Ellie Stone’s version of this Jacques Brel song from the Off-Broadway play was mesmerizing, but here Geraldine Turner amps it up to the truly spooky and horrifying. And to think she recorded it *before* this week.
I wasn’t familiar with Geraldine Turner, but evidently she is a big musical theater star in Australia, kind of on a par with Angela Lansbury. She was the federal President of Actors Equity (MEAA) in Australia.
Jacques Brel works himself up into a lather singing about the Port of Amsterdam.
Sometime in the late 1960s, Mort Shuman and Elly Stone got together a quartet of performers and created a show comprised completely of Brel’s songs, translated into English by Shuman and Eric Blau. Titled Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, it played at a little cabaret in Greenwich Village and became an unlikely hit, winning awards and playing for four years and thousands of performances in revivals.
Shuman sang this song in the original show, and was very impressive, but it was nice to run across this video of Brel himself singing it. As I remember it, the show had a cast album consisting of two LPs, which as far as I know was a first for the time.