Watch “Green, Green Grass of Home (Live at Folsom State Prison, Folsom, CA – January 1968)” on YouTube

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

From Wikipedia:

Green, Green Grass of Home

Song written by Curly Putman


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 and first recorded by singer Johnny Darrell, is a country song originally made popular by Porter Wagoner in 1965, when it reached No. 4 on the country chart. That same year, it was sung by Bobby Bare and by Jerry Lee Lewis, who included it in 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.

Quick facts: Released, Genre
Quick facts: B-side, Released

Lyrics

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 (“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

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. The song has sold over 1.25 million copies in the UK as of September 2017. Jones’ version also reached #11 pop, #12 easy listening on the Billboard US charts.

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.

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

More information: Chart (1967), Peak position

Other versions

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

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