Saturday, 12 January 2008

Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow

Some 80-odd years ago, A.P. Carter (or to give him his rather flamboyant - though rarely used - full name, Alvin Pleasant Delaney Carter) penned "Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow". It is doubtful that he would have had even the slightest inkling that this song (and many of his other compositions) would become a folk standard. Yet, here we are today and it remains an extremely famous folk song, recorded by just about every man and his dog. Actually, in all fairness, I am not sure whether or not any dogs have ever recorded the song, but certainly quite a few human beings have. I may have made up the bit about the dog.

Anyway, I'm rambling, and I'm not dressed for it, so here we go. Here is the original version of the track, recorded by The Carter Family back in 1920-something.

Download: The Carter Family - Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow

In 2003, Natalie Merchant released "The House Carpenter's Daughter", an astonishing collection of folk songs (traditional and contemporary) delivered beautifully, with that voice allowed to shine. It's a magnificent album, with some moments of genuine brilliance and not a single second of filler. It's THAT good.

A polished version of "Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow" is one of the album's (many) highlights. Radically different to the Carter Family sound, it introduces some wonderful bluegrass fiddle into the mix and the result is a rollicking good listen.

Download: Natalie Merchant - Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow


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