In 1973, pop music group Tony Orlando and Dawn released “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” as a single off their album Tuneweaving. It then became a global hit for the trio!
In addition to ranking No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart and Billboard Hot 100, where it remained in the top spot for four remarkable weeks, it also reached the top 10 in ten countries – eight of which topped the charts. It was even the top-selling single in both the United States and the United Kingdom during its year of release.
During the 50th anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2008, the song also ranked No. 37 as the biggest song of all time.
The Most Romantic Welcome Of Them All
Written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” tells the story of a man coming back home after serving in prison for three long years – however, he’s not certain if the woman he loves would welcome his return.
So, he asked her to tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree if she was still willing to accept him in her life, adding that he was willing to accept the consequences of his mistake if he didn’t see one.
Much to his surprise, he’s welcomed with a hundred yellow ribbons.
Brown got the idea for the song from an article he read in Reader’s Digest, wherein a soldier coming home from Andersonville Prison during the Civil War wrote his lover a letter, telling her to tie a big yellow handkerchief on the big oak tree if she still holds her heart and has not found somebody new. When he looked out the window, there it was – a tree covered with yellow handkerchiefs.
The story sent a chill to Brown’s spine that the following day, he drove 33 miles to Levine’s house to write the song. They changed handkerchiefs to ribbon, thinking it was not particularly romantic. After all, you “blow your nose on them” – which is pretty much “disgusting.”
Make sure to listen to “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando And Dawn in the video below.
Tony Orlando and Dawn