The Tree, the song, and the ribbon

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One hit wonders are a strange thing. They don’t seem to happen as much as you used to given the way the UK chart is now subject to downloads as opposed to singles buying. The act of walking into a record or music retailer and purchasing a CD single or cassette, as they were for a while, has long gone. When it was vinyl sales it was even more pronounced. Success could come overnight but was also fleeting for some.

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One of these was Tony Orlando and Dawn. in 1973 they scored an international hit, eight number ones across the globe, including the UK for about four weeks, showing that the catchy tune was a sure fire winner. Name another of their songs and you’ll be scratching your head and reaching for Google. What was the song about ?

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Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree is an earworm. It is melodic and the chorus is catchy and easy to remember to sing along to. In other words the perfect ingredients for a number 1 pop song. What’s it about? It starts off with a young man stating that he is coming home, he’s done his time. Whether this is a spell in prison or Military service is unspecified, and certainly has a profound effect on the outcome of the song. He uses public transport and indicates to his beloved in the letter that he will not alight unless he receives an indication via the tree they used to meet that her love for him remains. She is to do this by tying a yellow ribbon around it. I only hope that timberpride haven’t come along and turned it into Oak Trusses.

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