When The World Was Young


Original Version

It isn't by chance I happen to be,
A boulevardier, the toast of Paris.
For over the noise, the talk and the smoke,
I'm good for a laugh, a drink or a jokeI walk in a room, a party or ball,
"Come sit over here" somebody will call.
"A drink for M'sieur, a drink for us all!
But how many times I stop and recall.

Ah, the apple trees,
Blossoms in the breeze,
That we walked among,
Lying in the hay,
Games we used to play,
While the rounds were sung,
Only yesterday, when the world was young.

Wherever I go they mention my name,
And that in itself, is some sort of fame,
"Come by for a drink, we're having a game,"
Wherever I go I'm glad that I came.
The talk is quite gay, the company fine,
There's laughter and lights, and glamour and wine,
And beautiful girls and some of them mine,
But often my eyes see a diff'rent shine.

Ah, the apple trees,
Sunlit memories,
Where the hammock swung,
On our backs we'd lie,
Looking at the sky,
Till the stars were strung,
Only last July when the world was young.

Ah, the apple trees,
Blossoms in the breeze,
That we walked among,
Lying in the hay,
Games we used to play,
While the rounds were sung,
Only yesterday, when the world was young.

While sitting around, we often recall,
The laugh of the year, the night of them all.
The blonde who was so attractive that year,
Some opening night that made us all cheer.
Remember that time we all got so tight,
And Jacques and Antoine got into a fight.
The gendarmes who came, passed out like a light,
I laugh with the rest, it's all very bright.

Specifications

  • Writer(s): Philippe-Gérard, Johnny Mercer

  • Released: 2017

philippe gerard(Ah, the Apple Trees) When the World Was Young is a popular song composed by Michel Philippe-Gérard (fr), with lyrics by Angèle Vannier (fr). The English lyrics were written by Johnny Mercer. The original French title was "Le Chevalier de Paris". Apart from a reference to apples, the English lyrics have nothing to do with the French original poem.

English lyrics were originally written by Carl Sigman, but these were rejected by the music publisher, Mickey Goldsen. Sigman suggested Mercer, and Mercer wrote the English lyrics (three verses and three choruses) in three days. The song is from the perspective of an aging Parisian "boulevardier"/"coquette", as they review their life.

johnny mercerJohn Herndon "Johnny" Mercer (November 18, 1909 – June 25, 1976) was an American lyricist, songwriter and singer. He was also the founder of Capitol Records. He is best known as a lyricist, but he also composed music. He was also a popular singer who recorded his own songs as well as those written by others. From the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s, many of the songs Mercer wrote and performed were among the most popular hits of the time. He wrote the lyrics to more than fifteen hundred songs, including compositions for movies and Broadway shows. He received nineteen Academy Award nominations, and won four Best Original Song Oscars.
Mercer’s exposure to black music was perhaps unique among the white songwriters of his generation. As a child, Mercer had African-American playmates and servants, and he listened to the fishermen and vendors about him, who spoke and sang in the dialect known as “Geechee”. He was also attracted to black church services. Mercer later stated, “Songs always fascinated me more than anything." He had no formal musical training but was singing in a choir by six and at 11 or 12 he had memorized almost all of the songs he had heard and became curious about who wrote them. He once asked his brother who the best songwriter was, and his brother said Irving Berlin, among the best of Tin Pan Alley.

wikipedia compUnless otherwise noted all information about composers was gathered from Wikipedia.

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