Le Temps Des Fleurs

Album This song officially appears on the Le Temps Des Fleurs (Those Were The Days) / Turn! Turn! Turn! 7" Single.

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


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Song facts

Le Temps Des Fleurs” is the French version of “Those Were The Days“, recorded by Mary Hopkin and produced by Paul McCartney in 1968, for release in France.

From Wikipedia:

“Le temps des fleurs” (“The time of the flowers”) is a song by French singer Dalida for her twenty-first studio album of the same name. While the French lyrics were written by Eddy Marnay, the melody was taken from Russian romance song “Dorogoi dlinnoyu” (“Дорогой длинною”), composed by Boris Fomin in 1924. Dalida covered the song after Mary Hopkin popularised the original with her English version one month earlier.

Le temps des fleurs is Dalida’s first recording to debut atop of French song chart, while it peaked the newly established “Centre d’Information et de Documentation du Disque” sales chart two weeks after entry. The record was a sales success and earned Dalida her twenty-eighth gold disc, which made Dalida record it also in Italian as “Quelli erano giorni”, and in German as “An jenem Tag”. In France, the song remains as one of 1960s classics, and Dalida’s signature songs.

Background

Two weeks after the release of Those were the days, while it was still unknown that it was plagiarism as the Gene Raskin took over the credits of melody’s composer Boris Fomin, Eddie Barclay obtained the melody from Raskin legally. In 1973, after it was discovered that Raskin was just a songwriter and not a composer, Barclay stopped giving Raskin a portion of the song’s annual profit, but abandoned the lawsuit and didn’t receive a refund.

Recording and composition

Le temps des fleurs is a romantic ballad, with elements of Russian folk and French chanson. Lyrics describe innocence of childhood and youth and reflect on the passage of time. It features violin, mandoline, string, clarinet and background vocals highlighted refrain. The French lyrics were written by renowned French Jewish lyricist Eddy Marnay, and the song was recorded on 20 September 1968 from one cut in Studios Hoche under orchestral conduction by Guy Motta. Journalist of ORTF was present and Dalida was interviewed for television and live radio transmission.

Other songs from EP were recorded during following week, under orchestral conduction by Guy Motta and Jean Claudric; “Le petit perroquet”, “Je m’endors dans tes bras”, “Le septième jour” and “Je me repose”.

Release and acclaim

Le temps des fleurs was released in early October on EP, in 18 cm (7 inch) format under catalog number 71 296, with cover photo credited to Georges Dambier. It immediately scored a success in its first week, selling roughly around 30,000 copies and reaching top of the French radio charts where it remained for four consecutive weeks. Dalida promoted the record during her current concert tour, over radio and television, mostly for title song, but also making several appearances for others. Paris Match described: “to watch Dalida performing [the song] on television is as incredible as listening to the song itself”. Until late 1969, the record was reissued for three more times, Barclay Records’ personal record, and sold over 415,000 units.

Dalida was first one to record the song in French, German and Italian. Lyrics of German version “An jenem Tag” were written by Heinz Korn, and Italian “Quelli erano Giorni” by Daiano. Both were recorded and released in October on singles, with B-side each having their language equivalent of Dalida’s French song Quelques larmes de pluie. With them, Dalida charted fairly, entering Top 10 in Germany and Top 20 in Italy, collectively selling additional 90,000 copies.

All three language versions by Dalida received covers from other artists like Ima, but also Mary Hopkin and Sandie Shaw, failing to leave an impact. […]

Last updated on September 29, 2021

Lyrics

Dans une taverne du vieux Londres
Où se retrouvaient des étrangers
Nos voix criblées de joie montaient de l'ombre
Et nous écoutions nos coeurs chanter

C'était le temps des fleurs
On ignorait la peur
Les lendemains avaient un goût de miel
Ton bras prenait mon bras
Ta voix suivait ma voix
On était jeune et l'on croyait au ciel

Et puis sont venus les jours de brume
Avec des bruits étranges et des pleurs
Combien j'ai passé de nuits sans lune
À chercher la taverne dans mon coeur

Tout comme au temps des fleurs
Où l'on vivait sans peur
Où chaque jour avait un goût de miel
Ton bras prenait mon bras
Ta voix suivait ma voix
On était jeune et l'on croyait au ciel

Et ce soir je suis devant la porte
De la taverne où tu ne viendras plus
Et la chanson que la nuit m'apporte
Mon coeur déjà ne la connaît plus

C'était le temps des fleurs
On ignorait la peur
Les lendemains avait un goût de miel
Ton bras prenait mon bras
Ta voix suivait ma voix
On était jeune et l'on croyait au ciel

Je crois que l'important c'est deux êtres qui s'aiment vraiment
Et c'est tout

Variations


A Original version

A2010 2010 remaster

Officially appears on


Le Temps Des Fleurs (Those Were The Days) / Turn! Turn! Turn!

7" Single • Released in 1968

5:09 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar (?), Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Engineer
Mary Hopkin :
Vocals
Unknown musician(s) :
Banjo, Bass, Drums, Four cellos, Guitar, One clarinet, One trombone, Six violins, Tuba, Two trumpets
Richard Newson :
Orchestra arrangement
Aida Foster Children's Choir :
Choir
Gilbert Webster :
Cymbalum

Session Recording:
Late July 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road ; Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Vocal overdubs:
September 1968 ?


Post Card (2010 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2010

5:09 • Studio versionA2010 • 2010 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar (?), Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Engineer
Mary Hopkin :
Vocals
Unknown musician(s) :
Banjo, Bass, Drums, Four cellos, Guitar, One clarinet, One trombone, Six violins, Tuba, Two trumpets
Richard Newson :
Orchestra arrangement
Aida Foster Children's Choir :
Choir
Gilbert Webster :
Cymbalum

Session Recording:
Late July 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road ; Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Vocal overdubs:
September 1968 ?

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

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