Those Were the Days (song)
|"Those Were the Days"|
|Single by Mary Hopkin|
|B-side||"Turn! Turn! Turn!"|
|Mary Hopkin singles chronology|
|"Those Were The Days"|
|Single by Sandie Shaw|
|B-side||"Make It Go"|
|Sandie Shaw singles chronology|
"Those Were the Days" is a song credited to Gene Raskin, who put a new English lyric to the Russian romance song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu" ("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.
Mary Hopkin's 1968 version of the song, produced by Paul McCartney, became a number one hit on the UK Singles Chart. The song also reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind McCartney's own band The Beatles' hit "Hey Jude". In France the song was at no. 1 in the very first edition of the singles sales chart launched by the Centre d'Information et de Documentation du Disque in October 1968.
The song appears in the 1953 British/French movie Innocents in Paris, in which it was sung with its original Russian lyrics by the Russian Tzigane chanteuse Ludmila Lopato. Mary Hopkin's 1968 recording of it with Gene Raskin's lyric was a chart-topping hit in much of the Northern Hemisphere. On most recordings of the song, Raskin is credited as the sole writer, even though he wrote only the later English lyrics (which are not an English translation of the Russian lyrics) and not the music.
In the early 1960s Raskin, with his wife Francesca, played folk music around Greenwich Village in New York, including White Horse Tavern. Raskin, who had grown up hearing the song, wrote with his wife  new English lyrics to the old Russian music and then copyrighted both music and lyrics in his own name. The Limeliters subsequently released a recording of the song on their 1962 LP Folk Matinee. The Raskins were international performers and had played London's "Blue Angel" every year, always closing their show with the song. Paul McCartney frequented the club and being quite taken with the song he attempted to get several singers or groups (including the early Moody Blues) to record it. Failing at that, after the formation of the Beatles' own Apple Records label, McCartney immediately recorded Mary Hopkin performing the song. The song was eventually recorded in over twenty languages and by many different artists, including Gene and Francesca, and Raskin was able to live very well on the royalties, buying a home in Pollensa, Mallorca, a Porsche Spyder and a sail boat.
Hopkin's recording was produced by Paul McCartney with an arrangement by Richard Hewson (per the label of the record) and became a number-one hit on the UK Singles Chart. In the United States, Hopkin's recording reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 (held out of the top spot for three weeks by "Hey Jude" by the Beatles) and topped the Billboard Easy Listening charts for six weeks. In the Netherlands, it topped the charts for two consecutive weeks. The Russian origin of the melody was accentuated by an instrumentation that was unusual for a top-ten pop record, including balalaika, clarinet, hammered dulcimer, tenor banjo and children's chorus, giving a klezmer feel to the song. Mary Hopkin played acoustic guitar on the recording, and Paul McCartney also played acoustic guitar and possibly percussion. The hammered dulcimer, or cimbalom, was played by Gilbert Webster. It is unknown who played the banjo though McCartney is known to be a banjoist.
McCartney also recorded Hopkin singing "Those Were The Days" in five other languages for release in their respective countries:
- In Spain, Qué tiempo tan feliz, by Rosa Morena (instead of Aquellos Fueron Los Días or En Aquellos Días)
- In West Germany, An jenem Tag
- In Italy, Quelli erano giorni
- In France, Le temps des fleurs
- In Afghanistan Farsi, "Deegar Ashkam Mariz" by legendary singer Ahmad Zahir (1972).
"Those Were the Days" was catalogue number APPLE 2 (the APPLE 1 number had been given to an unreleased version of "The Lady Is a Tramp" by Frank Sinatra, recorded specially in 1968, for Maureen Starkey's 22nd birthday, as a gift from Ringo Starr, under the name of "The Lady is a Champ"). It was the second single to be released on the Apple label, the first — "Hey Jude" by the Beatles —had retained the sequential catalogue numbers used by Parlophone (in the UK) and Capitol (in the US).
Hopkin's version was released on the back of her success on the television talent show Opportunity Knocks, and around the time of its release popular singer Sandie Shaw was also asked to record the song by her management, feeling that it should be done by a "real" singer. Shaw's version was released as a single, but did not match the success of Hopkin's version.
At the peak of the song's success, a New York company used the melody in a commercial for Rokeach gefilte fish, arguing that the tune was an old Russian folk-tune and thus in the public domain. (The commercial included the line "The perfect dish, Rokeach Gefilte Fish" where the English-language song would go "Those were the days, oh yes, those were the days.") Raskin successfully sued and won a settlement, since he had slightly altered the tune to fit his lyrics and had taken out the valid new copyright.
