To be honest, I only watched it because I thought Silver was the coolest horse anywhere! Seeing those dates, I realize I not only saw the first runs, but was already watching reruns when I was only 8 and 9. A common occurrence today, I know. But, for me it's hard to believe, since TV hadn't even been around that long.
My "thrilling days of yesteryear" go back to the days when I watched Silver run across the TV screen. I am certain we can all relate in some way. But I began to wonder who ever thought of that phrase in the first place, and whether or not anyone ever uses it anymore.
I decided it'd be wise to look at a little etymology on the subject.
Word Origin and History
Coined in 1870 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti from "yester(day) + year" in order to translate the French word antan (from V.L. *anteannum "the year before") in a refrain by François Villon: Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan? which Rossetti then rendered, "But where are the snows of yesteryear?"
Since the time literature wrote about the snows of yesteryear, dictionaries decided to extend the meaning beyond just the previous year, to: past years; time gone by; yore. I like that one -- yore.
"In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly day of yore;" ~The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)In Cummings' Study Notes on this poem, day of yore is described as the distant past. I like that definition the best.
Looking at the years Poe lived and wrote, I arrive at yet another conclusion. Yore preceded the development of yesteryear. (Doesn't it sound like there should be some sort of double meaning there?)
In an excerpt from A Story of the Drunk Curse, this short story writer also refers to the days of yore. (I add this one simply because I like the way it's written :~)
And yet, it proves rather interesting when one considers that the traditional beginning of a bedtime story also arose from the phrase, days of yore."As these visions of the happy days of yore passed like fairy dreams before her she heaved an involuntary sigh as she passionately exclaimed: Oh drink, thou hast been our curse; turning our happiness into misery; our Eden of bliss into a waste, weary wilderness of poverty and woe!"
~From Wealth to Poverty by Austin Potter (1842-1913)
"In days of yore and in times long gone before there was a King...," or, "There was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before..."; in England, where we strive not to waste words, this becomes "Once upon a time..."The question remains, are either yesteryear or days of yore still in use today? In response, I defer to what the Urban Dictionary coughed up when I made the query:
~Arabian Nights, The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, by Sir Richard F. Burton
~days of yore isn't defined yet~
But, it also rendered this phrase with its entertaining definition:
"back in the diz-ay" - n days of yore; olden times; mythical past where the girlies were hot, the beer cold, and the nintendo worked perfectly without having to blow inside the cartridge; the good old daysDoes this mean I have to change my bedtime story-telling tactics? I hope not. Somehow, "Back in the diz-ay" just doesn't seem to have the same affect as, "Once upon a time, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone, before there was a King -- in the thrilling days of yesteryear..."
A bit too long to start a story? Uh...what can I say...I'm not English :~)