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

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If you prefer your nostalgia tinged with a dose of world-weariness, “Those to be the Days” is guarantee to send you right into a reverie occupied by your own loved and lost, tempered through a dark veneer that experience.

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

“Those to be the Days”

Originally a Russian romance song, “Those were the Days” was credited to Gene Raskin, who placed a brand-new English lyric to the Russian version “Dorogoi dlinnoyu” (literally “By the lengthy road“). Written by Boris Fomin (1900–1948), the track was penned by the poet Konstantin Podrevsky.

The song deals with reminiscence upon youth and also romantic idealism.

However, Welsh folk singer mar Hopkin made it popular and also introduced it to the English world.

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Mary Hopkin/youtube.com

Mary Hopkin’s Recording

Produced by Paul McCartney, mary Hopkin’s 1968 version became a number one struggle 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 two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind McCartney’s own band The Beatles‘ hit “Hey Jude.

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

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

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

Hopkin’s version was released on the back of she success ~ above the television talent show Opportunity Knocks. Roughly the time of its release, well-known singer Sandie Shaw was also asked to document the tune by she management. They felt that it have to be done by a “real” singer. Shaw’s version was released as a single. However, it did not match the success the Hopkin’s version.

The song in other countries

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

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

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

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

Song Origin

The beginnings of the melody appear to be strongly declared by the Russians. In addition, Russian gypsies take into consideration it their song.

The name of this song seems to it is in “Dorogo’ Dlinnoyu” when translated means “By a long road (or way)” or “Along a lengthy road (or way)” or “On a lengthy way.” part sources case it was composed at the end of the 19th century or in ~ the start of 20th century.

There is an additional song, Russian title offered “Darogoi Dli Mayou” calling itself “Dear to Me.” This, too, is an alleged to it is in a version of “Dorogo Dlinnoyu,” first recorded by Alexander Wertinsky in the 1920s.

But the tune was probably very first heard an ext widely as soon as it was sung by Maria Schell in the 1958 film adaptation of The brother Karamazov. Roughly the same time, the good American folk composer and songwriter, Gene Raskin, encountered it and produced the English text we know today.

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