Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Three Tenors: Those Were The Days



The Three Tenors in Concert, July 16, 1994: José Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti with conductor Zubin Mehta. In Los Angeles with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the chorus of Los Angeles Opera.


*****************
Original Russian Composition: Boris Fomin (words); & Konstantin Podrevskii (words)
English Lyrics: Gene Raskin

Those Were the Days is a song credited to Gene Raskin, who put English lyrics to the Russian song Dorogoi dlinnoyu (Дорогой длинною, or By the long road), composed by Boris Fomin (1900–1948) with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevskii.  Here is a fine Russian version.

It is about memories of youth and romantic ideals. "The Georgian Tamara Tsereteli (1900–1968) in 1925[1] and Alexander Vertinsky in 1926[2] made what were probably the earliest recordings of the song," Wikepedia said:

The most famous English-language version is by Mary Hopkin, a singer from Wales, whose recording of it was released by Apple Records (Paul McCartney, producer) on August 30, 1968. It reached number one in the UK singles chart; and in the U.S. Hopkin's recording reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Billboard Easy Listening charts for six weeks

Here are some additional tidbits notes on the song, which has been translated to many languages. The particular tavern in question was the White Horse tavern in New York's Greenwich Village during the heyday of folk music in the 1960s, when the likes of Dylan, Ochs and The Clancy Brothers graced the stage of this venue.

Those Were The Days

Once upon a time there was a tavern
Where we used to raise a glass or two
Remember how we laughed away the hours
And dreamed of all the great things we would do

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Then the busy years went rushing by us
We lost our starry notions on the way
If by chance I'd see you in the tavern
We'd smile at one another and we'd say

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Just tonight I stood before the tavern
Nothing seemed the way it used to be
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that lonely woman really me

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name
Oh my friend we're older but no wiser
For in our hearts the dreams are still the same

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes, those were the days

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments ought to reflect the post in question. All comments are moderated; and inappropriate comments, including those that attack persons, those that use profanity and those that are hateful, will not be tolerated. So, keep it on target, clean and thoughtful. This is not a forum for personal vendettas or to create a toxic environment. The chief idea is to engage, to discuss and to critique issues. Doing so within acceptable norms will make the process more rewarding and healthy for everyone. Accordingly, anonymous comments will not be posted.