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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...



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/mary_hopkin/those_were_the_days.html

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  • U
    +1
    UnregisteredSep 27, 2014 at 7:11 pm
    We worked together, drank together, fought for justice together in the Trade Union movement. We believed in a better future for everyone, not just ourselves. The years have gone by and the politicians have corroded hearts and minds, and the dreams have been eroded, but they still survive here and there.
  • U
    +1
    UnregisteredJul 28, 2012 at 11:04 pm
    To me this song is about lost love and what might've been if only the dreams of youth had not gotten in the way.
    The tavern is a metaphore for a carefree time and place where the singer once was but can never again be. "once upon a time... " in this case, the time and place was occupied by an early romance when anything and everything seemed possible.
    By verses three and four she is outside the "tavern" in the present and cannot go back in time. She hears the man's voice and sees his face, but only in her mind, "through the door... " her dreams are no longer the dreams of youth, but the wistful, equally unattainable dreams of, what if?
    This song played on the radio when I was a kid in the 60's. Its foriegn sounding beat and mental images of people drinking and laughing inside a cozy gathering place gave it an adventurous feel to me. Perhaps a place I would one day visit in a far off land. It has always reminded me of the last few weeks of summer vacation, knowing that the carefree days would soon end.
    My high school romance ended to make way for college, and our lives never came back together again.
  • U
    +1
    UnregisteredJan 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm
    Fond regrets, forgotten youth, takes you back doesn't it? I too used to sing this song at parties and gatherings. My boyfriend played the guitar and that was really the only song I sang. Ironically I have a russian backround and the tune just sort of spoke to me more so than the lyrics at that time. I actually wasn't aware of it being an old iconic russian tune revised, till now! How great is that? I think i'll start singing it again maybe at open mic night! Lol.
  • U
    0
    UnregisteredJun 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm
    I was a teenager when mary first recorded this song. My wife can sing it better than mary. I listen to it when I can, though my 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s,
    to the tune from here on. "and now i am 62 years old and no wiser. It means the same as it always has, but more so. "
    " i have a little time left and hope to return to those days, before its too late"
  • U
    0
    UnregisteredMar 7, 2012 at 11:59 am
    I loved this song when I was young, when I first heard it, for the words are simple and disturbing all at once. It was obvious even then you cannot go through life without regrets and I feared old age. Now it is a comfort for it is a way into happy memories.
    She's wrong about one thing: I am older and I hope wiser. She's right about the other: the dreams are still the same.
    Old age is not to be feared.

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