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I first recorded the song you are about to hear on Sep 1, 2009 (see Russian Potpourri). altzar-gypsy-soul those were the daysThe music came to me as Elizabeth and I were driving around our home island (Maui). I did not know at the time what it was. But we both knew it and sang it in the car.

Later, after I had played it a few times on my antique piano, I realized I had heard the song as a young man. Back in 1968, it was known as “Those Were the Days.” It became the No. 2 most popular song in the world, behind “Hey Jude“, another blockbuster Beatles hit (recorded here in Aug 2012). At the time, it was performed by Mary Hopkin, a Paul McCartney protege. Here’s what I said about it on Sep 1, 2009:

I also felt five years ago that the original music was actually Russian. That’s why I recorded it as part of my Russian Potpourri. Indeed, the theme from which the Beatles borrowed their hit music is known in Russia as “Long Road.” What I did not know until just now (Apr 1, 2014) is that this is Gypsy music. The Russian Gypsies consider it their gypsy-music-variationsown song (Dorogoy Dlinnoyu (Long Road) – Gypsy lyrics).

So the Gypsy in me returns once again. As it did last fall when I recorded this GYPSY MUSIC VARIATIONS, AN ENCORE (Nov 3, 2013).

And now, with this as a preamble, here is “Those Were the Days,” or Dorogoy Dlinnoyu if you prefer, in my latest rendition, performed in its entirety on a Yamaha Clavinova…


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