Old Russian romance: Those were the days!


Today we will watch a video and listen to a good old Russian romance: By Long Road (Dorogoy Dlinnoyu/Дорогой длинною) [composed before 1917]! We think many of our readers know and love an English version of this song, known as “Those Were the Days” and written in 1968.

For our readers who wants to know more:

This Romance was written by Boris Fomin (1900-1948) with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevskii the official year of birth is 1924 but specialists still argue about it: Because there are two versions of this romance and first version of it was sung by incredible Alexander Vertinsy even before Russian Revolution [25 October 1917]. All who has heard this romance by Vertinsky admit that it was genial!

For our Russian speaker readers here is a very good article about this romance in Russian.

And for all our readers we publish the original Russian text and its English interpretation:

Слова К.Подревского

Ехали на тройке с бубенцами,
А вдали мелькали огоньки…
Эх, когда бы мне теперь за вами,
Душу бы развеять от тоски!

Дорогой длинною,
Погодой лунною,
Да с песней той,
Что вдаль летит звеня,
И с той старинною,
Да с семиструнною,
Что по ночам
Так мучила меня.

Да, выходит, пели мы задаром,
Понапрасну ночь за ночью жгли.
Если мы покончили со старым,
Так и ночи эти отошли!

В даль родную новыми путями
Нам отныне ехать суждено!
Ехали на тройке с бубенцами,
Да теперь проехали давно!

English text by Gene Raskin

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’d thought they’d never end,
We’d sing and dance for-ever 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.
Lalala lah lala, lalala lah lala
Those were the days, oh yes, those were the days.

Then the busy years when 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:

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 person really me.

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.

Best wishes
and we think it is great that both Russian and English speakers can enjoy such a wonderful song!

Svet and Kyle
comments always welcome.

9 thoughts on “Old Russian romance: Those were the days!

  1. Anonymous

    The melody is indeed Russian but ‘Those were the days’ is not a translation from the Russian song Dorogoy Dlinnoyu which means along a long road. An American Gene Raskin, wrote the lyrics for the song ‘Those were the days’ using the music from Fomins Dorogoy Dlinnoyu. The song in Russian Дорогой длинною, was written by Boris Fomin in the early 1900's with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevskii. Raskins lyrics are not a literal translation from Podrevskiis

  2. Kyle and Svet Keeton

    Hi Pat,

    Thank you for stopping by and your comment. Nobody told that Raskin made literal translation of the song. American composer and poet Gene Raskin adopted Russian song to English language and ascribed this song to himself.


  3. Tatianna Raquel

    Manca Izmajlova, Nikolay Baskov, Pesnyary Ensemble and many other singers has been covered the song Дорогой длинною in several diffrent languages (in Brazil, there's a Brazilian-Portuguese version of it, although this song is either in Russian or Portuguese or else the other language, whatever French, Italian or Spanish), Please post the HD new Manca Izmajlova version of the romance named Дорогой длинною. The song is also an article you will see on Wikipedia (in English): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorogoi_dlinnoyu

  4. Tatianna Raquel

    Good news, folks: Vitas covered recently the song “Those Were the Days”. Vote for the song on the site: http://www.vitas.com.ru/radio and choose the Vitas’ version of Дорогой длинною. I hope you’ll like the Vitas’ version of the song.

  5. Tatianna Raquel

    Here’s the Portuguese text of Дорогой длинною (recently covered by Vitas):

    Hoje ainda recordo aqueles dias
    que eu trazia o céu no coração.
    Se era primavera não me lembro
    só recordo o amor que nos uniu.

    O tempo que passou
    não conseguiu matar
    o amor que eu
    insisto em recordar
    Eu sei que não morreu
    o que você e eu
    em um sonho bom
    deixamos florescer!

    Tanto amor perdido no momento
    que o meu coração compreendeu
    Que o adeus chegou como um lamento
    de repente o céu escureceu

    O tempo que passou
    não conseguiu matar
    o amor que eu
    insisto em recordar
    Eu sei que não morreu
    o que você e eu
    em um sonho bom
    deixamos florescer!

    Hoje, que o inverno está comigo
    triste inverno da recordação
    Deixo esta saudade no abrigo
    que fiz dentro do meu coração.

    O tempo que passou
    não conseguiu matar…

  6. Tatianna Raquel

    Today I listened the Vitas’ recent version of Дорогой длинною (Those Were the Days) and I loved the Vitas version and I hope you’ll like Vitas singing “Those were the days”.

  7. Pingback: Russian Video: Sing Guitar! « Russian Video From Russia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *