"When TV shows run through Christmas No 1s of years past, Tom Jones's 'Green, Green Grass of Home' always sticks out like a sore thumb, a blear country song about a man returning to his childhood home that was No 1 for seven weeks over the 1966 Christmas period and well into January 1967. How did this happen?
"A fortnight before it came out, more than 100 children had died in the Aberfan mining disaster; the country was in deep shock. In the pre-Band Aid era, before charity records were the norm, 'Green, Green Grass of Home' was bought as an act of remembrance, somehow blending 'How Green Was My Valley' and a funeral dirge. In Jones's hands, the song sounded more Welsh than Appalachian–it had 'a death-haunted lyric that offered some surcease within a nation still coming to terms' with Aberfan, 'reminding everyone of lives cut short and the impossibility of going back'.
"I've never heard anyone make the connection before. This is not only fine pop writing, but social history of a high order."
Bob Stanley in The Guardian reviews Jon Savage's 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded.