It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism. In France the song was at no. Georgian singer Tamara Tsereteli — and Russian singer Alexander Vertinsky made what were probably the earliest recordings of the song, in  and in  respectively. Mary Hopkin 's recording of it with Gene Raskin's lyric was a chart-topping hit in much of the Northern Hemisphere.
On most recordings of the song, Raskin is credited as the sole writer, even though he wrote only the later English lyrics which are not an English translation of the Russian lyrics and not the music.
Raskin, who had grown up hearing the song, wrote with his wife  new English lyrics to the old Russian music and then copyrighted both music and lyrics in his own name. Paul McCartney frequented the club and being quite taken with the song he attempted to get several singers or groups including the early Moody Blues to record it.
The song was eventually recorded in over twenty languages and by many different artists, including Gene and Francesca, and Raskin was able to live very well on the royalties, buying a home in Pollensa, Mallorcaa Porsche Spyder and a sail boat.
Hopkin's recording was produced by Paul McCartney with an arrangement by Richard Hewson per the label of the record and became a number-one hit on the UK Singles Chart.
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In the United States, Hopkin's recording reached number two on the Billboard Hot held out of the top spot for three weeks by " Hey Jude " by the Beatles and topped the Billboard Easy Listening charts for six weeks. Mary Hopkin played acoustic guitar on the recording, and Paul McCartney also played acoustic guitar and possibly percussion. The hammered dulcimer, or cimbalomwas played by Gilbert Webster.
McCartney also recorded Hopkin singing "Those Were The Days" in five other languages for release in their respective countries:. All five non-English sets of lyrics were also recorded by Dalida and Sandie Shawwith Shaw recording the English lyrics as well.
Hopkin's version was released on the back of her success on the television talent show Opportunity Knocksand around the time of its release popular singer Sandie Shaw was also asked to record the song by her management, feeling that it should be done by a "real" singer. Shaw's version was released as a single, but did not match the success of Hopkin's version.
At the peak of the song's success, a New York company used the melody in a commercial for Rokeach gefilte fisharguing that the tune was an old Russian folk-tune and thus in the public domain. The commercial included the line "The perfect dish, Rokeach Gefilte Fish" where the English-language song would go "Those were the days, oh yes, those were the days. In the mids, after Hopkin's contract with Apple ended, "Those Were the Days" and "Goodbye" were re-recorded with producer Tony Visconti These were the days my friend lyrics, whom she had married in These re-recorded versions can be found on music compilations.
The greatest hits compilation album contained songs by artists signed to the Beatles' Apple record label between andthe first such multi-artist Apple compilation. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other songs, see Those Were the Days disambiguation.
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