Adam Ash

Your daily entertainment scout. Whatever is happening out there, you'll find the best writing about it in here.

Monday, December 26, 2005

A songwriter is the biggest Belgian of them all

Who's the greatest Belgian of them all? None other than the singer and songwriter Jacques Brel (1929-78), according to a call-in poll taken by RTBF, the television broadcaster for French speakers among Belgium's population of 10.4 million. Brel's songs provided the material for the hit Off Broadway revue "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris" in the 1960's. In the poll, he edged out competition that included King Baudouin I (1930-93), who finished second, and Father Damien, the 19th-century priest who cared for lepers in Hawaii.

I THINK it's damn cute of any nation to have a songwriter as their greatest member. Everybody else probably has statesmen (US: Lincoln) or thinkers (England: Darwin). I wonder who's the greatest French person of them all? (Descartes? Joan of Arc? Napoleon?)


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