although he was based in Paris throughout his artistic career and is considered a major contributor to the modern French chanson, Jacques Brel was never a French citizen. From which country did Brel hail?

Answer: Belgium

He was born in Brussels in 1929 into a French-speaking family (although his father was from the Flemish part of Belgium). Brel himself would at times refer to himself as a Fleming, even though he never mastered the language and often managed to stir controversy by attacking (in his words) narrow-minded Flemish nationalism in songs and interviews.

When he, in his early twenties, decided to make a bid for a singing career, moving to Paris was of course quite a logical step.
2. In 1959, Brel recorded what is probably his most famous song, a haunting love soliloquy. It is almost certainly the most covered one, having been sung by artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich, Julio Iglesias and Cyndi Lauper, among others. Its English title is "If you go away". What is the original name of the song?

Answer: Ne me quitte pas

"If you go away, on this summer's day..." (English lyrics by Rod McKuen). The singer implores his lost lover to return, offering her both kingdom and gold. At the end of the song he goes on to debase himself, saying that he could even be "the shadow of your dog" (My own translation from the French). As is the case with many of Brel's lyrics, it truly stands on it's own feet as a wonderful poem.

The alternative answers are also beautiful love songs by our man.
3. A musical was created in the US revolving around Brel's songs translated into English. What is the name of this musical?

Answer: Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

Translator Eric Blau and composer Mort Schuman discovered Brel by 1959 and adapted his songs into a musical that opened in New York in 1967. It is still performed regularly in the US.
4. In 1974, Canadian singer Terry Jacks had a worldwide hit with a cover of "Le moribond", a song depicting the last words of a dying man. What was the English title?

Answer: Seasons in the Sun

It was translated into English in 1964 and recorded by a member of the Kingston Trio. A few years later the Beach Boys were offered to record the sing but rejected it. Jacks rewrote some of the lyrics (with Brel's approval) to lighten up the song. Some members of my family feel that his version is a tad sugary, but it could also be argued that Brel's original energetic rendering of the song almost obscures its beautiful melody.

(I am confident that people of culture immediately noticed that the alternative answers are all titles of great ABBA songs. I just might come back to them in a forthcoming quiz...)
5. In 1967, Brel discovered a musical in the USA that he helped to launch in France, with himself in the title role. The play is based on a famous literary figure. Which one?

Answer: Don Quixote

In French, "L'homme de la Mancha". It premiered in Brussels in October 1968 and was a huge success. It whetted his appetite for acting, which would become the second stage of his artistic endeavour.
6. In 1961, Brel achieved a definite breakthrough with a knockout performance at a legendary concert hall in Paris. In 1966, having announced his farewell to the music scene, he would perform his final Paris concerts of the farewell tour in the same hall. What is the name of this music hall?

Answer: Olympia

28, Boulevard des Capucines. It has also been a movie theatre. The Beatles performed there in 1964 and apparently had a swell time.
7. After his goodbye to the music scene, Brel dedicated himself to the cinema, both starring in others' films and directing a couple of ones of his own. In one of these, "Franz", a famous French female singer starred alongside Brel himself. Which one?

Answer: Barbara

Barbara was a rather black-clad, pale and melancholic singer/songwriter even by French 50's standards. She went on to collaborate in several films (with Gerard Depardieu, among others), both acting and writing the musical score. She passed away in 1997.
8. Brel was never one to shy away from challenges. He humbly claimed that his own career as a singer was mostly due to strength of will (I don't quite believe him). In the 1970's, done with singing and acting, he picked up a new passion, one which he came to dominate almost as a professional. Which was this new racy hobby of his?

Answer: Piloting

He took advanced courses in Switzerland and got an advanced certificate, which qualified him to fly commercial airliners. He went on to own several aircraft himself. (To start downhill skiing at middle age would perhaps be a little too much to ask from a Belgian).
9. In 1975, Brel set out to sail around the world with one of his daughters and his fiancée. During the voyage, he discovered an island that became his last home and eventually his final resting place. In which geographic area is it located?

Answer: The Marquesas Islands

He settled on the island of Hiva Oa in the French Polynesia, an overseas department in the South Pacific. Like many of us people from Northern Europe, he went to great lengths to seek a warmer climate...
10. An artist's habits, alas, are not always conducive to good health. On October 9, 1978, Brel's life was cut short at the age of 49. What was the cause of his death?

Answer: Lung cancer

He smoked around four packs of cigarettes an evening (according to his own estimate), and we're talking the nasty, French kind of ciggies here. Judging by the high quality of his comeback album in 1977, simply entitled "Brel", the world was deprived of some great music indeed. He is buried on Hiva Oa, just a few steps away from painter Paul Gauguin, who also chose this spot to live out his final days.

Thanks for taking your time with this quiz! If I have managed to leave somebody wanting to find out more about this wonderful singer, I'll be more than happy!
Source: Author jensj2

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Bruyere before going online.
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