Those Were The Days

Album: Post Card (1968)
Charted: 1 2
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • 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


    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


    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

    [Chorus]Writer/s: GENE RASKIN
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, T.R.O. INC.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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Comments: 19

  • Anastasia from Moscow, RussiaThe song indeed originates from Russia and was written in 1924 by Boris Fomin (music) and Konstantin Podrevsky (lyrics). It's not Gypsy, though intentionally resembles Russian Gypsies songs that were very popular over here in late 19th-early 20th cent. Famous Russian crooner Alexander Vertinsky was one of the first to record it in 1929. The correct name of the song is 'Dorogoy Dlinnoyu' (not 'Darogoi Dli Mayou', this simply makes no sense in Russian).
  • Ed Bowie from MarylandThis is a very good song, and i like it. However strangely I think it is extremely scary.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 25, 1969, Mary Hopkin performed "Goodbye" on the CBS-TV network variety program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    At the time the song was at #13 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, and that was also it's peak position on the chart, it spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on April 13th, 1969 it peaked at #2 {for 3 non-consecutive weeks} on the United Kingdom's Singles chart; the first week it was at #2, the #1 record was "Israelites" by Desmond Dekker & the Aces, and for it's 2nd & 3rd weeks at #2, it was the Beatles' "Get Back" in the top spot...
    Between 1968 and 1972 she had six records on the Hot Top 100 chart; one made the Top 10, "Those Were The Days" at #2* {for 3 weeks} on October 27th, 1968...
    Ms. Hopkin celebrated her 67th birthday earlier this month on May 3rd {2017}...
    * The three weeks that "Those Were The Days" was at #2, who was at #1 for those three weeks, none other then those pesky Beatles again, this time with "Hey Jude!".
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 27th 1968, Mary Hopkin performed "Those Were the Days" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    And on that very same day the song moved into the #2 spot on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    I guess lightning strikes twice, for also on that same day it peaked at #1 {for 6 weeks} on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    {See next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 7th 1969, Mary Hopkin performed "Those Were The Days" on the ABC-TV program 'This Is Tom Jones'...
    Five months earlier on September 22nd, 1968 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #70; and on October 27th, 1968 it peaked at #2 (for 3 weeks) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 7 of those 14 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    And on the same day that it peaked at #2 on the Top 100 it reached #1 (for 6 weeks) on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    Ms. Hopkin will celebrate her 64th birthday in three months on May 3rd (2014).
  • Steve from Whittier, CaThis song runs FIVE minuts, and it is every bit worth OF it. My single is a UNDERGROUND records reissue.
  • Stella from London, United KingdomThe Leningrad Cowboys is actually a Finnish rock band, not Russian. Aki Kaurismaki, a Finnish film director is the person with the original idea contributing music to his short films 'Rocky VI' (1986) 'Thru The Wire' (1987) and they started out as a fictional band in the film 'L. A. Woman' (1988) and in the feature length film 'Leningrad Cowboys Go America' (1989). The founding members are Sakke Jarvenpaa and Mato Valtonen. Kaurismaki directed their video of 'Those Were The Days' in 1992. The Russians were the 70 member Alexandrov Ensemble with whom they sang the Lynyrd Skynyrd song 'Sweet Home Alabama' at the 11th Annual MTV Music Awards at the Radio City Music Hall in New York in 1994. This performance was watched by an estimated 250 million people.
  • James from Yucaipa, CaThis is a very nice song by mary hopkin. I have the 1968 single on apple records. 6/23/10.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesThis was considered to be part of the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids. Fearless Christian anti-rock crusader Dr. David Noebel had some pretty harsh words for poor Miss Hopkin at the time. In his book "The Beatles, a Study in Drugs, Sex and Revolution", he stated that she "almost gave the whole show away" in an interview where she had the unmitigated nerve to state that "everything Russian is fashionable now".
  • Carole from Dennis, MaThe recording by Susan Lainey in 2003 was used by Nip Tuck in 2005 in the Ellie episode..not sure of the number ..The story is on her website.
  • Jeff from Liverpool, Englandnot 100% sure but i think it is spelt darogoi dlimmo hope this helps
  • Mary from Phoenix, AzHi Susan. So, what series are you talking about, because I don't see your name credited on anything on IMDb. In fact, for the soundtrack listing of "Those were the Days"...the only thing listed for anything near 2005 was Naomi's Moring...and it says it was sung by Dolly Parton.
  • Pat from BarryMary Hopkin's recording of "Those were the days" will in 2008 be 40 years old... It is in my opinion the definitive recording. No one else sings it like she does. Also a wonderful live recording from 1972 was released last year and can be obtained from her own official website it is superb.
  • Jean-louis from Leuven, BelgiumThere is a "russian" cover in english by the Leningrad Cowboys (1992), closing the circle from Russia to the Uk and back to Russia.
  • Susan Rezendes from New Bedford, MaI am a singer for healthcare facilities around New England. I've been singing this song for about 35 years and people of all ages seem to love it. It is my "magical song" . So much so that I recorded it in 2003 and in Oct 2005, my version was featured on an internationally broadcasted American major television series. Susan Lainey New Bedfor MA USA
  • Jorge from Mexicali, MexicoI heard this song a long time ago when I was a kid, and stuck to me until I finally tracked it down with the advent of the Web. Very sad and melancholic, but with hope at the end. I love it.
  • Roman from Saint-petersburg, EuropeCynthia Lennon record this song in 1995.
    This record was produced by Chris Norman, ex-leader of british group Smokie, nowadays succesful solo performer
  • Ken from Houston, TxA Japanese version of this song was used in an animae production whose plot dealt with a future society where people could live forever by transfering themselves into a robotic body. The procedure could not be reversed and those who did it found their new existence lacking in some of the pleasures and sensations we take for granted. There is a scene where this song plays and stirrs up a longing for these beings human pasts.

    "Nothing seemed to be the way it used to be" indeed.

    Thanks to my son Riki (12) and daughter Mari (9) for bringing this to my attention.
  • Cathy from Sherwood Park, CanadaActually the original Russian version is Doroga Dlinaya(not sure of spelling in these letters) and it means the long road
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