Under the weeping willow



Keywords: under the weeping willow
Description: There have been a number of times in the history of this blog that I’ve mentioned how "Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow" is my favorite bluegrass song. The song has always been a popular one, but with its release on the Chris Thile and Michael Daves album this year and on Rosanne Cash’s The…

There have been a number of times in the history of this blog that I’ve mentioned how “Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow” is my favorite bluegrass song. The song has always been a popular one, but with its release on the Chris Thile and Michael Daves album this year and on Rosanne Cash’s The List last year, I got curious about where the song came from.

In a nutshell, it’s a sad song about a desperate girl who wants to die and be buried under a weeping willow tree so that her former fiancé, who cheated on her and is now with someone else, will perhaps weep for her under the tree. The genders vary depending on the singer and I’ve heard a ton of different variations of each of the verses, but that’s pretty standard for an old song like this one.

The song was first archived in 1906 by an English professor at the University of Missouri who joined a club that collected old folk songs.  The Carter Family wasn’t the first to record it, but they were the folks that made it popular, releasing it in 1935. In a 1970 interview, Mother Mabel was asked about it.

“That was a song we had sang all our lives. We first heard the song at a family get-together and decided to learn it. We did learn the words and sang it at all our family parties and get-togethers. The song became quite popular so when we recorded for RCA Victor in 1927–we recorded “Bury Me Beneath The Willow ” on our first recording session in Bristol. Tennessee. The original version of the song was written by Bradley Kincaid.”

Here’s some more background by the Bluegrass Messengers & Bluegrass now. Here’s the recording of The Carter Family singing the song, along with lyrics.




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