Green, Green Grass of Home

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"Green, Green Grass of Home"
Single by Porter Wagoner
from the album On the Road: The Porter Wagoner Show
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Curly Putman[1]
Porter Wagoner singles chronology
"I'm Gonna Feed You Now"
"Green, Green Grass of Home"
"Skid Row Joe"
"Green, Green Grass of Home"
Single by Tom Jones
from the album Green, Green Grass of Home
B-side"Promise Her Anything"
ReleasedNovember 1966
GenreCountry, schlager
LabelDecca Records F22511[1]
Songwriter(s)Curly Putman[1]
Producer(s)Peter Sullivan[1]
Tom Jones singles chronology
"This and That"
"Green, Green Grass of Home"
"Detroit City"

"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 and first recorded by singer Johnny Darrell, is a country song originally made popular by Porter Wagoner in 1965, when it reached No. 4 on the country chart.[2] That same year, it was sung by Bobby Bare and by Jerry Lee Lewis, who included it his album Country Songs for City Folks (later re-issued as All Country). Tom Jones learned the song from Lewis' version, and in 1966, he had a worldwide No. 1 hit with it.


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 over 1.25 million copies in the UK as of September 2017.[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
Australia (Kent Music Report) 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[10] 14
Canada Adult Contemporary Singles (RPM) 10
Canada RPM Top 100 5
Germany (Official German Charts)[11] 6
Ireland (IRMA)[12] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 2
Norway (VG-lista)[14] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 11
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[17] 12

Other versions[edit]

Since then it has been recorded by many other solo vocalists and groups including:


  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". Archived from the original on 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
  5. ^ Copsey, Rob (19 September 2017). "The UK's Official Chart 'millionaires' revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Green, Green Grass of Home (song by Tom Jones) • Music VF, US & UK hits charts". 1966-12-24. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  7. ^ Un invité (2009-02-09). "Tom Jones - La Blogothèque". Retrieved 2011-08-15.
  8. ^ " – Tom Jones – Green, Green Grass of Home" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  9. ^ " – Tom Jones – Green, Green Grass of Home" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  10. ^ " – Tom Jones – Green, Green Grass of Home" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  11. ^ " – Tom Jones Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Tom Jones". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  13. ^ " – Tom Jones – Green, Green Grass of Home" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  14. ^ " – Tom Jones – Green, Green Grass of Home". VG-lista. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  15. ^ "Tom Jones: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  16. ^ "Tom Jones Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  17. ^ "Tom Jones Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  18. ^ "Svensktoppen : 1967-01-07". Retrieved 2014-04-06.

External links[edit]