Yesterday, When I Was Young

Album: Yesterday, When I Was Young (1969)
Charted: 19
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • French singer-songwriter Charles Aznavour wrote and recorded this in 1964 as "Hier Encore," or "Only Yesterday." Country singer Roy Clark, who had just started his long-running gig as the co-host of Hee Haw, covered the song in 1969 and landed in the Top 10 on the country chart. Clark's spoken-word intro leads into a somber recollection of a wasted youth that led to a lonely adulthood:

    It seems the love I've known
    Has always been the most destructive kind
    I guess that's why now
    I feel so old
    Before my time
  • Herbert Kretzmer, who also translated Aznavour's hit "She," wrote the English-language lyrics.
  • Clark honored a request from Mickey Mantle and sang this at the former New York Yankee's funeral in 1995.
  • Peaking at #19, this was Clark's highest-charting hit on the pop tally and his only entry in the Top 40.
  • Glen Campbell covered this on his 1974 album Houston (I'm Comin' To See You). It's also been recorded by Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Shirley Bassey, Mel Torme, and Dusty Springfield, among others. Aznavour's 2008 album, Duos, includes a duet with Elton John.
  • Clark performed this on The Muppet Show in 1978.
  • Dusty Springfield's version was used in the 2006 Truman Capote biopic Infamous, starring Toby Jones.
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Comments: 2

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: {11-15-2018}...
    Roy Clark, the popular longtime host of TV’s Country Music variety show 'Hee Haw', passed away on November 15th, 2018 at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he was 85...
    He hosted the show from 1969 until 1997. Buck Owens co-hosted the show with Clark until 1986. Clark was instrumental in growing the popularity of Country Music. He was a renowned guitarist and banjo player who influenced countless, country music stars, including Brad Paisley...
    Clark had a warm inviting persona that turned him into a TV star. He had a recurring guest role as businessman Roy Halsey on 'The Beverly Hillbillies'. As the host of 'Hee Haw', he would perform in comedy skits and played with the Million Dollar Band...
    Clark’s biggest crossover song was 1969’s “Yesterday, When I Was Young,” which was his only top 40 hit, reaching number 19 on Billboard's Top 100 chart...
    Clark started playing guitar, banjo, and mandolin as a teenager and won the World Banjo/Guitar Flatpick Championships. He made his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry at the age of 17...
    He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: {10-01-2018}...
    French singer/songwriter Charles Aznavour died at his home in the southeast part of the country at the age of 94. In America, he is best-known for writing the original versions of “Yesterday, When I Was Young”* and “If You Go Away”...
    He recorded more than 1,200 songs in seven different languages and performed in 94 countries...
    May he R.I.P.
    * On July 27th, 1969 Roy Clark's version of the song peaked at #19 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Top 100 chart...
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