by Kevin Burton
Our series “Flying Colors” is back, today looking at songs with green in the title. Since we’re celebrating green, how about a little peppermint?
Make mine Peppermint Rainbow. That Maryland-based band had a number 32 hit with “Will You Be Staying After Sunday,” in May of 1969. That’s your bonus track today.
If you like Spanky and Our Gang you’ll like Peppermint Rainbow. And if you call up the video to their hit on You Tube you’ll get as much green as you can stand.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
For a bonus green song from this millennium, try “Alligator Dance” by Monsta X. That’s a South Korean boy band. Don’t tell anyone I gave you two bonus tracks, OK?
You know how this works. Ten songs per colorful set, eight I will name now, two later.
Well, green means go, so let’s go!
8 “Green, Green Grass Of Home,” by Tom Jones. The Welshman with the dynamic voice told this story filled with memories of home and regret in 1965. It’s a cover of a Porter Wagoner country version that same year.
7 “The Other Man’s Grass is Always Greener,” by Petula Clark. Be thankful for what you got is Clark’s message. A cool melodic bridge builds up into the chorus that reminds us be grateful. Is she rapping on the verses? You tell me. For possible 60s rapping, see also “Along Comes Mary,” by The Association
6 “Green River” by Credence Clearwater Revival. The Credence guys were all from the Bay Area in California, but you would never know it from listening to them. “Green River” might be their down-homiest Louisiana swamp-sounding ode to a home that wasn’t really theirs.
5 “Evergreen” by Barbara Streisand. “Love, soft as an easy chair” does it for me. Good line, sets up the whole song. If you have a love like that, join Petula Clark in being grateful. Can’t listen to Streisand all day, but this one goes down just right.
4 “Green Flower Street,” by Donald Fagen. Walter Becker was responsible for most of the Steely Dan lyrics you could never quite piece together. “Green Flower Street,” from Fagen’s solo debut album “The Nightfly,” was more straight-forward lyrically. Even so, you have to place yourself in a certain time and setting to get this one.
3 “Green-eyed Lady,” by Sugarloaf. A real jam song, jazzy and memorable. One of those If I grabbed the lyrics like a sponge I couldn’t wring anything out of it. But you won’t hear me say a bad word about it.
A few notes from the green room before we hit the top two.
Thumbs Up: “Green Door” by Shakin Stevens. That green door is swingin for sure, trust me.
Born in Wales, Stevens is the youngest of 11 children, according to Wikipedia. He says all of them can sing.
The biggest UK pop performer in the 80s, he looks, like an Elvis wannabe. Real name: Michael Barratt.
Thumbs down: “Green Monkey” by America. Green Monkey is bad enough, but it’s also on the same album with “Muskrat Love,” one of the worst songs ever.
Bonus track “Will You Be Staying After Sunday,” by Peppermint Rainbow. Secret bonus track, “Alligator Dance” by Monsta X.
Now on to greener pastures, the top two:
2 “Green Tambourine,” by The Lemon Pipers. One day songwriter Shelley Pinz saw a man holding a tambourine, begging for money outside the famous Brill Building in New York. That was the idea behind the song, according to Wikipedia. It was a number one hit in February of 1968.
1 “Green Onions,” by Booker T and the MGs. You may not know this song by name, but once that Hammond organ starts to testify, there is no mistaking it. Booker T and the MGs were the house band for Stax Records in Memphis. This instrumental hit number 3 in September, 1962.
Band member Steve Cropper said the song was created accidentally when a singer didn’t show up for his session and the band was jamming while waiting for him.
Did I leave out your favorite green song? Be sure to mention it in comments below.