"When I Was Young" is a song with a countercultural theme released in early 1967 by Eric Burdon, with The Animals and was written by five of the band members Eric Burdon (vocals), Barry Jenkins (drums), John Weider (guitar/violin), Vic Briggs (guitar) and Danny McCulloch (bass). It charted in Australia peaking #2 and stayed 4 weeks there. Later it was a hit charting #10 on the Canadian RPM chart, # 15 in the United States and #7 in the Netherlands. The song has been covered by many punk rock andheavy metal bands.
This song is noted for its Indian riff, played by an electric guitar as well as a violin. It is also distinctive for its introduction featuring a heavily distorted guitar's tremolodescent from E to D.
This somewhat autobiographical song told about Burdon's father, who was a soldier during tough times, as well as young Eric's adventures including his first smoke of a cigarette at 10, to his meeting his first love at 13. The final verse shows his disillusionment with society by saying:
"My faith was so much stronger then,/ I believed in fellow men,/ And I was so much older then./ When I was Young".
Later it was used for a German TV commercial. In the early 80s Burdon began to mention many stars who died at the end of the song.