YESTERDAY WHEN I WAS YOUNG


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 happy songs were waiting to be sung
so many wild 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 worst and the 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 

                         charles aznavour • herbert kretzmer