Song of the Day: Little Green Bag by George Baker Selection

Little Green Bag” is a 1969 song written by Dutch musicians, Jan Visser and George Baker (credited as Hans Bouwens), and recorded by theGeorge Baker Selection at the band’s own expense. The 7″ single debut of the George Baker Selection was released by the label Negram. The B-sidewas “Pretty Little Dreamer”. In 1970, “Little Green Bag” appeared on the album, Little Green Bag, by the George Baker Selection.

Lyrics:

Yeah
Lookin’ back on the track for a little green bag
Got to find just a kind or losin’ my mind
Outside in the night, outside in the day

Lookin’ back on the track gonna do it my way
Outside in the night, outside in the day
Lookin’ back on the track gonna do it my way
Lookin’ back

Lookin’ for some happiness
But there is so a loneliness to find
Turn to the left turn to the right
Lookin’ upstairs lookin’ behind

Lookin’ for some happiness
But there is so a loneliness to find
Turn to the left turn to the right
Lookin’ upstairs lookin’ behind

Lookin’ back on the track for a little green bag
Got to find just a kind or losin’ my mind
Outside in the night, outside in the day
Lookin’ back on the track gonna do it my way

Lookin’ back on the track for a little little green bag
Got to find just a kind or losin’ my mind
Lookin’ for some happiness
But there is so a loneliness to find

Turn to the left turn to the right
Lookin’ upstairs lookin’ behind
Lookin’ for some happiness
But there is so a loneliness to find

Turn to the left turn to the right
Lookin’ upstairs lookin’ behind

……

The song reached the number 9 position in the Dutch Top 40, and the number 3 position in Belgium. In the summer of 1970, it reached the number 16 position on the Cash Box magazine chart and 21 in the Billboard Top 100 in the U.S.. In 1992, when the song was used in the film Reservoir Dogs, it became an international cult classic. Also in 1992, the song reached the number 1 position in Japan, after it was used in a Japanese whiskeycommercial.

“Names are the theme that haunt this song. It was supposed to be called “Little Greenback,” like in money, but the seven-inch single debut was misprinted by publisher label Negram. Wouldn’t you know it, it became their top hit, and so became known by the wrong name. Worse yet, they had to change the name of the album to reflect that. If you listen to the words, “greenback” is actually the word sung.

George Baker, meanwhile, was actually born Johannes Bouwens. He’s from the Netherlands, you see, and so “Little Green Bag” first made the top-40 on the Dutch charts, then Belgium, and finally internationally.

Have you ever heard such a unique construction? It starts out with jazzy bass and tambourine, with a bouncy bass line and drum. Then the vocals slide in with an almost whisper, and then suddenly the song opens up and it’s a Spanish romance ballad.” [songfacts]

Cover versions

  • In 1999, Tom Jones released a cover of the song recorded with the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies on the collaborations album Reload.
  • In the 1970s Luigi Albertelli translated the song into Italian, with the title Un passatempo; this version was recorded by Nada (Italian singer). TitledLa borsetta verde it was recorded by the group i Punti Cardinali.

In other media

  • The song is included on the soundtrack of the Quentin Tarantino film Reservoir Dogs and appears in the famous intro scene that leads into the opening credits.
  • It was used in the Capcom video game “Under The Skin”.
  • It starts off the soundtrack of a 2012 science documentary ‘Transit of Venus’ from BBC/Horizon.
  • It the theme song for the Argentinian TV series “En el camino”.
  • The song was used in the second episode of The Simpsons’ eighteenth season: “Jazzy and the Pussycats”.

George Baker

George Baker (born Johannes Bouwens, 8 December 1944) is a Dutch singer and songwriter best known for his global hit Paloma Blanca. He was the lead singer of the pop musical ensemble, George Baker Selection. He is now a solo artist.

Birth name Johannes Bouwens
Born 8 December 1944 (age 68)
Origin Hoorn, Netherlands
Genres Pop
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Years active 1967–present
Website http://www.georgebaker.com
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