Music

'Green Green Grass of Home': How a Porter Wagoner Classic Became a Tom Jones Hit

AP Photo and AP Photo/Reed Saxon

The country music classic "Green, Green Grass of Home" may have hit it big with Welsh musician Tom Jones, but the song was actually first recorded by Johnny Darrell. The song was written by Curly Putman, but wasn't widely recognized until it was recorded by Porter Wagoner in 1965.

Jerry Lee Lewis' cover, from his album Country Songs For City Folks, inspired Jones' version, a worldwide No. 1 hit. The song, produced by Peter Sullivan and released by Jones' label Decca Records, stayed in the top 10 on the Billboard charts for seven weeks. This was a huge success for Jones leading up to his first No. 1 album in 1968, Delilah.

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The song has been covered on numerous country albums over the years by music legends ranging from Elvis Presley and Joan Baezto Bobby BareJohnny Cash and George Jones. Take a listen to the classic Wagoner song, followed by the Jones version.

'Green Green Grass of Home' Lyrics

The old home town looks the same
As I step down from the train
And there to meet me is my Mama and Papa
Down the road I look and there runs Mary
Hair of gold and lips like cherries
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home
Yes, they'll all come to meet me, arms reaching, smiling sweetly
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home

The old house is still standing tho' the paint is cracked and dry
And there's that old oak tree that I used to play on
Down the lane I walk with my sweet Mary
Hair of gold and lips like cherries
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home

Then I awake and look around me
At four grey walls that surround me
And I realize, yes, I was only dreaming
For there's a guard and there's a sad old padre
Arm in arm, we'll walk at daybreak
Again I touch the green, green grass of home

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

 

 

This story previously ran on Jan. 8, 2019.

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'Green Green Grass of Home': How a Porter Wagoner Classic Became a Tom Jones Hit