Tune du Jour: “Green, Green Grass of Home” – Johnny Darrell
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Mike Farris vs. Ted Hawkins vs. John Otway
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Broc 3 - Cover Me Impressed

Thank God I’m a Country Boy!!!

Green, Green Grass of Home” was written by Claude “Curly” Putman and first recorded in May 1965 by Johnny Darrell. Porter Wagoner wasted no time joining the Green Grass Party, releasing his version in July 1965. Wagoner’s version reached No. 4 on the country chart. By the year 2000 over one hundred other musicians would take a ride on the Green Grass train with none coming close to the popularity of Tom Jones’ release in November 1966, which became a worldwide number 1 hit.

Green, Green Grass of Home” is one of those songs I hated as a kid. It sounded corny and how could anything my parents enjoyed listening to have any redeeming qualities? Then I grew up. And in the process grew to really appreciate the song. The imagery and ultimate impact of the lyrics are simply fantastic. While I don’t appreciate the musical presentations that many musicians used in their interpretations of “Green, Green Grass of Home” the lyrics are so well-crafted as to make most versions at least palatable.


The Original


Johnny Darrell:


The Most Popular


Tom Jones:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Mike Farris vs. Ted Hawkins vs. John Otway
Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue:

Ted Hawkins:

John Otway:


Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Cuspid says:

    Green Green Grass – A Little Over Dramatic is thy name, not to mention a little annoying too. It takes a nut-case like John Otway to make this song tolerable and even a little enjoyable.

  2. RDubbs says:

    What are your feelings on Love Vigilantes? An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge?

  3. RDubbs says:

    Really tough vote for me. On one hand I value the song for it’s well-crafted lyrics and structure; it could have easily been a Johnny Cash standard had Tom Jones not beaten him to the punch. So from a reverent point of view Ted Hawkins phenomenal voice wins the day. But on the other hand I am a lover of the absurd cover, which is why I get such a kick out of bizarre covers of bad songs. And while this certainly does not fall in the category of a bad song, John Otway’s maniacal interpretation is nothing short of brilliant. My dear friend, Pete, once described Otway’s creation as “the most amazing display of dementia to ever be recorded”. And I have to agree. To me this is Otway seminal work out of a catalog of many covered gems. John, indeed, Did It Otway, and for that he gets my vote. (Sorry Ted and Mike, who also acquitted himself well).

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