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Tony Orlando – Tie A Yellow Ribbon lyrics

I'm comin' home, I've done my time
Now I've got to know what is and isn't mine
If you received my letter tellin' you I'd soon be free
Then you'll know just what to do if you still want me
If you still want me


Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree
It's been three long years
Do you still want me?
If I don't see a ribbon round the old oak tree
I'll stay on the bus
Forget about us
Put the blame on me
If I don't see a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree

Bus driver, please look for me
'Cause I couldn't bear to see what I might see
I'm really still in prison, and my love she holds the key
A simple yellow ribbon's what I need to set me free
I wrote and told her this:


Now the whole damn bus is cheering
And I can't believe I see
A hundred yellow ribbons 'round the old oak tree
I'm comin' home

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Corrected byjinwei

songmeaningsPost my meaning

  • u
    This song is about a guy who just came out of 3 long years in prison and was looking for his former sweetheart. By doing so, he asked his sweetheart to tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree if she acknowledges his love. He was willing to tae the blame if she doen't love him anymore and would walk away from her. When he saw the tree, it was covered with one. But hundreds of yellow ribbons!
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  • u
    Actually, it is about a man freed from prison. There was a videoshort that originally accompanied the song which played for the first time on the tony orlando and dawn show. The video short told the store of the man who had been in prison. He was afraid he would not be accepted back by his love. In the video short he is telling his story to the other passengers on the bus. They wait in anticipation to see if there will be a ribbon on the old oak tree. And, as the songs states, you know the rest.
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  • u
    It could be either prison or military. Because a solider also "does his time". Recall that this song came out in 1973 which is when solders were returning from vietnam officially. However, all music is meant to touch the heart and soul of the hearer and that will be done based on the experience of the one who hears. For me today it has a different meaning then it did was I was 9 when it came out. Today, as I wait for my love to return from his duty, I understand that he may have trepidations about his return and what "is and isn't" his. Every month another ribbon will be added to my old oak tree until he returns.
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  • u
    This story always bothered me when I first heard it. Whether he was in prison or the military, his signal of welcome home, just seemed a little capricious, and fraught with many possible areas of miscommunication and confusion.
    Depending on the presence of a yellow ribbon on a tree, to make a decision on a lifetime of love and happiness was a little foolish. So much could go wrong, and he would ride off into the sunset... alone.
    Just the possibility that she would not get his letter was a start, and the writer even makes that point in the first verse... "If you received my letter..." She might still have strong feelings for him, and just didn't get the letter. Maybe she is out of town when it comes, visiting family or a long vacation. tsk tsk.
    And the fact he is already on the bus, heading out of town is a bad sign. If the ribbon's not there... "I'll stay on the bus, forget about us." In other words... get a ribbon on that tree girl, or you can forget about us, cause I sure will.
    His girl is going to think he is pretty flaky, hanging their entire future love, on a single instant of ribbon or a tree.
    She may definitely want him back, but misses the letter, or the bus schedule, which bus, even which "old oak tree", or gets the date wrong, through no fault of her own, dooming their lives to sadness.
    And all those issues are not even close to his own personal worry, which he inadvertently hangs out to dry.
    But, in the end, it all works out, and still chokes me up when I read it. Considering the possible screw-ups, they both got lucky.
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  • u
    A man, after 3 years of serving his sentence in jail sent a mail to his woman asking if she still wants him. One way to find out if he is still welcome, he instructed his woman to tie a yellow ribbon around their old oak tree. On the day the man was set free and went home by a bus found out that a hundred yellow ribbons were tied to their old tree which means that he is very much welcome.
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