"Jacky" (La chanson de Jacky) (Translation: The song for Jacky) is a songwritten by the Belgiansinger-songwriterJacques Brel and Gérard Jouannest. Brel recorded the song on 2 November 1965, and it was released on his 1966 album Ces Gens-Là. The song was translated from French into English and retitled "Jackie".
The single met with controversy in the UK 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 or played on the mainstream radio channels. The song was performed on the non-BBC channels most notably on Frankie Howerd's show Howerd's Hour where Walker comically danced and during the performance.
"Jackie" was a moderate hit spending nine weeks on the UK Singles Chart and peaking at #22 in January 1967. The following year was included as the opening track on Walker's most popular album Scott 2.
The single is notable for including one of Walker's only non-album b-sides. The accompaniment for "The Plague" was directed by Peter Knight in an atypical arrangement that featured guitar and female backing singers.
In 1977, Jacky (entitled as "Jackie") was recorded by Peter Straker on his album This One's On Me, which was co-produced by his close friend Freddie Mercury. He has since recorded the song a second time for his 2012 album and associated stage show Brel.
In May 1986, Momus released his version of the song, retitled as "Nicky" after the singer's first name, as the title track of a three song EP of Brel covers.
In 1991, Marc Almond recorded a cover version Brel's song for his album Tenement Symphony, and released it as a single that reached #17 in the UK and #14 in Ireland.