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Single Serving
A retro, psychoanalytic song analysis of Terry Jacks’ Seasons in the Sun, by psychologist, Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. BLT, The Rock Doc

Phantom Tollbooth visitors: If you don’t own a copy of the original, here’s a free cover to jog your memory:

Dr. BLT’s cover of Terry Jacks’ Seasons in the Sun
http://www.drblt.com/music/seasonsone.mp3

Seasons come and seasons go, and I don’t know about you, but, personally, I’m just a little sad to see that the Christmas season is behind us.   Then again, Ground Hog’s Day is just around the corner and, providing that the groundhog sees his/her shadow (or is it the other way around?) we will soon get to look forward to the wonders of spring. 

Springtime is cut short for many who pass away in their prime.  And death is central to the human phenomenon described by existential psychologists as ontological anxiety, an angst that is born of one’s ongoing fear of one’s ultimate genetically-programmed nemesis.  There is only one song about death that reminds me of spring.  It is like a freshly blossoming rose being crushed by its own thorns: That song is Terry Jacks’ 70s classic, Seasons in the Sun.  It was written and recorded in the days when songs still told stories, and this is a heart-wrenching, tear-jerking story (if just a little sappy if one goes by the standards of bitter critics poisoned by the cyanide of cynicism).   With a catchy, if melancholy, melody, and stellar harmonies, it tells the tale of a man dying in the springtime of his life.  He is saying good-bye (or, should I say, singing his swan song?) to loved ones.  The four seasons are still the best way of depicting the phases of one’s life, including birth, burgeoning youth, adulthood, old age (or winter), and finally, death, the phase we all dread the most (oddly enough, even those of who believe in heaven).   Terry Jacks has a certain pining quality to his voice that is as haunting as it is compelling.  When you here the poetic song, and you hear him sing, “...think of me and I’ll be there,”  it is almost as if he is right there in front of the you, performing the song for the very first time.  Thank you, Terry.  Your timeless “seasonal” classic is a great way for all of us to put things in perspective as we face a new year on borrowed time that all of us have been granted by the Giver of Life. 

Terry Jacks
Seasons In the Sun:

Goodbye to you, my trusted friend.
We've known each other since we're nine or ten.
Together we climbed hills or trees.
Learned of love and ABC's,
skinned our hearts and skinned our knees.
Goodbye my friend, it's hard to die,
when all the birds are singing in the sky,
Now that the spring is in the air.
Pretty girls are everywhere.
When you see them I'll be there.

We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.
But the hills that we climbed
were just seasons out of time.

Goodbye, Papa, please pray for me,
I was the black sheep of the family.
You tried to teach me right from wrong.
Too much wine and too much song,
wonder how I get along.
Goodbye, Papa, it's hard to die
when all the birds are singing in the sky,
Now that the spring is in the air.
Little children everywhere.
When you see them I'll be there.

We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.
But the wine and the song,
like the seasons, all have gone.

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 bird are singing in the sky,
Now that the spring is in the air.
With the flowers ev'rywhere.
I whish that we could both be there.

We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.
But the stars we could reach
were just starfish on the beach 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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