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Origin: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree

Related threads:
BS: Tie a yellow ribbon round the US flag (18)
Lyr/Chords/Tune Req: Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round... (11)


Eric the Viking 28 Jan 01 - 07:50 AM
MMario 28 Jan 01 - 08:39 AM
Eric the Viking 28 Jan 01 - 08:52 AM
Julia 28 Jan 01 - 10:38 AM
Julia 28 Jan 01 - 10:40 AM
Sorcha 28 Jan 01 - 11:45 AM
Sorcha 28 Jan 01 - 12:48 PM
Eric the Viking 28 Jan 01 - 02:27 PM
Bugsy 28 Jan 01 - 08:13 PM
Joe Offer 28 Jan 01 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,Ross Campbell 28 Jan 01 - 09:24 PM
mkebenn 28 Jan 01 - 11:20 PM
wysiwyg 29 Jan 01 - 12:45 AM
MMario 29 Jan 01 - 08:27 AM
IanC 29 Jan 01 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,jacky 29 Jan 01 - 03:59 PM
MMario 29 Jan 01 - 04:01 PM
Eric the Viking 29 Jan 01 - 04:18 PM
Bert 29 Jan 01 - 04:25 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jan 01 - 04:59 PM
annamill 29 Jan 01 - 05:20 PM
richardw 29 Jan 01 - 08:04 PM
Eric the Viking 30 Jan 01 - 02:09 PM
rich-joy 18 Oct 02 - 02:45 AM
masato sakurai 18 Oct 02 - 08:52 AM
Alice 18 Oct 02 - 09:19 AM
Alice 18 Oct 02 - 11:23 AM
Jim Krause 18 Oct 02 - 11:29 AM
Genie 18 Oct 02 - 12:04 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 02 - 05:49 PM
X 19 Oct 02 - 02:11 AM
Mark Cohen 19 Oct 02 - 06:07 AM
Hrothgar 19 Oct 02 - 08:36 AM
Alice 19 Oct 02 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Nick 19 Oct 02 - 02:55 PM
JJ 19 Oct 02 - 04:57 PM
DougR 19 Oct 02 - 06:33 PM
GUEST 19 Oct 02 - 07:21 PM
Jim Krause 20 Oct 02 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Steve 16 Sep 11 - 07:13 PM
GUEST,Me 22 Aug 17 - 07:00 PM
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Subject: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 07:50 AM

Please, can anyone give me a definative answer. Was "Tie a yellow ribbon" a song that was based on,

POW,s being released and what war?

Release of prisoners from encarceration, about which era?

discharge, release from active service in the forces? What era? Please. My son needs to find out Asap. I searched the old threads, but could not find out the answer.

Thanks.

Eric


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: MMario
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 08:39 AM

from a trivia site:

"As documented in the indispensable:

Bronson, Fred. The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, revised and enlarged edition. New York, NY: Billboard Publications, Inc., 1992.

the song "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" was based on a true story and written by Irwin Levine and L. Russel Brown. It was a turning point in the careers of Tony Orlando and Dawn, and became the second most-recorded song of the rock era (after "Yesterday").

"

Using the yellow ribbon for POW's came later


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 08:52 AM

Thankyou, but what was the true story?


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Julia
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 10:38 AM

Don't know the story, but I believe that in heraldry, yellow is the color of faithfulness. Interesting


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Julia
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 10:40 AM

Also am reminded by my dad of a song that goes "around her neck she wore a yellow ribbon" Wish I could be more helpful- looking forward to other input.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Sorcha
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 11:45 AM

Here, click in the DT is a set of words for She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Notes there say it's an update of an 1800's song. John Wayne made a movie, "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon". In Heraldry, yellow is actually "Or"--gold, and yes, it is the color of faithfullness.

Given the dates, I would guess that the Tony Orlando song is about a vet returning from the VietNam war.......


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Sorcha
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 12:48 PM

Eric, some interesting info on this page.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 02:27 PM

Thankyou all very much. I guess I have now got the answers.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Bugsy
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 08:13 PM

God! I hate that song!

