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Those Were the Days – as sung by Mary Hopkin’s in 1968

This is really an old Russian Folk Tune that English words were later added. AND – I can’t get through one Octoberfest season without performing it!!!

AND I wrote this at Level 1.5 !!! 1st – is the Solo Version


  1. =80 Half Note & =80 Quarter Note – Quarter note gets 1 count and half note gets 1 count
    1. The beat will be the same between the sections.
    2. Key of Am
  2. Start at measure 9
    1. Full Half Notes – little lift so you CAN ACCENT
    2. Every note – represents the notes in the chord needed – so everyone is UNISON in the rhythm.
    3. Do not play “dribble” – staccato – play weighted but detached
    4. Measure 25 & 26 should be accented like before
  3. Beginning
    1. Because the original recording from 1968 – had a choir and orchestra just holding notes – that is what I did.
    2. If there are enough players – 2nd & 3rd can divide the double notes up – one take top and one take bottom – and give a nice LIFT at the end of each whole note or the end of the tie.
    3. 1st – You are the singer – so play smoothly. TAKE A BIG breath after each 2 measure phrase. AND crescendo into and diminuendo out of the phrase.
  4. Notice the beginning is rather soft – and everyone BLOWS AND GOES for 2nd half

About the Song

Those Were the Days” is a song credited to Gene Raskin, who put English lyrics to the Russian romance song “Dorogoi dlinnoyu” (“Дорогой длинною”, lit. “By the long road”), composed by Boris Fomin (1900–1948) with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevskii. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism.

Georgian singer Tamara Tsereteli (1900–1968) and Russian singer Alexander Vertinsky made what were probably the earliest recordings of the song, in 1925 and in 1926 respectively.

The song is featured in the 1953 British/French movie Innocents in Paris, in which it was sung with its original Russian lyrics, but is best remembered in English-speaking countries for Mary Hopkin’s 1968 recording, which was a chart-topping hit in much of the Northern Hemisphere.