31 January 2015

Hopkin

It's time for a song.

Released in both Britain and America in 1968, "Those Were the Days" recorded by Mary Hopkin on the Beatles' Apple label began life in Russia with music by Boris Fomin and lyrics by Konstantin Podrevskii. It was first recorded in 1925 by a Georgian singer called Tamara Tsereteli. In 1953 this Russian version was even used in a light-hearted Anglo-French comedy film called "Innocents in Paris" starring Alastair Sim and Margaret Rutherford.

Listen closely to the rendition by Mary Hopkin and you will notice the Russian character of the song. But it is the English lyrics that have always stayed with me. The sense of nostalgia and of a better, more hopeful time being recalled. Those were the days not these days we are living in now.

As for Mary Hopkin. She is sixty four now and still active in the world of music. Her daughter, Jessica Morgan has also become a recording artiste. You can read all about Mary here. Perhaps sadly and ironically there's a sense in which the words of her famous hit song have come true for Mary Hopkin - those were her days, when she was eighteen year old starlet, not these days...

11 comments:

  1. When I first started reading I thought you were talking about the theme song from All In the Family!

    Now I've got the Archie and Edith Bunker version playing in my head! ;)

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    1. I think that Mary Hopkin's "Those Were the Days" is better.

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  2. I've always loved this song.

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    1. Some songs stick in one's head don't they Helen.

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  3. Well, I'll be! I always thought the music and the beat had a Russian kinda' overtone, but I have never bothered to look it up. Nice, Mr. Pudding. Thank you for the information. (I hope you are feeling better.)

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    1. Feeling a good bit better today Madam Thyme. Went out for a stroll in the snow.

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  4. That was such a big hit. Those certainly were the days and I'm glad I was a part of those days. Halcyon days of youth...

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    1. The Halcyon is a bird of Greek legend and the name is now commonly given to the European Kingfisher. The ancients believed that the bird made a floating nest in the Aegean Sea and had the power to calm the waves while brooding her eggs. Fourteen days of calm weather were to be expected when the Halcyon was nesting

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  5. Oh yes! How right you are! Very Russian indeed. About the same time the Seekers (? I think) brought out 'The Carnival is Over' ('67) - another Russian tune. At the time I remember my Russian Grandmother being quite indignant that it had been appropriated, although later she would proudly tell anyone near. To Russia with Love came out in '63, The stage show musical Fiddler on the Roof in '64, and Doctor Zhivago in '65. In '68 - '71 Ivan Rebroff sang Russian songs madly (all over our house, at least), and '71 Fiddler on the Roof came out in movie form.
    We certainly had a bit of a love-fest going with the strange 'romantic' world behind the Iron Curtain then!
    Thanks for the memories.

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  6. Well! I never knew that "The Carnival is Over" also had Russian origins Kate but you are right I went to The Bible (Wikipedia) to check:-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Carnival_Is_Over

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  7. Well, well. I never knew any of that but now you mention it.......

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.