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: ADDPOP: Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 08:52 PM

Well, heck, I always thought the guy had been in prison, not a prisoner of war. Click here and take a look at the lyrics. Can't say I like the song.

-Joe Offer-


Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree

-Artists: Dawn featuring Tony Orlando
-the # 24 song of the 1970-1979 rock era
-was # 1 for 4 weeks in 1973
-Words and Music by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown


I'm comin' home, I've done my time
Now I've got to know what is and isn't mine
If you received my letter telling you I'd soon be free
Then you'll know just what to do
If you still want me
If you still want me

CHORUS
Whoa, tie a yellow ribbon 'round the ole oak tree
It's been three long years
Do ya still want me? (still want me)
If I don't see a ribbon 'round the ole oak tree
I'll stay on the bus
Forget about us
Put the blame on me
If I don't see a yellow ribbon 'round the ole oak tree

Bus driver, please look for me
'cause I couldn't bear to see what I might see
I'm really still in prison
And my love, she holds the key
A simple yellow ribbon's what I need to set me free
I wrote and told her please

(CHORUS)

[instrumental interlude>]

Now the whole damned bus is cheerin'
And I can't believe I see
A hundred yellow ribbons 'round the ole oak tree

I'm comin' home, mmm, mmm

(Tie a ribbon 'round the ole oak tree)
(Tie a ribbon 'round the ole oak tree)
(Tie a ribbon 'round the ole oak tree)

FADE

(Tie a ribbon 'round the ole oak tree)
(Tie a ribbon 'round the ole oak tree)
(Tie a ribbon 'round the ole oak tree)


Transcribed by Ronald E. Hontz


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: GUEST,Ross Campbell
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 09:24 PM

See "Flash Companie(The Yellow Handkerchief)" in the Mudcat "F" section for an antecedent of "Tie a yellow ribbon".


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: mkebenn
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 11:20 PM

Was written by someone who read an item in,I believe, Readers Digest about someone returning from prison. Wasn't sure if he was welcomed. The True story follows the song..sigh


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 12:45 AM

Yuh, prison, is how I recall it.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: MMario
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 08:27 AM

Ditto - the "yellow ribbon" idea was then media hyped for pow's and returning soldiers.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: IanC
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 08:30 AM

Hi!

"Around her neck ... " is a version of "All around my hat". Tying a yellow ribbon (or handkerchief - see "Flash Company") seems to have been a symbol of sorrowing remembrance at least as early as the mid 19th Century and probably earlier.

I'm trying to get to the bottom of this (i.e. why) but am not having too much luck so far. Any further info or ideas?

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: GUEST,jacky
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 03:59 PM

If anyone cared to listen to the lyrics,its about a man being released from a Federal Prison.It starts "Im coming home,i done my time"


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: MMario
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 04:01 PM

the lyrics could as easily refer to a man returning from a hitch in one of the services.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 04:18 PM

Well that's it then-clear as a muddy pond! Prisoners it is. By the way-I think the song is crap too, and can't stand it, though it has a lasting popularity among many people. My son needed the reason as it's part of a show he is involved in and they wanted to design correct attire for the song. Thanks for all your help.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Bert
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 04:25 PM

Doing time can also refer to an apprenticeship.
"'twas on a Black Baller I first served me time,
Way Hey, Blow the Man Down"


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 04:59 PM

Yeah, except the second verse mentions the guy had been in prison, so it has to be either a criminal thing or prisoner of war - and more likely the former, since prisoners of war are not usually sentenced for a given period of time. Can't see how it would necessarily be a federal prison, as somebody above specified.

Whatever the case, I still don't like the song, and I like "Dawn featuring Tony Orlando" even less.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: annamill
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 05:20 PM

I saw a documentary about this song years ago and it had nothing to do with war. According to the documentary a black man was arrested and went away for awhile and he and his wife wrote to each other. When he found he was to be let out he wrote his wife and asked if he could return home. He said the bus goes by the house and if I see a yellow ribbon on the tree I get off the bus and come home, but, if there is no ribbon "I'll stay on the bus, forget about us and put the blame on me".

As he was going home, he told the story to the other riders and they all watched as they came to his wifes home and there on the tree were a hundred yellow ribbons. The people on the bus clapped and the man cried. They watched him get off the bus, and saw his wife and child run to welcome him home with hugs. It was a beautiful and moving story and is supposed to have really happened.

Love, annamill


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: richardw
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 08:04 PM

I read the story in Reader's Digest years ago and I have to admit it was a good story and it worked. Kind of choked you up.

The story was a guy in jail being released and he was not sure if he was welcome homne. So he wrote a letter and said I'll be on the bus. If you want me to stop tie a yellow ribbon on the tree in the front yard. The story goes through all his thoughts and hopes and fears, wondering waiting. Woould he stop or keep on riding.

And when he gets there there is not one ribbon but the whole tree is covered with yellow ribbons.

The song, I agree, sucked, and spoiled the story. But it has stuck with me for years. RD could likely look in the index and give it to you.

Richard Wright


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 30 Jan 01 - 02:09 PM

OK-Thanks a lot, revised now, a black? Afro cariabean? prisoner released from jail (federal or not) sees the Yellow ribbons hung there by his Mrs.Thankyou for your help.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: rich-joy
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 02:45 AM

Had cause to look this up today and the above links wouldn't work for me - found the one below that is entitled :
"How the Yellow Ribbon Became a National Folk Symbol" by Gerald E Parsons from the American Folklife Centre at the Library of Congress Cheers! R-J

http://www.loc.gov/folklife/ribbons/

(it's still a yukko song though!!)


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 08:52 AM

The story, I believe, is GOING HOME by Pete Hamill.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Alice
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 09:19 AM

I read the story when I was a child, 1960's, in a magazine called "Calling All Girls". It was very touching and made an impression on me, the plot much like what is described on the folk-life page. As I remember it was a railroad train passing home and the request to put a white ribbon on the apple tree, but the tree was covered with white ribbons when he passed by in the train. I hate the Yellow Ribbon song, but the first time I heard it I immediately remembered the story I had read in "Calling All Girls".

Alice


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Alice
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 11:23 AM

Calling All Girls was published by Parent's Magazine from the 1940's into the 60's or 70's. You could contact the publisher and inquire about about the issue in the 1960's that had a version of the story.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Jim Krause
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 11:29 AM

Sorcha, well, you're almost right. The lyrics are really about an ex-con coming home from prison. He's coming home on a bus. The lyrics are based upon a letter that he has previously written to his girlfriend back home. If she wants him back, the signal is to tie a yellow ribbon around a specific oak tree that he knows the bus will pass by on the route into town. And the rest, you know.

Jim


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Genie
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 12:04 PM

This is very interesting. This song is quite popular in the assisted living and retirement communities where I sing regularly, and it is often requested. I had thought it was composed in the 1970s, but many residents act as though it is a WWII song (e.g., requesting it during Veterans' Day progams, along with the special "War Era" songs). (I took the "done my time" as referring to military service, and the "...still in prison..." comment as perhaps metaphoric for various aspects of military life and war.)

But the articles you are posting seem to pin its origins to the '60s or '70s, so unless I hear otherwise, I'll go with the stories you've linked to or posted.

The confusion may stem from the facts that:
-- this was one of the songs from the '70s that resonated with my parents' generation (being sung on Lawrence Welk, and all), and
-- the song "Around Her Neck She Wore A Yellow Ribbon," which was, in fact sung in WWII (as well as in other contexts).

Genie


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Subject: ADD Version: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 05:49 PM

Clickie to the Library Congress site (RichJoy, above)
Yellow Ribbons

The Cowell Folksong Collection (Library of Congress, American Memory) has the song "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," collected in 1939, California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties.

SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON

Around the house she wore a sweet kimona
She wore it in the morning and in the month of May;
They asked, they asked the reason that she wore it.
She wore it for her lover who was far, far away.
Far away, far away,
And she wore it for her lover who was far, far, away.

