Someone has recently emailed me the above video and I can' t help watching it again and again.. This video is an irresistible combination of dramatic song, great performer, and smart staging.
The song is well-known both in its original french form ("Hier encore , j'avais vingt ans") and in the english version ("Yesterday, when I was young") and deeply touches every listener that was once 20 years old.
The 85 years old singer, Charles Aznavour, dressed in black - sharp contrast to his white hair - mourns the foolish waste of his young years. Helping him with this are two tall beauties on high heels and in mini dresses who, I guess, are a symbol of youth with all its vanity and carelessness . The stage background looks vivid and cheerful as opposed to the sad words of the song . The moist eyes of the two boys in the audience, and the... moaning of Aznavour make it all very emotional. The bottom line of the song is "Je gache ma vie" meaning I wasted my life. (Aznavour, BTW did very well in his life).
Here are a few 'pearls" from the song (free translation) :
"I played with my life as one plays with Love", " The projects I planned were built on air",' "My eyes were looking for the sky, but my heart missed the earth", "Every conversation concerned itself with me, not beyond that","I wasted my time on follies that left me with nothing but a few wrinkles and fear of boredom", "My loves were dead even before they existed, my friends are gone and will not return", "I've created a void around me", ' I wasted my life and my young years".
"Where are they now my twenty years?"