Yesterday When I Was Young

Words & Music by Charles Asnavour
English Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Recorded by Roy Clark, 1965

      Am7            D7
Yesterday when I was young

                      GM7                  CM7
The taste of love was sweet as rain upon my tongue;

                   F#m7                  B7
I teased at life as if it were a foolish game

                      Em         B+             E7
The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame.

                       Am7                             D7
The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned--

                  GM7                        CM7 
I always built to last on weak and shifting sand;

                     F#m7                      B7
I lived by night and shunned the naked light of day,

               Em           B+        E7
And only now I see how the years ran away.

       Am7            D7
Yesterday when I was young,

               GM7                     CM7
So many happy songs were waiting to be sung,

                Am7                        B7
So many wayward pleasures lay in store for me,

                    Em             B+        E7
And so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see.

                   Am7                           D7
I ran so fast that time and youth, at last, ran out,

                    GM7                     CM7
I never stopped to think what life was all about;

                Am7                 B7
And ev'ry conversation I can now recall

                      Em      B+               E7
Concerned itself with me, and nothing else at all.

      Am7               D7
Yesterday the moon was blue,

                GM7                         CM7
And ev'ry crazy day brought something new to do,

                F#m7                 B7
I used my magic age as if it were a wand,

                  Em         B+          E7
And never saw the waste and emptiness beyond.

                    Am7                       D7
The game of love I played with arrogance and pride,

         GM7     CM7
And ev'ry flame I lit too quickly, quickly died;

                        F#m7                    B7
The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away

               Em       B+               E7
And only I am left on stage to end the play.

                    Am7                      D7
There are so many songs in me that won't be sung,

                   G                      CM7
I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue;

                          Am7              B7
The time has come for me to pay for yesterday 

(N.C.)       Em   Am   Em
When I was young.

The lyric and guitar chord transcriptions on this site are the work of The Guitarguy and are intended for private study, research, or educational purposes only. Individual transcriptions are inspired by and and based upon the recorded versions cited, but are not necessarily exact replications of those recorded versions.