Jaures (4:16)

Cover of Troubadours

From Troubadours

The incomparable Jacques Brel knew he was dying when he recorded his last album, Les Marquises, in 1977. The opening song asks, “Why did they kill Jaurès?” — as one might ask “Why did they kill Martin Luther King?” or “Why did they kill John Lennon?” Jean Jaurès was a French pacifist socialist leader who tried to stop the First World War and was murdered on the eve of it for his troubles. Funny that few Americans have ever heard of him, isn’t it? Brel can’t answer the question “Why?” But it is inspiring that Brel, with his last breaths, was still fighting the idiocy of war.


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