Galveston (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Galveston - Glen Campbell.jpg
Single by Glen Campbell
from the album Galveston
B-side"How Come Every Time I Itch I Wind Up Scratchin' You"
ReleasedFebruary 24, 1969
RecordedNovember 27, 1968 and January 9, 1969
Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California
GenreCountry pop
LabelCapitol 2428
Songwriter(s)Jimmy Webb
Producer(s)Al DeLory
Glen Campbell singles chronology
"Wichita Lineman"
"Where's the Playground Susie"

"Galveston" is a song written by Jimmy Webb and popularized by American country music singer Glen Campbell who recorded it with the instrumental backing of members of The Wrecking Crew.[1] In 2003, this song ranked number 8 in CMT's 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music. Campbell's version of the song also went to number 1 on the country music charts.[2] On other charts, "Galveston" went to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the "Easy Listening" charts.[3] It was certified gold by the RIAA in October 1969.[4]

The song is considered by many to be the unofficial anthem of both Galveston Island and the City of Galveston, Texas.[citation needed]

Background and writing[edit]

Campbell's recording of the song, released in 1969, was perceived as being a Vietnam War protest song,[5] but Campbell performed it up-tempo, conveying a more general message. The protagonist is a soldier, as shown in the original promo video with Campbell dressed up in a military outfit. Webb described it as an anti-war song, and challenged Campbell's version of his song and the notion that it was in any way a "patriotic song". According to Webb, the song is "about a guy who's caught up in something he doesn't understand and would rather be somewhere else".[6]


The song describes a soldier waiting to go into battle who thinks of the woman he loves and his hometown of Galveston, Texas. The song was originally sung by Don Ho, who introduced Glen Campbell to it when he appeared as a guest on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and the second verse was originally transcribed:

Wonder if she could forget me
I'd go home if they would let me
Put down this gun
And go to Galveston.[7]

However, in Campbell's version, this was changed to read:

I still hear your sea waves crashing
While I watch the cannons flashing
I clean my gun
And dream of Galveston.[8]


The song was covered by Don Ho[9] and the indie rock band The Ladybug Transistor.

Chart performance[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hartman, Kent (2012). The Wrecking Crew. St. Martin’s Griffin. pp. 261–263. ISBN 978-1-250-03046-7.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 66.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 43.
  4. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  5. ^ "The Pop Protest Song". Songwriter Jimmy Webb’s melancholy ode to a simpler time exemplified what one might consider to be the "tonal protest song," replacing as it does more typical anti-war language with a reflection on the emotional uncertainty of war that even hawks in the heartland could identify with.
  6. ^ "Jimmy Webb - "Galveston" (Live for WFUV)". YouTube. 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  7. ^ "Galveston". YouTube. 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  8. ^ "Glen Campbell & Jimmy Webb GALVESTON". YouTube. 2010-11-12. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 10 May 1969". 1969-05-10. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 6003." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 5959." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6015." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  14. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Galveston". Irish Singles Chart.
  15. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  16. ^ "Glen Campbell". Official Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Glen Campbell Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Glen Campbell Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Glen Campbell Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Go-Set Magazine Charts". Barry McKay. January 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  21. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  22. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1969/Top 100 Songs of 1969". Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  23. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 27, 1969". Archived from the original on January 25, 2019. Retrieved August 8, 2017.

External links[edit]