Roy Clark’s song “Yesterday When I Was Young” sure hits a nerve


Roy Clark’s music really could cross generations. He was a master of music and entertainment. He could even combine comedy in his many performances for the variety show Hee Haw.

He never lost his touch as he entered the 1990s. While he’s been known for playing catchy and fun tunes, he sang a rather poignant song with this live performance.

In 1998, he sang the song ‘Yesterday When I was Young’ to a captive live audience. He starts with a bit of guitar and states the first lyric, ‘Yesterday.’ The audience is already clapping.

As the piano continues the song, Clark sings about time and love. He speaks with great emotion and power about how easy the past can seem. Dreams of past pleasures are harped on in his mesmerizing voice.

As he sings, a soothing choir joins in to set the mood. Clark continues singing about longing for yesterday. There’s great sadness and contentment in his voice.

He sings of wild pleasures and songs to sing. Clark also brings up the pain he has never seen before. There’s a realization harped on about losing your youth as well.

Clark then plays a bit of guitar in a progressive yet beautiful manner. There’s both joy and nostalgia in his playing. His guitar playing gets lower, and he goes back to singing.

The country music star sings of grander things. He talks of arrogance, pride, love, and friends that drift away. The choir also brings more somberness to their moving melody.

The piano becomes more pronounced as Clark speaks of passing. His last lyrics of realizing his youth is gone are tearfully brilliant. The song then closes with a full closure by the rest of the band. The audience erupts in cheers.

Roy Clark thankfully had more days ahead of him after this performance. He would be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009. Clark would pass away in 2018.


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