Song Lyric Sunday #24

I’m searching through my back catalogues for some response to Jim Adams’ prompt for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday Challenge which is D or J (title of song must start with the letter D or J). So, how about a real golden oldie, Jackie by the late Scott Walker?

An American-born British singer-songwriter, composer and record producer known for his baritone voice and an unorthodox career path which took him from 1960s teen pop icon to 21st-century avant-garde musician. Walker’s success was largely in the UK, where his first four solo albums reached the top ten. He lived there from 1965, becoming a UK citizen in 1970.

Rising to fame in the mid-1960s as frontman of the pop music trio the Walker Brothers, he began a solo career with 1967’s Scott, moving toward an increasingly challenging style on late-1960s baroque pop albums such as Scott 3 and Scott 4 (both 1969). After sales of his solo work started to decrease, he reunited with the Walker Brothers in the mid-1970s.

From the mid-1980s onward, Walker revived his solo career while moving in an increasingly avant-garde direction. Walker’s 1960s recordings were highly regarded by the 1980s UK underground music scene, and gained a cult following. He continued to record until 2018. On his death in 209, the BBC described him as “one of the most enigmatic and influential figures in rock history”.

Jackie wasn’t written by Walker but by Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel and the French pianist Gérard Jouannest. One night at the Playboy Club in Park Lane, London, Walker hooked up with a German waitress who introduced him to Brel’s music. He fell in love with Brel’s risqué chansons and while finding his feet as a songwriter, Walker covered nine of Brel’s compositions on his first three albums. His version of “La chanson de Jacky,” translated from French into English and re-titled “Jackie,” was released as his second single.

The single met with controversy in the UK most likely because of lyrics like “authentic queers and phony virgins” and drug references. The song was banned by the BBC and was not performed on the corporation’s TV shows or played on the mainstream radio channels. The song was performed on non-BBC channels, most notably on Frankie Howerd’s show Howerd’s Hour where Walker danced comically during the performance.

The track was a moderate hit, spending nine weeks on the UK Singles Chart and peaking at No. 22 in January 1968. The following year it was included as the opening track on Walker’s most popular album Scott 2.

Lyrics: Jackie

And if one day I should become
A singer with a Spanish bum
Who sings for women of great virtue
I’d sing to them with a guitar
I borrowed from a coffee bar
Well, what you don’t know doesn’t hurt you
My name would be Antonio
And all my bridges I would burn
And when I gave them some they’d know
I’d expect something in return
I’d have to get drunk every night
And talk about virility
With some old grandmother
That might be decked out like a christmas tree
And though pink elephants I’d see
Though I’d be drunk as I could be
Still I would sing my song to me
About the time they called me “Jacky”

If I could be for only an hour
If I could be for an hour every day
If I could be for just one little hour
Cute in a stupid ass way

And if I joined the social whirl
Became procurer of young girls
Then i would have my own bordellos
My record would be number one
And I’d sell records by the ton
All sung by many other fellows
My name would then be handsome Jack
And I’d sell boats of opium
Whisky that came from Twickenham
Authentic queers
And phony virgins
If I had banks on every finger
A finger in every country
And every country ruled by me
I’d still know where I’d want to be
Locked up inside my opium den
Surrounded by some china men
I’d sing the song that I sang then
About the time they called me “Jackie”

If I could be for only an hour
If I could be for an hour every day
If I could be for just one little hour
Cute in a stupid ass way

Now, tell me, wouldn’t it be nice
That if one day in paradise
I’d sing for all the ladies up there
And they would sing along with me
And we be so happy there to be
Cos’ down below is really nowhere
My name would then be Junipher
Then I would know where I was going
And then I would become all knowing
My beard so very long and flowing
If I became deaf, dumb and blind
(was: If I could play deaf, dumb and blind)
Because I pitied all mankind
And broke my heart to make things right
I know that every single night
When my angelic work was through
The angels and the Devil too
Would sing my childhood song to me
About the time they called me “Jacky”

If I could be for only an hour
If I could be for an hour every day
If I could be for just one little hour
Cute in a stupid ass way


Challenge Rules

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Ping back to Jim’s post or place your link in his comments section.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Most of all, have fun and enjoy the music.

14 Comments on “Song Lyric Sunday #24

  1. Strangely, I would have picked a Scott Walker as well but Joanna rather than Jackie although I love the lyrics in Jackie, they are hilarious and I do like Brel very much. I just prefer the melody in Joanna which would be in my top three Scott songs along with The Old Man’s Back in Town and The Seventh Seal. What a voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t heard of him before, so I am glad you presented this video. He has indeed a fabulous voice. I found the Jaques Brel version as well (I was curious). I think Scott is doing fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that brings back some memories! I was a teenager in the UK when the Walker Brothers were popular. If I remember correctly, this song got lots of play on the pirate radio stations, which, of course, were the places to go for all the good stuff not being aired by the BBC.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes he is excellent. They compiled the 9 Brel’s songs covered by Scott Walker in an album, Scott Walker sings Jacques Brel and the whole album is excellent, my favorite versions of Brel’s songs apart from the original of course.

    Liked by 1 person

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