Skip to main content

EXCLUSIVE: A few very precious moments with Mary Hopkin ('Those Were the Days')


  Mary Hopkin (Photo courtesy Judy Totton.)

(Mary Hopkin hasn't been in the headlines much lately, but that doesn't mean she hasn't been busy. In the last year or so, she has released a group of albums taken from her archives that are available through her website. Her voice is still the treasure you remember.

We are very pleased to have the opportunity to ask Mary a few questions in this email interview. Thanks to Mary for taking the time to answer them. And additional thanks to Judy Totton for her assistance.)

Q: You've released three archival albums, including "Recollections." Do you have more tapes that could be released?

Mary Hopkin: Yes, we are working on a final album of previously unreleased recordings from that period, which is due out in May. There will also be a boxed set of these albums available.

Q: What are you doing these days? Have you considered any new recordings?

Mary Hopkin: Absolutely. I have never stopped writing and recording and I’m totally in my element when I’m in the studio. We just wanted to let these vintage recordings see the light of day first, but then we’ll be releasing new material.

Q: How do you feel about your Apple recordings when you hear them now, especially "Those Were the Days"?

Mary Hopkin: “Those Were the Days” is a wonderful song and I'll always be grateful to Paul for giving me the chance to sing it. I also recorded some songs which didn’t reflect my personal taste, but the ones written especially for me by Gallagher and Lyle, such as 'Sparrow' and 'Fields of St Etienne' are still my favourites.  

Q: What is your favorite song among your Apple recordings? Among all your recordings?

Mary Hopkin: I’m particularly proud of the entire “Earth Song/Ocean Song” album – the songs, production and line up suited me perfectly. I still regret not being able to promote it at the time. I love all the songs on this album. My absolute favourites would be the two title songs by Liz Thorsen and "How Come the Sun" by Tom Paxton.  On these newly released archive albums, recorded some years after I left Apple, there are some gems which I had forgotten about, such as “A Leaf Must Fall” (Clive Palmer) on “Recollections” which is an exquisite song.

Here are three Mary Hopkin videos from YouTube. The first is "Sparrow," the second is "Goodbye" that features footage of Mary and Paul McCartney and the third is Mary singing in Paul's garden with Martha (My Dear) romping in the background.

  • Have our Beatles Examiner columns delivered conveniently to your inbox. Just click SUBSCRIBE below. It's free. (And we promise we'll never send spam or give out your information.)
  • Our previous columns are available below.
  • You can write to us at
  • For more Beatle news and history, see my Beatle website Abbeyrd's Beatles Page.


  • Patti M 5 years ago

    Nice to hear she still does music. Thanks for this interview.

  • Michelle C 5 years ago

    That was very generous of her. But you are the master, Marinucci. She was right t take a chance with you. Thank you for the videos and thank you, Ms. Hopkin for sharing your talent in the past and continuing to do so. The comments left on the You Tube videos (on the YouTube website) are amazing and so complimentary of Hopkin. Rightly so.

  • Steve Marinucci (Beatles Examiner) 5 years ago

    Thank you, Patti and Michelle. I'm very happy this interview was able to happen.

  • Tina 5 years ago

    What a beautiful voice! I'm going to her website to check it out. Thanks for helping me discover more wonderful music, Steve. And Martha waving her paws in the air while Mary sings is adorable!

  • Fred"those were the thumbs"gherkin 5 years ago

    Indeed Mary's Apple album EARTH SONG OCEAN SONG was and is a classic. POSTCARD is also great, but EARTH SONG was done in an acoustic, rich folky style that Mary seems to prefer. A slight caveat: I never warmed completely to the first song "International", but don't let that stop you! Mary's voice is more mature and soulful on the EARTH SONG album. "How Come the Sun" is the gem on a perfect classic album tragically overlooked. Any fans of folk or Ms. Hopkin or quality music should find EARTH SONG OCEAN SONG and be forever caught in its' spell!

  • Fred"thumbs song"Gherkin 5 years ago

    Sorry, don't wanna bore, but more on EARTH SONG/OCEAN SONG album/cd. The album was produced by Mary's Ex Tony Visconti (T.Rex, Bowie, Etc. etc...). So if you're thinking "Aww, I don't like the acoustic guitar/solo voice thing", think again. As he did with T.rex, Tony does some great string arrangements which he subtly electronically alters on occasion. He also uses what was considered a "psychedelic" effect -phasing, that rushing inside-out sound- on "How Come the Sun". There are also beautifully simple backing vocals by Mary, sometimes with Tony. Mary Plays harmonium on "Water, Paper, and Clay", and Dave Cousins (lead Strawb) plays guitar and banjo, along with other excellent players on 12-string. EARTH SONG/OCEAN SONG is a unique classic that wasn't a commercial success. Coming over 3 & 1/2 years after POSTCARD, and over 4 years after "Those Were the Days", Apple only got this lp to #204 on the US charts! If you can't find it in the US, try UK Amazon or GEMM - just get it! Thanks for reading my long song of praise (both of 'em).

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    I look into your eyes and you are still there. As pretty as you are as pretty as you will always be...