In the mid-1970s, after Hopkin's contract with Apple ended, "Those Were the Days" and "Goodbye" were re-recorded with producer Tony Visconti, whom she had married in 1971. These re-recorded versions can be found on music compilations.
On 25 October 2010, Apple Records released Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records, which included the original recordings of "Those Were the Days" and "Goodbye". The greatest hits compilation album contained songs by artists signed to the Beatles' Apple record label between 1968 and 1973, the first such multi-artist Apple compilation.
This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- 1959: Theodore Bikel recorded this song, in the original Russian language.
- 1962: American folk group The Limeliters released the song on a 1962 LP called Folk Matinee. This recording was later reissued on a 1968 album.
- 1968: The French version of the song, "Le temps des fleurs", was popularized by the international recording star Dalida. She also recorded the song in Italian and German.
- 1968: The Hungarian recording star Teri Harangozó recorded the Hungarian version "Azok a szép napok" and had a huge hit in Hungary, and Hungarian minorities in the neighbourhood countries of Hungary with this song.
- 1968: The international recording star Vicky Leandros recorded the French version "Le temps des fleurs" and had a huge hit in Japan, Canada, and Greece with this song. Mary Hopkin's version was released as "Kanashiki Tenshi" (悲しき天使, literally "Sad Angel") in Japan.
- 1969: Gene & Francesca recorded the song on their album Hello Love on Tetragrammaton.
- 1969: Chris Connor recorded the song for her album Softly and Swingin' which was released only in Japan. The track was left off the final album release. Connor's estate preserved an original master tape of this album on cassette which includes this track and the track "Didn't We?"
- 1969: Bing Crosby recorded the song for his album Hey Jude / Hey Bing!
- 1969: Roger Whittaker recorded the song for his album This Is Roger Whittaker
- In the 1960s: Mary Hopkin and Sandie Shaw also sang the song in French, as well as in Italian, Spanish and German. Both Shaw's and Hopkin's versions were released roughly around the same time, as a sort of competition between the two, to see whose single would fare better with the public. When Hopkin's album, Postcard, was re-released on CD, the Spanish and Italian versions of the songs appeared as bonus tracks. Sandie Shaw has had all of her versions re-released on separate CDs, split up by language.
- 1974: Gigliola Cinquetti in spain: "Aquellos fueron los dias" from the record "Los mas grandes exitos de Gigliola Cinquetti, Vol. 2
- 1992: Finnish rock band Leningrad Cowboys included the song on their album We Cum from Brooklyn and also released it as a single.
- 1995: Cynthia Lennon
- 2001: Finnish Viking metal band Turisas covered the song on their demo The Heart of Turisas
- 2005: Il Folklorista recorded "Those Were the Days"; Il Folklorista is a project by Gigi D'Agostino and Luca Noise. The remix was included in the compilation albums Disco Tanz and 2006s Some Experiments.
- 2005: American country singer-songwriter Dolly Parton recorded an album including folk and pop songs from the 1960s and 1970s. This was the opening song and title track to her album Those Were The Days. Mary Hopkin provided backing vocals to this recording.
- 2007: Jamaican dancehall artist Shaggy put the refrain of "Those Were the Days" in his album Intoxication.
- 2007: Latvian instrumental cello rock trio Melo-M included a version in their 2007 album Singalongs.
- 2007: Japanese vocalist Noriko Mitose included a version on her 2007 album Cotton, entitled "Hana no Kisetsu" (花の季節, literally "Flower Season", itself a translation of "Les temps des fleurs"). The arrangement is provided by guitarist Tomohiko Kira.
- 2008: Bad Boys Blue covered the song on their album Heart & Soul.
- 2010: Wilfredo, the comic alter ego of the British comedian Matt Roper, performed the song at the Salento Festival, Italy.
- 2011: The Iranian rock band Kiosk recorded this song on their 2011 album Outcome of Negotiations.
- 2013: Australian country artist Nia Robertson recorded the song on her album The Woman I Am.
Chart performance (Mary Hopkin version)
- Apple Records discography
- List of Cash Box Top 100 number-one singles of 1968
- List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1968 (U.S.)
