Green, Green Grass of Home

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For the Tom Jones album, see Green, Green Grass of Home (album).
"Green, Green Grass of Home"
Single by Porter Wagoner
from the album On the Road: The Porter Wagoner Show
Released 1965
Genre Country
Length 2:21
Label RCA Records
Writer(s) Curly Putman[1]
Porter Wagoner singles chronology
"I'm Gonna Feed You Now"
(1965)
"Green, Green Grass of Home"
(1965)
"Skid Row Joe"
(1965)
"Green, Green Grass of Home"
Single by Tom Jones
from the album Green, Green Grass of Home
B-side Promise Her Anything
Released November 1966
Genre Country
Length 3:05
Label Decca Records F22511[1]
Writer(s) Curly Putman[1]
Producer(s) Peter Sullivan[1]
Tom Jones singles chronology
"This and That"
(1966)
"Green, Green Grass of Home"
(1966)
"Detroit City"
(1967)

"Green, Green Grass of Home", written by Claude "Curly" Putman, Jr. and first recorded by singer Johnny Darrell, is a country song originally made popular by Porter Wagoner in 1965, when it reached No. 4 on the country chart.[2] That same year it was sung by Bobby Bare and later Tom Jones, in 1966, when it became a worldwide No. hit, commencing a trend for the recording of ballads by pop artists of the time. The song had also been recorded the previous year in 1965 by Jerry Lee Lewis, and included on his album Country Songs For City Folks (later re-issued as All Country), and Jones had learned the song from Lewis's version.

The lyrics[edit]

A man returns to his childhood home; it seems that this is his first visit home since leaving in his youth. When he steps down from the train, his parents are there to greet him, and his beloved, Mary, comes running to join them. All is welcome and peace; all come to meet him with "arms reaching, smiling sweetly." With Mary the man strolls at ease among the monuments of his childhood, including "the old oak tree that I used to play on." It is "good to touch the green, green grass of home." Yet the music and the words are full of foreshadowing, strongly suggestive of mourning.

Abruptly, the man switches from song to speech as he awakens in prison: "Then I awake and look around me, at four grey walls that surround me. And I realize that I was only dreaming." He is, indeed, on death row. As the singing resumes, we learn that the man is waking on the day of his scheduled execution[3] ("there's a guard, and there's a sad old padre, arm in arm, we'll walk at daybreak"), and he will return home only to be buried: "Yes, they'll all come to see me in the shade of that old oak tree, as they lay me 'neath the green, green grass of home."

The Joan Baez version ends: "Yes, we'll all be together in the shade of the old oak tree / When we meet beneath the green, green grass of home."

Tom Jones version[edit]

Welsh singer Tom Jones, who was appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1965, visited Colony Records while staying in New York City. On asking if they had any new works by Jerry Lee Lewis, he was given the new country album.

Impressed with the song, Jones recorded and released the song in the UK in 1966 and it reached No. 1 on 1 December, staying there for a total of seven weeks.[4] The song has sold 1.23 million copies in the UK as of November 2012.[5] Jones' version also reached #11 pop, #12 easy listening on the Billboard US charts.[6]

In February 2009, Jones performed the song live on a special Take-Away Show with Vincent Moon, along with "If He Should Ever Leave You" and "We Got Love", live in front of a camera in a hotel room in New York.[7]

In September 2006, Jones performed the song as a duet with Jerry Lee Lewis during the taping of the latter's Last Man Standing TV special in New York City, and credited Lewis with providing the inspiration behind his own recording.

Jones sang the song on the 2009/10 edition of Jool's Annual Hootenanny on 1 January 2010.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1967) Peak
position
Irish Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart[8] 1
Norwegian Singles Chart 1
Australian Kent Music Report 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 2
Austrian Top 40 2
German Singles Chart 6
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Singles 10
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 11
Canadian RPM Top 100 47

Other cover versions[edit]

Since then it has been a popular cover song recorded by many such as:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 106. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ Porter Wagoner's "Green, Green Grass of Home" Chart Position Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  3. ^ Tom Jones, "The Green Green Grass Of Home" Video Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  4. ^ "All the Number One Singles - 1966". Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  5. ^ Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Green, Green Grass of Home (song by Tom Jones) • Music VF, US & UK hits charts". Musicvf.com. 1966-12-24. Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  7. ^ Un invité (2009-02-09). "Tom Jones - La Blogothèque". Blogotheque.net. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 198–9. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  9. ^ "Svensktoppen : 1967-01-07". Sr.se. Retrieved 2014-04-06. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Beatles "Day Tripper"/"We Can Work It Out"
UK Christmas Number One single "Green, Green Grass of Home"
by Tom Jones
1966
Succeeded by
The Beatles "Hello, Goodbye"
Preceded by
"Good Vibrations"
by The Beach Boys
UK number one single
by Tom Jones

3 December 1966 (for 7 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I'm a Believer" by The Monkees