Galveston (song)

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Galveston - Glen Campbell.jpg
Single by Glen Campbell
from the album Galveston
B-side "Everytime I Itch I Wind Up Scratchin' You"
Released February 24, 1969
Genre Country pop
Length 2:39
Label Capitol 2428
Writer(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 as the official anthem of Galveston Island and the City of Galveston, Texas.

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".[6] According to Jimmy Webb, on the Great Song writers channel 4, The song was about a soldier, during the Vietnam War, finding himself in a situation he didn't want to be in, rather than a protest song.


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 Campbell's 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]

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. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 10 May 1969". 1969-05-10. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  10. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  11. ^ "Glen Campbell – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Glen Campbell.
  12. ^ "Glen Campbell – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Glen Campbell.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-02. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"You Gave Me a Mountain" by Frankie Laine
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single (Glen Campbell version)
March 29, 1969 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Medley: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)" by The Fifth Dimension
Preceded by
"Woman of the World (Leave My World Alone)"
by Loretta Lynn
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

April 19 – May 3, 1969
Succeeded by
"Hungry Eyes"
by Merle Haggard and The Strangers
Preceded by
"My Woman's Good to Me"
by David Houston
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

May 19, 1969
Succeeded by
"Let It Be Me"
by Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell