Harper Valley P.T.A.

Album: Harper Valley P.T.A. (1968)
Charted: 12 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • I wanna tell you all a 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 wearing your dresses way too high.
    It's reported you've been drinkin' and runnin' 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 mini-skirt into the room.
    And as she walked up to the black board, I 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 tims he's asked me for a date.
    And Mrs. Taylor 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 a 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 happen just this way.
    The day my momma socked it to, the Harper Valley PTA.
    The day my momma 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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