Outlaws – Green Grass and High Tides

A long song but I will say the chorus is very catchy. A southern rock band who had a few hits but this one didn’t chart…but it did catch on FM radio after it was released in 1975.

Outlaws founding member Henry Paul says this song is not about marijuana, but about rock and roll luminaries, and the title, he says, was taken from the 1966 “Best Of” collection by the Rolling Stones called High Tides and Green Grass.

The song was on the Outlaws debut album called “Outlaws” and it peaked at #13 in the Billboard album charts.

Hughie Thomasson: I wrote that song in Saint Augustine, Florida. We went to a cookout on the beach and everybody forgot to bring their guitars. I was standing by the ocean and there was a breeze and the words kept coming to me. It’s about all the rock stars I liked that died had come back and were playing a show just for me. Like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. And eventually more of course.

Henry Paul: “From what I gather, there was an album out, the best of the Rolling Stones, called ‘High Tides and Green Grass.’ That was the name of the Rolling Stones’ greatest hits – this is like 1966 – and I think it was a manifestation of that title turned in reverse, ‘Green Grass and High Tides.’ I know that much. And I know that it was a song written for rock and roll illuminaries, from Janis Joplin to Jimi Hendrix, and it had nothing to do with marijuana. But it had to do with, I think, a specific person’s lyrical look at rock and roll legends. ‘As kings and queens bow and play for you.’ It’s about Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. ‘Castles of stone, soul and glory.’ A lot of it is just sort of a collage of words that really don’t have all that much to do with anything, they just fit and sounded right. But I have to say it’s one of my favorite lyrics. My songwriting is more Steinbeck, really rooted in accuracy and reality; this is definitely Alice In Wonderland. It’s the whole ‘White Rabbit.’ It’s sort of like one of those magic lyrical moments that will forever be mysteriously unclearly conceived.”

From Songfacts

 Says Paul,  (Check out our interview with Henry Paul. For more, go to http://www.blackhawkmusic.us.)

In most of the Outlaws albums’ liner notes, Hughie Thomasson signed off with the line “green grass and high tides forever.” 

The song is the final encore of Solo Tour in the video game Rock Band. Because the game only has four tracks (guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocals), the song’s three guitar parts are combined into one track. 

Green Grass and High Tides

In a place you only dream of
Where your soul is always free
Silver stages, golden curtains
Filled my head, plain as can be
As a rainbow grew around the sun
All my stars of love who died
Came from somewhere beyond the scene you see
These lovely people played just for me

Now if I let you see this place
Where stories all ring true
Will you let me past your face
To see what’s really you
It’s not for me I ask these questions
As though I were a king
For you have to love, believe and feel
Before the burst of tambourines take you there

Green grass and high tides forever
Castles of stone souls and glory
Lost faces say we adore you
As kings and queens bow and play for you

Those who don’t believe me
Find your souls and set them free
Those who do, believe and love
This time will be your key
Time and time again I’ve thanked them
For a piece of mind
They helped me find myself
Amongst the music and the rhyme
That enchants you there

Green grass and high tides forever
Castles of stone souls and glory
Lost faces say we adore you
As kings and queens bow and play for you
Yeah, they play just for you


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

21 thoughts on “Outlaws – Green Grass and High Tides”

  1. That has got to be one of the best intros I’ve ever seen to a song. It gave me the goosebumps! The song is familiar but I had no idea who sang it. Great tune and a great choice for this sunny Tuesday. Definitely has an Allman Brothers Band sound to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa I didn’t know people would like it because I didn’t know how many people knew it to begin with. I grew up with it being in the south. Glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it was…a movie is coming out this fall about it…made by the drummer. I like docs better though. I’ve seen that documentary…it’s good but sad of course. They were hitting their stride when it happened.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought of them because of that post you posted on new music. I thought to myself…I’ve never posted something about them before.
      I don’t post much about southern rock because I’m from the south and was heavily exposed to it…a lot. Funny thing is bands like Lynyrd Skynryd were influenced by Cream, Stones, and Hendrix.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Allmans to me were a cut above Southern Rock…they infused some jazz along with the blues…terrific musicians.

        Thats not cutting down the rest either…the Allmans were just that good.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The chorus really hooked me. I didn’t think this many people would have remembered it to tell you the truth.


      1. You know, I never heard that but, my younger paternal cousin started singing it that way and it stuck in my head. Brandon cursed me with that.

        Don’t even get me started on the mondegreen of “Long Cool Woman…”

        Liked by 1 person

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