Yesterday When I Was Young

Written by: Charles Aznavour

English translation by: Herbert Kretzmer

(Roy Clark sang this song at Mickey's Funeral in 1995.  Mickey had heard Roy sing it before and thought it depicted his life so well that he specifically asked Roy to someday sing it at his funeral)


Yesterday when I was young

The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue

I teased at life as if it were a foolish game

The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame

The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned

I always built, alas, on weak and shifting sand

I lived by night and shunned the naked light of day

And only now I see how the years ran away

Yesterday when I was young

So many drinking songs were waiting to be sung

So many wayward pleasures lay in store for me

And so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see

I ran so fast that time and youth at last ran out

I never stopped to think what life was all about

And every conversation I can now recall

Concerned itself with me, and nothing else at all

Yesterday the moon was blue

And every crazy day brought something new to do

I used my magic age as if it were a wand

And never saw the waste and emptiness beyond

The game of love I played with arrogance and pride

And every flame I lit too quickly, quickly died

The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away

And only I am left on stage to end the play

There are so many songs in me that won't be sung

I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue

The time has come for me to pay for yesterday when I was young