The debt I Have Known Is The Most Destructive Kind

Saturday, November 20, 2010, 11:52 PM | 4 Comments

One of the greatest country singers and my favorite Roy Clark released this song in 1969. “Yesterday, When I Was Young” was Roy’s biggest crossover hit, an easy listening ballad by Charles Aznavour that made a strong showing on the country, pop, and adult contemporary charts in 1969. Clark was riding high from his exposure on CBS’ country music variety show Hee Haw, but Yesterday, When I Was Young and the album that accompanies it are pure pop,” according to

Here is the song lyrics with some variations, of course

“It seems the debt I’ve known,
has always been the most destructive kind.
I guess that’s why now,
I feel so old before my time.”

Yesterday, when I was young,
The taste of debt was sweet, as rain upon my tongue,
I teased at debt, 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 [of debt],
I lived by night of debt, 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 of debt, my dazzled eyes refused to see

I ran so fast that time, and youth at last ran out,
I never stopped to think, what debt, was all about,
And every conversation, I can now recall,
Concerned itself with me, and nothing else at all

Yesterday, the debt was blue,
And every crazy day, brought something new to do,
I used my magic debt, as if it were a wand,
And never saw the worst, and the emptiness beyond

The game of debt 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 debt, of tears upon my tongue,
The time has come for me to pay the debt [when I am old],
For yesterday, when I was young

In a Nutshell
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  1. 4 Responses to “The debt I Have Known Is The Most Destructive Kind”

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