Flowers On The Wall

Album: Pulp Fiction Soundtrack (1965)
Charted: 38 4

Songfacts®:

  • Written by Statler Brothers singer Lew DeWitt, this song is about a guy who has been left lonely and nearly catatonic by the one he loves. He's in a pretty bad spot, counting flowers on the wall and playing solitaire with a deck that's missing a card.
  • This appears on the soundtrack to the movie Pulp Fiction. Bruce Willis is singing along to the song, which is playing on his car radio, just before he runs over Marsellus Wallace at an intersection. There's another Bruce Willis connection to the song as well: Willis mentions spending his suspension "Smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo" in Die Hard With A Vengeance. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    John - Levittown, NY
  • This was a rare attempt at a psychedelic Country song. CMT named it one of the 100 greatest Country songs of all-time. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Julian - Oakland, AR

Comments: 21

  • Aaron from Patton, PaI was recently hospitalized in the psych ward in the same hospital my grandmother was sent to hospice to live the last few days of her life in. The remote to the TV was acting up and this song came on. I would sing along to the Statler Brothers with my grandmother when I was a kid. I am 35 now. I think my grandmother was trying to communicate with me.
  • Darlene from Missouri From this old lady point of view. I am really content in my little space of this world so don't worry about me. I find things to keep me occupied. Even if they don't make sense to everyone else. I am happy!! That is what the lyric's say to me.
  • Hatman from Dallas, TxI think the part about, "Playing Solitaire with a Deck of fifty one", means that they guy isn't all there. It's a variation of the saying, "not playing with a full deck". The writer could have been bored in his living space when he wrote it, too.
  • Rick Jackson from CharlotteSome of you have been listening to too much rock. Country lyrics rarely feature hidden meanings or “left to interpretation” meanings. One of the best things about the genre. Lee DeWitt was just having fun when he wrote it. The boring life of the guy in the song is just who he is.
  • Rowdyroddy85 from Staunton, VirginiaLew DeWitt’s father was an administrator at Western State Hospital (mental health hospital) that’s located in Staunton, Va. When Lew would get out of school he would do random jobs at the hospital. While he was there he encountered a patient that actually did these things. So this in fact is based on reality.
  • Claus from UsaYou're reading too much into the lyrics. The song is about an amphetamine morning. Listen to the words; how can counting flowers on the wall, solitairre with a short deck smoking cigarettes and watching Capt.Kangaroo not bothering you without the assistance of black beauties?



  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenI think this has to be about someone who is institutionalized, whether in a mental facility, an "old folks home" or prison. The tone is clearly sarcastic, aimed at the singer's monotonous surroundings and whomever has come to visit him. The visitor asks if he's bored and he replies, "Why, no! Listen to all the exciting things I get to do!"
  • Davo from Des Moines, IowaI think it has not a thing to do with metal institutions or Johnny Cash. The song was written by Lew DeWitt, who was a founding member of the Statler Brothers and the original tenor. He sufferd from Crohn's disease which I'm guessing caused long stays in the hospital and at home. He's health was so bad in the early 1980s that he left the group because his treatment was getting the way of their performance schedule.

    Also you should consider that it could have simply been about the down time that all professional musicians have off and on the road. Long periods filled with endless activities and suddenly you are dropped off on your front porch with nothing to do for months or years at a time. Some turn to substance abuse, some start side projects but a lot of them just turn into hermits.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 2nd 1966, "Flowers On The Wall" by the Statler Brothers peaked at #4 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on November 7th, 1965 and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    That same week the record at #5 was "Ebb Tide" by the Righteous Brothers, and interestingly enough neither act were really brothers...
    "Flowers" reached #2 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart...
    Between 1965 and 1990 the 'brothers' had sixty-six hits on the Country Singles chart; with thirty-three making the Top 10 and four peaking at #1; "Do You Know You Are My Sunshine" in 1978, "Elizabeth" in 1984, "My Only Love" in 1985, and "Too Much On My Heart" again in 1985 (all four remained at #1 for one week).
  • James from Cincinnati, Oh@dennis. Wow, if you listen to the Eric Heatherly version, it lines up perfect with Jingle Bells. Take out the bridges and it's there. I am sitting here playing jingle bells on guitar and singing flowers on the wall. And the verses all fit.

    - Jim
  • Keith from Westlake Village, CaThe last line reminds me of Brian Wilson's In My Room. It's a great song, interesting lyrics, and a great melody.
  • Marissa from Akron, OhHere's how I take it, his girlfriend broke up with him and now he's absolutely bored out of his mind, and has nothing to do but count the flowers on the wall (apparently flowered wallpaper), play solitaire, smoke cigarettes and watch TV. That's just my interpretation of it though, perhaps because I was recently dumped and have spent my time, you guessed it, playing solitaire.
  • Steven from Waynesboro, VaThis tune was written about a patient in the Western State mental hospital in Staunton Virginia.
    The song was released on Columbia records after much urging by Johnny Cash.
  • Steven from Waynesboro, VaThis tune was written about a patient in the Western State mental hospital in Staunton Virginia.
    The song was released on Columbia records after much urging by Johnny Cash.
  • Scott from East Stroudsburg, PaJoel, it's more a guy, down on his luck, no money to do things, no volition to do so. "now don't tell me, I've nothing to do...". Sardonic reflective response to someone most likely telling him to get a job, as he has nothing to do.
  • Joel R. from Philadelphia, PaThis song is either about a man in prison or in a mental hospital. There are just too many images for it not to be.
  • Fred from Laurel, MdOf course, the 1994 citation at the top of this page is not the original release -- that was as a hit single (45 rpm) in 1966, from the album of the same name. So, are the chart numbers up there from the 1966 single or the 1994 re-release as one track on a movie soundtrack album, which includes a mix of artists?
  • Jerry from Brooklyn, NyI'm sorry, Dennis, but I have trouble with the "Jingle Bells" bit. The verses and the meter of the peom just don't fit that tune. So, unless he significantly re-wrote the lyrics, I just can't see this one.
  • Steve from Jamesburg, NjI read in Billboad that originally this was the flipside of the single.
  • Lacey from Slippery Rock, PaThis was covered by Eric Heatherly in 2000. It can be heard on his Swimming in Champagne album, released the same year.
  • Dennis from Waynesboro, VaThe late Lew DeWitt, who wrote this song, was a friend of mine as well as a former brother-in-law. It's absolutely, positively true that when Lew had just finished writing this tune, it was to the tune of "JINGLE BELLS" ! ! Fortunately, the melody got changed, and the song went on to become the Statler's first major hit.
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