Harper Valley P.T.A.

Album: Harper Valley P.T.A. (1968)
Charted: 12 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • I wanna tell you all the story 'bout
    A Harper Valley widowed wife
    Who had a teenage daughter
    Who attended Harper Valley Junior High
    Well, her daughter came home one afternoon
    And didn't even stop to play
    And she said, "mom, I got a note here from the Harper Valley PTA"

    Well, the note said, "Mrs. Johnson
    You're wearin' your dresses way too high
    It's reported you've been drinking
    And a-running round with men and goin' wild
    And we don't believe you oughta be a-bringin' up
    Your little girl this way"
    And it was signed by the Secretary
    Harper Valley PTA

    Well, it happened that the PTA was gonna meet
    That very afternoon
    And they were sure surprised
    When Mrs. Johnson wore her miniskirt into the room
    And as she walked up to the blackboard
    I can still recall the words she had to say
    She said, "I'd like to address this meeting of the Harper Valley PTA

    Well, there's Bobby Taylor sittin' there
    And seven times he's asked me for a date
    And Mrs. Taylor sure seems to use a lotta ice
    Whenever he's away
    And Mr. Baker can you tell us why
    Your secretary had to leave this town?
    And shouldn't widow Jones be told to keep
    Her window shades all pulled completely down

    Well, Mr. Harper couldn't be here
    'Cause he stayed too long at Kelly's Bar again
    And if you smell Shirley Thompson's breath
    You'll find she's had a little nip of gin
    And then you have the nerve to tell me
    You think that as a mother I'm not fit
    Well, this is just a little Peyton Place
    And you're all Harper Valley hypocrites"

    No, I wouldn't put you on because it really did
    It happened just this way
    The day my mama socked it to the Harper Valley PTA
    The day my mama socked it to the Harper Valley PTAWriter/s: Tom T. Hall
    Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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Comments: 16

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: http://www.oldiesmusic.com/news.htm {11-08-2018}...
    The Songwriters Hall of Fame announced the nominees for induction in 2019 Thursday (November 8th)...
    They include Tommy James, Lloyd Price, Cat Stevens, Beach Boy Mike Love and Jeff Lynn of ELO in the performer category and Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, L. Russell Brown & Irwin Levine (who wrote many hits for Tony Orlando & Dawn among others), Jerry Fuller (most of Gary Puckett’s hits), Jack Tempchin (many Eagles hits), P.F. Sloan & Steve Barri (“Eve Of Destruction” and hits for the Grass Roots), Tom T. Hall (“Harper Valley PTA”), Roger Nichols (several hits with Paul Williams, including some for the Carpenters) and Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham (“Cry Like A Baby” and “I’m Your Puppet”)...
    Winners will be inducted June 13th, 2019 in New York City.
  • Bill from Nashville,tnRichard....The record you remember of Harper valley pta was Ricky Page. I think on the Spar label.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaRichard, go to wicipedia with the title of this song, and it will give you other names of people who recorded it, usually.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaMr. Tom T. you must have lived in my home town when it was little. Loved the movie it was funny.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 9th 1969, Jeannie C. Riley performed "There Never Was a Time" on the CBS-TV program "The Ed Sullivan Show"...
    Fourteen days later on March 23rd, 1969 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at #86, it remained on the chart for four weeks, peaking at #77...
    It reached #5 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart...
    On the same 'Sullivan' show she also performed "Harper Valley P.T.A." {See next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 16th 1981, the 30 minute sitcom 'Harper Valley P.T.A.' debut on the NBC-TV network...
    The series ran for two seasons with a total of 30 episodes...
    Thirteen years earlier on August 18th, 1968 Jeannie C. Riley's "Harper Valley P.T.A." entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on September 15th, 1968 it peaked at #1 (for 1 week) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    It also reached #1 (for 3 weeks) on September 22nd, 1968 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart...
    Plus it peaked at #1 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart and RPM Country Tracks chart...
    King Curtis released an instrumental version of the song later in 1968; his version peaked at #93...
    And Ben Colder did a parody of the song, "Harper Valley PTA (Later the Same Day)", it reached #67 on the Top 100...
    R.I.P. King Curtis, born Curtis Ousley, (1934 - 1971), Mr. Colder, aka Sheb Wooley, (1921 - 2003), and Ms. Riley, born Jeanne Carolyn Stephenson, celebrated her 68th birthday three months ago on October 19th (2013).
  • Karin from Berlin, Germany@Richard: I've got a version of the song from Bobbie Gentry.
  • Mark from London, EnglandMy favourite country song.Is it possible to get a video or DVD of the film that would work on a British DVD player?
  • Richard from Norwich, CtA question about this song; I remember as a kid going with family to a rummage sale, and finding an LP record which had this song on it, but it wasn't Jeannie C Riley, or any other singers I can find on the internet; It was a female singer, but with a bit of a deeper voice, and it didn't seem to be "country" in style....

    The record since got lost or scratched...and years later I hear this song, and it just isn't the same....would anyone know who else might have sang it besides JC Riley, Loretta Lynn, or Dolly Parton?
  • Camille from Toronto, OhExactly right, Stephanie. It can sum it all up. Of course it's not understood by the younger generation; I just used the expression yesterday and my teenage son was like, "Huh? What?"
  • Stephanie from Wigtown, United KingdomI love this song. You can use it as a phrase to explain a situation and people know just what you mean.
  • Chomper from Franjkin County, PaJeannie C. Riley followed up with several other songs that followed "Haper Valley PTA" ; including "Mister harper" , about the principal or teacher , and "Little Town Square" , about the town where the Harper Valley School is located. ...Both are on her "Harper Valley PTA" album.
  • Donna from College Station, Txsong was No 2 Oct 1968 Top Singles, source Billboard 20 years ago list Oct 8, 1988
  • Madison from Norway, MeI remember watching a few episodes of the TV show but I don't ever remember a movie about this song...
  • Farrah from Elon, NcThis just goes to show that you'd better take a good look at yourself before you judge someone else.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnThis was one of the most memorable story songs of the late 60s. I remember owning the 45 when I was seven years old on the green and white Plantation label. The flipside was titled "Yesterday and All day Long Today." It's probably the only Top 40 song to make a reference the prime time saop "Peyton Place."
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