By Klaus Döring
“Those Were the Days” is a song credited to Gene Raskin, who put a new English lyric to the Russian romance song “Дорогой длинною” (literally “By the long road”), composed by Boris Fomin (1900–1948) with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevsky. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism. It also deals with tavern activities, which include drinking, singing and dancing.
Mary Hopkin’s 1968 debut single of “Those Were the Days”, which was produced by Paul McCartney of the Beatles, and arranged by Richard Hewson, became a number one hit on the UK Singles Chart and on the Canadian RPM Magazine charts. The song also reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind “Hey Jude” by the Beatles.
McCartney also recorded Hopkin singing “Those Were The Days” in other languages for release in their respective countries:
In Spain, Qué tiempo tan feliz;in West Germany, An jenem Tag; in Italy, Quelli erano giorni; in France, Le temps des fleurs.
Yes, time flew by. I think about sitting in a jet plane. October again. Wow!
Do you always count the days up to the next legal holidays without being on duty? Or do you start as early as October longing for Christmas? And do you wish the weeks or months hopefully pass by like an assault up to the next possible salary increase?
Many times, we are really in too much of a hurry while feeling uncomfortable if we notice how time flies. We have no time for someone or something or even for ourselves.
When I was still a teenager, I was longing to be an adult already. Later, I enjoyed listening to my grandmother’s stories such as “Once upon a time” or “When I was young” from her “yesterday’s life”… .
After a couple of years, especially while observing that time really flies like a racket to the moon, I also got the same question in mind: Are the present hours and days less valuable?
Of course, each day has its own set of happiness and trials. But it also holds very high possibilities of us taking the initiative to do or to move something, if…
Many of us retreat into the past and forget their present existence. A possible topsy-turvy world of a golden youth tries to let us forget that also the past has had its share of disappointments, pains, tears, darkness, tricky as well as desperate days… yes, lost days, irretrievable time…
Without having achieved anything, we dream our impossible dreams from last to future and vice versa. We forget that between yesterday and tomorrow is our valuable present. Well, now well then – if we know just how to fulfill this period.