Bury Me Beneath the Willow

DESCRIPTION: The singer has been abandoned by (her) lover. Tomorrow was to be their wedding day, but now he is off with another girl. The singer asks her friends to "bury me beneath the willow... And when he knows that I am sleeping, maybe then he'll think of me."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1909 (Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety)
KEYWORDS: separation infidelity love death
REFERENCES (19 citations):
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 482-483, "Under the Willow Tree" (2 texts)
Randolph 747, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" (3 short texts, 3 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 505-506, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 747B)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 267, "The Weeping Willow" (3 texts plus 4 excerpts and mention of 4 more)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 267, "The Weeping Willow" (2 tunes plus text excerpts)
Jones-MinstrelOfTheAppalachians-Bascom-Lamar-Lunsford, "The Weeping Willow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-1ed, pp. 144-145, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 91-92, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abernethy-SinginTexas, pp. 46-47, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bronner/Eskin-FolksongAlivePart2 37, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow"; "Weeping Willow Tree" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Fuson-BalladsOfTheKentuckyHighlands, p. 126, "The Weeping Willow" (1 text)
Cambiaire-EastTennesseeWestVirginiaMountainBallads, p. 85, "O Bury Me Beneath the Weeping Willow" (1 text)
Boette-SingaHipsyDoodle, p. 130, "O Bury Me Beneath the Willow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Richardson/Spaeth-AmericanMountainSongs, p. 56, "The Weeping Willow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sandburg-TheAmericanSongbag, pp. 314-315, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Neely/Spargo-TalesAndSongsOfSouthernIllinois, pp. 227-229, "Weeping Willow" (2 texts)
Abrahams/Foss-AngloAmericanFolksongStyle, p. 58, "(Bury Me Beneath the Willow)" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 178, "Bury Me Beneath The Willow" (1 text)

Roud #410
Burnett & Rutherford, "Weeping Willow Tree" (Columbia 15113-D, 1927; rec. 1926; on BurnRuth01)
Smiling Bill Carlisle, "Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree" (Vocalion 02839, 1934)
Carter Family, "Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow" (Decca 5234, 1936; Montgomery Ward 8004, 1939)
Jim Cole & his Tennessee Mountaineers, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" (Crown 3122, 1931)
Delmore Brothers, "Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow" (Bluebird B-7741/Montgomery Ward M-7833, 1938)
Red Foley & the Andrews Sisters (!), "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" (Decca 29222, 1947)
Kelly Harrell, "Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree" (Victor 20535, 1925; on KHarrell01)
Lookout Mountain Revelers, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" (Paramount 3143/Broadway 8213, 1928)
Asa Martin, "Bury Me 'neath the Weeping Willow" (Banner 32426/Melotone M-12497 [both as Martin & Roberts]/Royal [Canada] 91402, 1932)
Lester McFarland & Robert Gardner, "Weeping Willow Tree" (Brunswick 199, 1928; rec. 1927)
Monroe Brothers, "Weeping Willow Tree" (Bluebird B-7093, 1937)
Holland Puckett, "Weeping Willow Tree" (Champion 15334/Supertone 9243, 1928)
Riley Puckett, "Bury Me 'Neath the Willow Tree" (Bluebird B-6348, 1936)
Red Fox Chasers, "Weeping Willow Tree" (Supertone 9322, 1929)
Almeda Riddle, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" (on LomaxCD1707)
Shelton & Fox, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" (Decca 5184, 1936)
Ernest V. Stoneman, "Bury Me Beneath the Weeping Willow" (CYL: Edison [BA] 5187, 1927) (Edison 51909, 1927)
Ernest Thompson, "Weeping Willow Tree" (Columbia 15001-D, 1924)
Henry Whitter, "The Weeping Willow Tree" (OKeh 40187, 1924; rec. 1923); "Go Bury Me beneath the Willow" (OKeh 45046, 1926)

Carter Family, "Answer to Weeping Willow" (Decca 5234, 1936; Montgomery Ward M-8004, 1939)
Karl & Harty, "We Buried Her Beneath the Willow" (Melotone 6-04-61, 1936) [I am guessing here, not having heard the record - but I'll betcha - PJS]
NOTES [141 words]: According to Mark Zwonitzer with Charles Hirschberg, Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone: The Carter Family & Their Legacy in American Music, Simon & Schuster, 2002, p. 99, this was the very first song the Carter Family played for Ralph Peer at the "Bristol Sessions" in 1927. So this song has a very big place in the history of old time country.
Michael Orgill, Anchored in Love: The Carter Family Story, Fleming H. Revell, 1975, p. 98, claims the lyrics of this are "based on Psalms 137:2." Not exactly. Yes, the Carter version opens "We hanged our harps upon the willows," which resembled the King James version of Psalm 137:2: "We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof." But the SONG is not based on the psalm, and most versions don't use this line anyway. It would appear that the Carter line floated in from the psalm. - RBW
Last updated in version 5.0
File: R747

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.