EVERY UK NUMBER ONE SONG: ‘Those Were The Days’ – Mary Hopkin

What was the number one song in the UK on 25th September 1968?

British folk singer, Mary Hopkin was number one for 6 weeks with Those Were The Days.

Originally a Russian song, Mary covered it with English lyrics written by Gene Raskin. It was produced by Paul McCartney and was released on Apple records. The Russian folk influence is palpable throughout the track and the lyrics are saturated in nostalgia. It’s a catchy tune, but with a wistful and at times sombre tone. I’m a fan, but possibly as it’s a song my parents adored and still to this day will often sing aloud (I can confirm, they do not do the song justice).

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…
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
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
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days
La la la la…
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
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
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days
La la la la…
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
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
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days
La la la la…

The Playlist

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