A Bit Like You And Me Radio

June 19, 2012

Tom Paxton - Whose Garden Was This (1970)

Born in 1937 and raised in a small town in Oklahoma, this folk legend never attempted to conform to the emerging “folk rock” genre that became popular in the mid-‘60s. Although our previous post on him gives the general summary of who he was, it is pointed out here that Tom Paxton admitted that he never had the “rock mentality.” The most he ever experimented with his folk music was by incorporating some string instruments and horns. Known as the “Baroque” period of his career, he quickly returned to his folk roots after two experimental albums.

This song comes from Paxton’s “Baroque folk” period. Specifically, it was on his album titled 6 released in 1970. It was composed as an environmentalist anthem, both written and originally performed by Paxton in honor of the first-ever Earth Day. Paxton’s use of imagery poignantly warns what may come if we don’t protect our planet. As much of a foreboding warning as it is a beautiful song, this is my favorite Tom Paxton track. If it’s your first time hearing the song, turn up the volume and lose yourself in the haunting lyrics.

album art

Tom Paxton - Whose Garden Was This (1970)

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Lyrics:

Whose garden was this?
It must have been lovely
Did it have flowers?
I've seen pictures of flowers
And I'd love to have smelled one

Whose river was this?
You say it ran freely?
Blue was its color?
I've seen blue in some pictures
And I'd love to have been there

Ah, tell me again I need to know
The forest had trees, the meadows were green
The oceans were blue, and birds really flew
Can ya swear that was true?

Whose grey sky was this?
Or was it a blue one?
Nights there were breezes?
I've heard records of breezes
And you tell me you've felt one?

Ah, tell me again I need to know
The forest had trees, the meadows were green
The oceans were blue, and birds really flew
Can ya swear that was true?

Whose garden was this?
It must have been lovely
Did it have flowers?
I've seen pictures of flowers
And I'd love to have smelled one

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