- List of number-one singles of 1968 (Canada)
- List of number-one hits of 1968 (Germany)
- List of number-one singles of 1968 (Ireland)
- List of number-one singles of 1968 (Spain)
- List of number-one singles from 1968–79 (Switzerland)
- List of Oricon number-one singles of 1969
- List of UK charts and number-one singles (1952–1969)
- VG-lista 1964 to 1994
- Kay, Hilary (1992). Rock & Roll Memorabilia: A History of Rock Mementos With over 600 Illustrations. Prentice Hall. p. 174. ISBN 978-0671-77931-3.
The Hopkin single, a McCartney-produced traditional Russian folk song, knocked Apple 1 ("Hey Jude") off the U.K. top slot.
- Spizer, Bruce. "An Apple a Day: Mary Hopkin – Post Card". Beatlesnews.com. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
Mary Hopkin's debut single paired "Those Were The Days," a Lithuanian folk song adapted by American Gene Raskin
- "An Industry Report on France". Billboard. 14 July 1973. p. 42. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "Topic: Дорогой длинною". SecondHandSongs. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
- "Recording: Дорогой длинною - Alexander Vertinsky". SecondHandSongs. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
- Paul McCartney - Many Years From Now, p. 455
- Perrone, Pierre (18 June 2004)."Gene Raskin – Singer, songwriter and architectural scholar". Archived from the original on 5 December 2008.. The Independent.
- "Those Were The Days (original) – The Limeliters 1962.wmv". YouTube. 23 April 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
- Engelhardt, Kristofer (2010). Beatles Deeper Undercover. Collector's Guide Publishing, Incorporated. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-926-59209-1.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 118.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Mary Hopkin – Those Were The Days" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- Engelhardt, Kristofer (2010). Beatles Deeper Undercover. Collector's Guide Publishing, Incorporated. p. 147. ISBN 978-1-926-59209-1.
- Farah, Douglas (13 May 2001). "Oil Gives African Nation a Chance for Change". The Washington Post. Hartford Web Publishing. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
...a far cry from the days of Macias, who on Christmas 1975 executed 150 alleged coup plotters in the national stadium while a band played "Those Were the Days."
- Edwards, David; Eyries, Patrice; Callahan, Mike (27 December 2005). "Elektra Album Discography, Part 2 – EKL-100/EKS-7100 Series (1956-1967)". Elektra. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- "Vicky Leandros -Le temps des fleurs". YouTube. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
- "Gene And Francesca – Hello Love". Discogs. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
- Nathan, Dave. "Bing Crosby – Hey Jude/Hey Bing!". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "This Is... by Roger Whittaker". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Gigi D'Agostino – Some Experiments (CD)". Discogs. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
- "Melo-M – Singalongs". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
- ""Noriko Mitose - Cotton"". SnowBlanc. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
- "wilfredo in italy – salento festival". YouTube. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
- "Click on the album covers to order the CD / MP3 Download on iTunes". Kiosktheband.com. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
- "NiaRobertsonMusic.com". Retrieved 31 January 2013.
- "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS Pre 1989 Part 4". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Austriancharts.at – Mary Hopkin – Those Were The Days" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Ultratop.be – Mary Hopkin – Those Were The Days" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5815." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Billboard – Hits Of The World". Billboard. 80 (49): 68. 7 December 1968. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "Billboard – Hits Of The World". Billboard. 80 (47): 78. 23 November 1968. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Mary Hopkin – Those Were The Days". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Those Were the Days". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "I singoli più venduti del 1968" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- "Japan #1 DISKS by Oricon Hot Singles" (in Japanese). Oricon. 18.ocn.ne.jp. Archived from the original on 26 December 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Mary Hopkin - Those Were The Days" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Billboard – Hits Of The World". Billboard: 51. 13 June 1970.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Mary Hopkin – Those Were The Days". VG-lista. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Billboard – Hits Of The World". Billboard. 60 (48): 88. 30 November 1968. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- "Billboard – Hits Of The World". Billboard. 80 (46): 71. 30 November 1968. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "Swisscharts.com – Mary Hopkin – Those Were The Days". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Post Card – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending NOVEMBER 9, 1968". Archived from the original on 30 September 2012.. Cash Box magazine.
- "100 Top Pops" (PDF). Record World. 2 November 1981. p. 25. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- "50 Back Catalogue Singles – 21/11/2009". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "Jaaroverzichten 1968" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "The RPM 100 Top Singles of 1968". RPM. Vol. 10 no. 19. Library and Archives Canada. 6 January 1969. Archived from the original
- "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1968" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1968" (in German). Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Top 100 Hits for 1968". The Longbored Surfer. Archived from the original on 25 November 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1968". Archived from the original on 14 August 2012.. Cash Box magazine.