Sunday Music – (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden

Posted on Sun 11/05/2017 by


Today’s music video is (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden and the song is performed here by the American Country Music star Lynn Anderson.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by sambda

Every time I hear this song, I am reminded of a relatively humorous personal situation that is worth detailing.

My Mother was involved with the Girl Guiding movement for virtually all her life. Because of that, she made sure that all her five children also joined up in the Scouts and Girl Guides. I was in the Cubs and the Boy Scouts for eight years, right up to the time I joined the RAAF in 1967. My brother was also in the Cubs and the Scouts up until he joined the Navy. My three sisters also were members of the Brownies and the Girl Guides for most of their young years as well.

All of this stemmed from our Mother who herself joined the Brownies at the age of just seven, encouraged to do so by her Mother. After the Brownies she then graduated to the Girl Guides, and when she became too old for the Guides, she moved up to the Sea Rangers and was with that group right up until she married at the age of 22 years.

Years later, when we moved to Queensland in 1960, she again revived her service with the Brownies and Guides, this time as a Leader of the Brownies first, and then as a Leader of the Girl Guides. I know that she kept doing it for some years while I was still in the RAAF, but handed on the reins to younger women as she got a little older, but I know that she still kept doing something with the Guides in Queensland, more in an administrative role. There were a group of older ladies who had already given their lifetime to the Guides, and I knew that they would meet up at a large area of land set aside for the Guiding community, and that they would meet once a Month as a group.

After I was discharged from the Air Force, I would occasionally visit with my Mother, well, quite often really. On one Saturday afternoon, a friend of hers visited her while I was there. My Mum introduced her as one of her Guiding fraternity friends, and introduced her to me, telling me that her name was Lynn Anderson. I immediately remembered this song, and half jokingly said, “ah! The Rose Garden lady.”

She looked at me and replied that my Mother must have been talking to me about her. I looked at her, she looked at me, and Mum looked at the both of us, because none of us had the slightest clue as to what has just happened with that short interchange. Mum mentioned that this was the first time she had ever mentioned her, and Lynn looked at me asking how I knew about her roses if Mum hadn’t told me. Mum then butted in and said she hadn’t mentioned the roses.

I then had to explain that Lynn Anderson was the singer who had this smash hit back in 1971, (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden. All of this happened in 1992, more than 20 years after this famous smash hit, and both ladies, my Mother and Lynn Anderson were both in their mid to late 60’s, and neither of them knew the song at all, or the name of the artist, Lynn Anderson, the singer with the same name as the lady now standing in front of me. I mentioned that the song in question was a huge hit in the early 70s and both ladies replied that they never listened much to popular music on the radio. I told them both that if they heard the song they would surely remember it, and that drew the comment that perhaps I could hum a bit of it, or even sing a few lines of it. Now I can’t really sing all that well at all, but I did (of a fashion) sing the first two or three lines, and both ladies immediately remembered the song, but they had no idea at all who the singer was, and were quite astonished that she had the same name.

As it transpired, this Lynn Anderson had a minor problem with a word processing program she was using on her computer, and as I was reasonably competent with the same word processing program, WordPerfect, Mum ‘volunteered’ me to help her out if I could. So the following day, both my Mother and I visited Lynn at her home, and lo and behold, she had perhaps one of the nicest rose gardens I have ever seen, and it was quite obvious that she just loved her roses, as I also did, and I think I surprised her that I knew the name of some of the varieties she had growing in that beautiful rose garden. I helped her sort out the minor problem she had with the program, and after a cup of tea, Mum and I drove back to Mum’s home.

It was a humorous little thing that luckily sorted itself out amicably in the long run, but I almost put my foot in it.

This song was a huge hit all over the Planet back in late 1970, and here in Australia it was a huge hit in 1971. It was originally released as a Country song, and it was so popular that it crossed over onto the mainstream charts as well, where it was also a huge hit, almost making it to Number One, but settling at Number Two.

Here in Australia, we have a much smaller audience, so we only have the mainstream charts, and for a Country song to make it big on the mainstream chart, it has to be really popular, and this song proved to be just that. It didn’t rise up the charts in any spectacular fashion, but did just keep rising. It made it all the way to Number Three and then started falling, sinking back outside of the Top Ten. But then something strange happened. Sometimes, songs are big in one major city but not so in the other ones, and a little later, they finally do become popular in that other major city. Such was the case with this song, as it started to rise back up the National Charts again, and this time, it made it all the way to Number One, albeit for just one week, before, a little more slowly this time, falling away again. All up the song spent almost 20 weeks on the National Chart here in Australia, and proved to be one of the biggest Country hits in Australia.

The song was written by Joe South, who also recorded the song in 1968/9, but it did not make it onto the charts. A couple of other Country artists also recorded the song, again without making it into a hit. Lynn Anderson’s husband, who was also her producer was not all that keen on her recording the song, as it was considered to be a male song because of a couple of lines in the lyrics of the song, but Lynn changed the tempo slightly, and with the strings and her light hearted treatment of the song, it was no wonder it became a huge smash hit for her.

The song won her the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal performance, and the writer of the song, Joe South also garnered two Grammy nominations for the song.

While this was her biggest hit on the Mainstream Charts, she did have five Number One hits on the Country Charts, and a number of other songs inside the Top Ten.

Sadly, Lynn Anderson passed away in 2015.

This was just such a wonderful song for the time it was released, and became Lynn Anderson’s signature song for the rest of her very long career as a Country music artist.

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