Around the street she wheeled a baby carriage,
She wheeled it in September and in the month of May;
They asked, they asked the reason she wheeled it.
She wheeled it for her lover who was far, far away.
Far away, far away,
And she wheeled it for her lover who was far, far away.

Round her head, she wore a yellow ribbon,
She wore it in the morning and in the month of May;
They asked, they asked the reason why she wore it.
She wore it for her lover who was far, far away. etc. (vars., same source, same singer)
She wore it for her sweetie, etc.

Round her waist she wore a yellow ribbon etc.

Seventy years ago, more or less (about 1930), I remember my father singing a scandalous version that he had learned while in Ft. Riley Cavalry School, 1918-20 or thereabouts. I wish that I had the words.

Whether this has anything to do with the current practice, I don't know.
In 1911, Sufragettes wore a yellow ribbon with "Votes for Women" on it. This also from American Memory.
Type in yellow ribbon in the search blank at Query and look at item 2, Cowell Collection, and item 6, Cowell Collection.

For fun, read item 3 (WPA), Moose City- Someone pinned a yellow ribbon to Slowey's coat (he was Irish Catholic). His croney, also Irish Catholic and drunk, saw the ribbon, and proceeded to attack the supposed Orangeman. But read the story.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: X
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 02:11 AM

I played that song in a CW band from 1975 to 1978 at least once a night, six nights a week. I hate that song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 06:07 AM

Alice, my sister used to read "Calling All Girls" magazine when she was in elementary or junior high school, in the 60s (she's two years younger than me). I used to sneak into her room and read it, sometimes...especially the column called "Was My Face Red"!

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Hrothgar
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 08:36 AM

Received lots of exposure when the US embassy staff who were held in Teheran in 1980 returned home (afer Ronnie Raygun was elected), didn't it?


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Alice
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 11:47 AM

Mark, "Was My Face Red" was the most memorable part of "Calling All Girls"! Funny that you should remember that, too.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 02:55 PM

I wonder what crime the returning prisoner was convicted of.
Nick


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: JJ
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 04:57 PM

The original yellow ribbon, the one that proclaimed a young woman the sweetheart of a US cavalryman, came about because of the yellow stripe that ran down the outside of the cavalryman's pants.

If I remember correctly, yellow was cavalry, red was artillery and blue was infantry.

A variant of this song was still sung in Army basic training units as late as 1971, the differences being the young woman wore a "trouser blouser," the elastic that kept the cuffs of your fatigues neat without having to tuck them into your boots, and she wore it for "Joe Trainee" who was far, far away.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: DougR
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 06:33 PM

I believe the song gained it's most popularity around the time that Iran held many Americans hostage during Jimmy Carter's administration. Tony Orlando and Dawn released it and it became a very popular song at the time, much like "Green Green Grass of Home," became popular during the Viet Nam War.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 07:21 PM

Have heard that story about the yellow stripe on the cavalryman's trousers or breeches, but have never found any documentation. Never heard it from my father, who was in the horse cavalry in 1920, (not that that contributes), but if true, the story ought to be in some pre-WW1 reference.


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Subject: RE: Help: Tie a yellow ribbon-origin
From: Jim Krause
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 02:50 PM

Guest,

The yellow stripe, or welt more properly, was sewn into the outside seam of a cavalryman's blue trousers. When the U.S. army adopted the khaki after the Spanish American War (1898-1900) I believe the yellow welt was done away with.

Jim


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Subject: RE: Origin: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 16 Sep 11 - 07:13 PM

I remember many years ago 50's or 60's seeing a movie on TV about this story of a man returning on a bus and trying the story. When they got there the tree was covered rribbons. The girl was waiting for him. Thepurl
Problem is I don't know the name of the movie.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree
From: GUEST,Me
Date: 22 Aug 17 - 07:00 PM

The yellow ribbons predates the readers digest song and the Tony Orlando song. Heard it from my uncle who was a soldier


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