The song was written for the musical "Too Many Girls" (1939).
Early hit versions included Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. The Crampton Sisters 1964 revival for the DCP label was a Hot 100 entry.
The song was introduced by Richard Kollmar and Marcy Westcott in the musical Too Many Girls. It was performed by Trudy Erwin – dubbing for Lucille Ball in the 1940 film version produced by RKO – and interpolated into the score of the 1957 film Pal Joey, where it was sung by Frank Sinatra.
Once I was young; yesterday, perhaps, Danced with Jim and Paul And kissed some other chaps. Once I was young, But never was naive. I thought I had a trick or two Up my imaginary sleeve. And now I know I was naive.
I didn't know what time it was, Then I met you Oh what a lovely time it was, How sublime it was too!
I didn't know what day it was, Then you held my hand. Warm like the month of May it was And I'll say it was grand.
Grand to be alive, to be young, To be mad, to be yours alone! Grand to see your face, feel your touch, Feel your voice say I'm all your own!
I didn't know what year it was, Life was no prize. I wanted love and here it was Shining out of your eyes. I'm wise and I know what time it is now. I'm wise and I know what time it is now. I'm so wise and I know what time it is now.