Those to be the days mine friendWe believed they’d never endWe’d sing and dance forever and also a day… live the life us choose… fight and never loseFor us were young and sure to have our way.

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If you like your nostalgia tinged through a sheep of world-weariness, “Those were the Days” is guarantee to send you into a reverie inhabited by your very own loved and lost, tempered with a dark veneer the experience.

It’s a individual survival anthem in a boy key, occasionally betraying its rather lugubrious, fatalistic Russian roots before rallying chin for that instantly recognizable, bittersweet refrain that harks earlier to an ext carefree times.

“Those were the Days”

Originally a Russian romantic song, “Those to be the Days” was credited to Gene Raskin, who put a new English lyric come the Russian version “Dorogoi dlinnoyu” (literally “By the lengthy road“). Composed by Boris Fomin (1900–1948), the song was penned through the poet Konstantin Podrevsky.

The song encounters reminiscence upon youth and also romantic idealism.

However, Welsh folk singer mary Hopkin made it popular and introduced it come the English world.


Mary Hopkin/

Mary Hopkin’s Recording

Produced by Paul McCartney, mary Hopkin’s 1968 version came to be a number one hit on the UK Singles Chart. With an setup by Richard Hewson, it came to be a number one fight on the UK Singles Chart. Moreover, the song got to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, behind McCartney’s own band The Beatles‘ fight “Hey Jude.

In the joined States, Hopkin’s recording reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Moreover, it topped the Billboard Easy Listening charts for six weeks.

Armed through a voice together pure and true as anything that has graced the charts in the years since, and also a plangent setup that featured miscellaneous strings – including a Hungarian variation of the dulcimer – and also a boys’ choir, Hopkin score a large international hit and also secured her own location in popular music history.

Mary Hopkin play acoustic guitar on the recording, and Paul McCartney also play acoustic guitar and possibly percussion. The hammered dulcimer, or cimbalom, was played through Gilbert Webster. Nevertheless, the is unknown who played the banjo despite McCartney is known to be a banjoist.

Hopkin’s variation was exit on the ago of she success ~ above the television talent show Opportunity Knocks. Roughly the time of its release, popular singer Sandie Shaw was additionally asked to document the track by her management. Castle felt the it have to be excellent by a “real” singer. Shaw’s version was released as a single. However, that did not complement the success that Hopkin’s version.

The tune in other countries

The Russian origin of the melody was accentuated by an instrumentation the was unexplained for a top-ten popular music record, including balalaika, clarinet, hammered dulcimer, tenor banjo and children’s chorus, providing a klezmer feel come the song.

On the other hand, In France, the track was in ~ no. 1 in the very very first edition of the singles sales chart. That was introduced by the Centre d’Information et de Documentation du Disque in October 1968.

In the Netherlands, it topped the charts for 2 consecutive weeks.

Versions of the tune were also recorded in Spanish, French, Italian and German by Hopkin and McCartney. Man Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia, additionally recorded a version.

Song Origin

The origins of the melody show up to it is in strongly declared by the Russians. In addition, Russian gypsies take into consideration it your song.

The name of this song appears to be “Dorogo’ Dlinnoyu” once translated way “By a lengthy road (or way)” or “Along a long road (or way)” or “On a lengthy way.” some sources claim it was written at the end of the 19th century or at the beginning of 20th century.

There is one more song, Russian title provided “Darogoi Dli Mayou” calling itself “Dear to Me.” This, too, is claimed to be a variation of “Dorogo Dlinnoyu,” an initial recorded through Alexander Wertinsky in the 1920s.

But the track was probably very first heard an ext widely as soon as it was sung by Maria Schell in the 1958 movie adaptation of The brother Karamazov. Around the exact same time, the good American people composer and songwriter, Gene Raskin, encountered it and also produced the English lyrics we understand today.

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