Hier Encore

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"Yesterday, When I Was Young" redirects here. For similarly named play, see Yesterday When I was Young.
"Hier Encore"
Song by Charles Aznavour
Released 1964
Recorded 1964
Genre Chanson
Writer(s) Charles Aznavour
Language French, English, Italian, Spanish

"Hier Encore", whose original French title translates as "Only Yesterday", is a song written by Charles Aznavour and released in September 1964.[1]


It was subsequently released in English as "Yesterday, When I Was Young", in Italian as "Ieri Si", in Danish as "Hvor tiden går", in Japanese 帰り来ぬ青春, and in Spanish as "Ayer Aún". It is considered one of Aznavour's greatest hits.

The English-language lyrics, written by Herbert Kretzmer, tell of a man reflecting on his life. He recounts how he had wasted his youth on self-centered pursuits, and that, now that he is older, he will not be able to do all that he had planned; this implies that he may be close to his impending death.

Notable versions[edit]

"Yesterday When I Was Young"
Single by Roy Clark
from the album Yesterday When I Was Young
B-side Just Another Man
Released May 1969
Format 7"
Recorded January 1969
Genre Country
Label Dot 45-17246
Writer(s) Charles Aznavour and Georges Garvarentz
Herbert Kretzmer (English translation)
Producer(s) Joe Allison
Roy Clark singles chronology
"Love is Just a State of Mind"
"Yesterday, When I Was Young"
"September Song"

Charles Aznavour performed this song with Patrick Bruel in a live performance. This version can be heard on Aznavour's 40 chansons d'or album.

In the United States, the best-known version was recorded by country music performer Roy Clark. His version became his biggest hit up to that time on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, peaking at No. 9 in August 1969, and indeed, it became his only top 40 pop hit, peaking at No. 19. Clark performed the song at Micky Mantle's funeral in 1995, at Mantle's personal request.[2]

Amanda Lear recorded her personal version for her 2001 CD Heart.

The song has been performed and recorded by many international stars, such as Bing Crosby, Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, Mel Torme, Lena Horne, Andy Williams, Jimmy Durante,[3] Bobby Bare, Al Martino, The Peanuts, Glen Campbell, Julio Iglesias, Eddy Mitchell, Dean Reed,[4] Johnny Mathis, Marc Almond, Patricia Kaas, Nora Aunor, etc., and an uptempo version by Blossom Dearie. According to Billboard, more than 90 versions of the song were recorded before 1972.[5]

In 2008 Aznavour and Elton John performed "Yesterday When I Was Young" for Aznavour's Duos album.[6]

Chart performance[edit]

Charles Aznavour version[edit]

Chart (1970–1971) Peak
Holland 3
Belgium 6[7]

Roy Clark version[edit]

Chart (1969) Peak
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 2
Canadian RPM Top Singles 7
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 6
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 9
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 19


  1. ^ Catalog of copyright entries - Volume 10, Part 1, Issue 1 - 1967, p. 232
  2. ^ Falkner, David (December 14, 1995). "The Last Days of Mickey Mantle". Dallas Observer. Retrieved December 12, 2015. 
  3. ^ Billboard 8 Jul 1972
  4. ^ Porque yo te amo, SHS
  5. ^ Billboard 8 Jul 1972
  6. ^ Charles Aznavour & Elton John - Yesterday When I Was Young, UltraTop
  7. ^ Song artist 689 - Charles Aznavour, TSORT

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Hurt So Bad"
by Lettermen
RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks
number-one single

August 9, 1969
Succeeded by
"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town"
by Kenny Rogers & the First Edition