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The Poets and Troubadours Top 100 Folk Rock Songs 100 through 76


I Dig Rock and Roll Music

Peter, Paul, and Mary

Meant as a parody of folk/rock, which Peter, Paul, and Mary detested.  Things sort of backfired, as the song went to number 9 in 1967 and stayed on the charts 8 weeks!


All Around My Hat

Steeleye Span

A 19th century English folk tune. Originally about a man mourning his lady friend who’d been sent to Australia for 7 years on theft charges. Redone as a rousing rocker by Steeleye Span which reached number 5.


Get Together

The Youngbloods

A song appealing for peace and brotherhood. Originally recorded by The Kingston Trio in 1964, then by We Five the next year (the follow-up to “You Were On My Mind”). This folk/rock version by the Youngbloods made it to number 5 in the summer of love, 1969.


The Lion Sleeps Tonight

The Tokens

Written by South African singer Solomon Linda in the 1920s, this was originally titled “Mbuba” (Lion).  In 1961, lyricist George David Weiss wrote the now familiar English lyrics.  It was recorded by The Tokens as the B side of their single, “Tina.” 


Look Through Any Window

The Hollies

Recorded by The Hollies in 1965, it reached number 32 on the US Top 40 in January of 1966, becoming their first US hit single.  The single went to number 4 in England and number 3 in Canada.


Maggie May

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart says that “Maggie May” is based on actual events.  It was recorded in just two takes in one session.  It was, as you may have guessed, originally the B side of “Reason to Believe.”  American DJs forced them to change their minds.


Someday Soon

Judy Collins

Written by Canadian legend Ian Tyson, this Judy Collins version reached number 55 on the US charts and number 37 in Canada.  The Western Writers of America chose it as one of the top 100 Western songs of all time.



The Lovin’ Spoonful

The title track to their second album, this was the Lovin’ Spoonful’s first top 5 single, hitting number 2 in March of 1966.  It’s been re-recorded by a number of artists, including Doris Day!


Last Train to Clarksville

The Monkees

Dismissed as pure bubble gum in the beginning, this song has picked up a following over the years and has gained the reputation as a sort of anti-war song.  Beginning in 1967, it was used in a U.S. Army produced film for new inductees. 


Those Were the Days

Mary Hopkin

Not an English bar song, this was a Russian song about reminiscences of youth.  Stalin banned the song in 1927! It was recorded by Theodore Bikel and by The Limeliters before Mary Hopkins took it to the top in 1968.


If Not for You

Bob Dylan

This was written for Dylan’s New Morning album. George Harrison released a version on his All Things Must Pass triple album, but the biggest hit was Olivia Newton John’s version, which was based on the Harrison arrangement. 


Castles in the Air

Don McLean

A song about a disillusioned city guy who dreams of life in the country.  This was song 1 on side 1 of McLean’s debut album, before “American Pie” became the elephant in the room!


Sit Down, I Think I Love You

The Mojo Men

Written by Stephen Stills and originally recorded by Buffalo Springfield, this Mojo Men version of the song reached number 36.  It was their only top 40 hit.


When You Walk in the Room

The Searchers

The Searchers covered this Jackie DeShannon penned song in 1964, at the beginnings of the folk/rock era.  This version climbed to number 35 on the US charts and number 5 in the UK.


The 59th Street Bridge Song

Harper’s Bizarre

Harper’s Bizarre took this Paul Simon song to number 13 on the charts in 1967.  The arrangement was done by a well-known name – Leon Russell.


At the Zoo

Simon and Garfunkel

This anthropomorphical cut was written for the movie The Graduate, but rejected.  It was released as a single in 1967, reaching number 16, then featured on Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends album.


Oh, Very Young

Cat Stevens

We bet you didn’t know this was about Buddy Holly!  “Will you carry the words of love with you, will you ride the great white bird into heaven” were just some of the references to Holly.


Who’ll Stop the Rain

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Released in 1967, “Who’ll Stop the Rain” isn’t an anti-war song or a Woodstock tinged tune, it’s about the malaise the people were going through at the time.  Not hopeful, not hopeless, just a tune about life at the beginning of the 70s.


Take It Easy


Song 1 on side 1 of Eagles debut album, “Take it Easy” was written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey.  If you visit Winslow, AZ someday, be sure to check out the mural and statue commemorating the song.


The Boxer

Simon and Garfunkel

An epic Simon and Garfunkel creation, “The Boxer” took over 100 hours to produce.  The “lie, lie, lie” in the chorus was there because there were no words yet.  They decided to leave it just as it was.  Good choice.


Stoney End

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand took this Laura Nyro penned song to number 6 in late 1970.  Several years later she finally confessed that she had no idea what the lyrics mean.  Join the club.


Something in the Air

Thunderclap Newman

The group was formed by Who guitarist Pete Townshend to be a showcase for drummer and singer Speedy Keen.  “Something in the Air” was originally titled “Revolution,” but the name was changed because this other, big name English group had a song out by the same name.


All Along the Watchtower

Jimi Hendrix

The song was written by Bob Dylan in 1966 while he was recovering from his motorcycle accident.  Hendrix recorded this version after hearing some Dylan tapes.  The production contained a ton of overlays before Jimi was satisfied.  It was his only top 20 hit, reaching number 20 in 1968


One Toke Over the Line

Brewer and Shipley

The song began as a joke, written backstage before a performance by Brewer and Shipley.  It ended up on their next album and the single went to number 10, despite Spiro Agnew condemning the song and the guys.


Quinn the Eskimo

Manfred Mann

Another Bob Dylan song, there are several stories of who the Quinn in question is, including Anthony Quinn who played an Eskimo in The Savage Innocents in 1964.  Whomever, he was a guy well-thought of, someone who brought joy to all he met!   


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