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‘John Deere Green’ by HIXTAPE, Joe Diffie, HARDY & Morgan Wallen - Lyrics & Meaning

November 14, 2023 1:14 pm GMT
Last Edited December 18, 2023 8:57 pm GMT

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HIXTAPE, Joe Diffie, HARDY & Morgan Wallen - ‘John Deere Green’

Label: Big Loud Records / Mercury Records

Release Date: 9th November 2023

Album: HIXTAPE Vol. 3: DIFFTAPE

Producer: Joey Moi

Songwriter: Dennis Linde

The Background:

The second of the two surprise songs released off the back of HARDY, Morgan Wallen and Post Malone's momentous 2023 CMA Awards performance, ‘John Deere Green’ will join ‘Pick-Up Man’ on the eagerly anticipated HIXTAPE Vol. 3: DIFFTAPE, which will drop on March 29 2024.

Like the Post Malone-assisted ‘Pick-Up Man’, ‘John Deere Green’ features the late great Joe Diffie's vocals from his 2006 Greatest Hits re-recordings, alongside HARDY and Morgan Wallen.

As its playful name suggests, all the songs on HIXTAPE Vol. 3: DIFFTAPE will be reimagined, collaborative versions of Joe Diffie's greatest hits, with each track expected to feature Diffie's vocals.

Heartwarmingly, it's a full-circle moment for the founder of the HIXTAPE series, HARDY, as he duetted with the ‘90s country icon on his HIXTAPE Vol. 1 stand-out, ‘Redneck Tendencies’.

While ‘Pick-Up Man’ inevitably garnered the most attention across the country music world due to its unexpected contribution from Hip Hop megastar, Post Malone, among HIXTAPE aficionados, ‘John Deere Green‘ has proven to be an instant hit.

The swaggering, light-hearted anthem aligns perfectly with the blueprint set out on HARDY's previous two HIXTAPEs, with the artists combining to deliver a sweet, down-home love-story.

The rose-tinted - or rather, John Deere Green-tinted - tale originally appeared on Joe Diffie's celebrated 1993 album, Honky Tonk Attitude, with the track peaking at No. 5 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart and No. 69 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100.

The Sound:

The revamped rendition of Joe Diffie's classic stays true to the original, with Joey Moi keeping the production sleek, yet still infusing ‘John Deere Green’ with its trademark twang and relaxed feel.

The funky, energising electric guitar takes centre-stage, with the three vocalists drifting in and out. Morgan opens the song, with HARDY taking the lead for the second verse and Joe Diffie's charismatic voice being interspersed throughout.

The Meaning:

“They were farm kids way down in Dixie
They met in high school in the sixties
Everyone knew it was love from the start
One July in the midnight hour
He climbed up on the water tower
Stood on the rail and painted a ten foot heart”

Morgan kicks off ‘John Deere Green’ by introducing our two protagonists, with the lovers growing up on nearby farms in the South. The retro, old-timey ambience of the song is mirrored by the fact that the story takes place in the 1960s.

The boy, who we later find out is called Billy Bob, clambers up onto the local water tower to profess his love for his girlfriend, Charlene, by painting a gigantic heart for all to see.

“In John Deere green, on a hot summer night
He wrote "Billy Bob loves Charlene" in letters three foot high
And the whole town said that he should've used red
But it looked good to Charlene
In John Deere green”

Although the general colour of choice when drawing a love-heart is, of course, red, this tale is given a fun, rural twist. As the two protagonists grew up on a farm, the boy paints his romantic declaration using the iconic shade of his family's tractor - John Deere Green.

We hear how the entire town mocks his colour choice, but touchingly, Charlene is moved by the gesture and seems to appreciate the nod to their agricultural upbringing.

“They settled down on eighty acres
Raising sweet corn, kids and tomatoes
They went together like a hand and a glove (Yes they did)
On a clear day, from their front yard
If you look and know what to look for
Off to the east you can still read his words of love”

In the second verse, we get a flash forward to a married Billy Bob and Charlene, with the two having settled down on a nice stretch of land with cornfields and a few adorable children.

HARDY underlines how the pair were made for each other, using the imagery of the way a hand fits a glove, before Joe Diffie charmingly outlines how, if the weather's right and you know where to look, you can still see Billy Boby's green love-heart on the water tower.

“Now more than once the town has discovered
Painting over it ain't no use
There ain't no paint in the world that'll cover it
The heart keeps showing through”

The final verse adopts a present-day perspective, with HARDY and Joe Diffie endearingly explaining how, despite the best efforts of the townsfolk, the green heart has so far proved immovable, standing as a symbol of Billy Bob and Charlene's eternal love.

What have the artists said about ‘John Deere Green’?

Speaking ahead of the HIXTAPE Vol. 3: DIFFTAPE unveiling, the Diffie estate emphasised their delight at Joe's pivotal role in the innovative new project, “The Diffie Estate is thrilled to partner with Big Loud and HARDY in preserving and revitalizing Joe Diffie's musical legacy. With their shared excitement and passion, this collaboration promises to carry on the incredible journey of a true legend”.

HARDY underlined how important it was to him to use the third volume of his much-loved HIXTAPE series to showcase Joe Diffie's artistry, “I'm super excited about DIFFTAPE. I think it's a one-of-a-kind project and we're the first people to do something like this. Especially having the original recordings and the fact that we have his family's blessing to do it, it's all really special. Joe epitomized the '90s country voice – he was so good about hearing and cutting hits, recording amazing songs”.

HARDY concluded, “On a personal level, I only got to meet Joe once, but he was extremely nice to me, and this was in my first year of being an artist when I was an absolute nobody. He was so, so kind to me and that memory I have of him is truly special to me, too”.

For the full lyrics to HIXTAPE, Joe Diffie, HARDY & Morgan Wallen's ‘John Deere Green’, see below:

“They were farm kids way down in Dixie
They met in high school in the sixties
Everyone knew it was love from the start
One July in the midnight hour
He climbed up on the water tower
Stood on the rail and painted a ten foot heart

In John Deere green, on a hot summer night
He wrote "Billy Bob loves Charlene" in letters three foot high
And the whole town said that he should've used red
But it looked good to Charlene
In John Deere green

They settled down on eighty acres
Raising sweet corn, kids and tomatoes
They went together like a hand and a glove (Yes they did)
On a clear day, from their front yard
If you look and know what to look for
Off to the east you can still read his words of love

In John Deere green, on a hot summer night
He wrote "Billy Bob loves Charlene" in letters three foot high
And the whole town said the boy should've used red
But it looked good to Charlene
In John Deere green

Now more than once the town has discovered
Painting over it ain't no use
There ain't no paint in the world that'll cover it
The heart keeps showing through

In John Deere green, on a hot summer night
He wrote "Billy Bob loves Charlene" in letters three foot high
And the whole town said the fool should've used red
But it looked good to Charlene
In John Deere green

Ah, paint it green boy

In John Deere green, on a hot summer night
He wrote "Billy Bob loves Charlene" in letters three foot high
And the whole town said the boy should've used red
But it looked good to Charlene
In John Deere green

Oh, take us home, Joe Diffie!

John Deere green”

For more on HIXTAPE, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
Author - Hardy
Hardy
Artist
Author - Morgan Wallen
Morgan Wallen
Artist
Author - undefined
HIXTAPE
Artist
Author - undefined
Joe Diffie
Artist