Bury Me Beneath The Willow Tree

Bury me beneath the willow tree

A few years back I wrote about the song, Bury Me Underneath The Weeping Willow Tree, and shared a video of Pap and Paul singing the song.

The Pressley Girls have recently been doing the old song, and I was reminded of the post I did back in 2009.

I’ve always heard the song is credited to A.P. Carter and that many people consider the song to be one of the first country music songs ever recorded-way back in the 1920s.

I dug around on my favorite music site: Mud Cate Cafe and found a quote from Mother Maybelle Carter that had been shared by a Mud Cat member:

‘Bury Me Beneath the Weeping Willow’
From: Kaleea
Date: 25 Jul 05 – 10:19 PM

Ok, here’s the rest of what I found:

During a 1970’s interview, I asked Mother Maybelle Carter about the song, “Bury Me Beneath The Willow .”

She replied, “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.”

The thread about the song on Mud Cat Cafe is interesting. The commenters discuss the varying titles the song has been given over the years, as well as the various lyrics that have been used by different performers. I think its pretty safe to say-neither A.P Carter nor Kincaid wrote the song. Most song historians agree its been around longer than either of them.

When I wrote about the song a few years ago, I said it reminded me of Summer-it still does. Hope you enjoyed The Pressley Girls!



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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    June 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Our Aunt Rose had a huge willow in her front yard that she’d have everyone help trim pretty regularly. One time our Grandmother gathered up some of the switches, brought them to our house, and stuck ’em in the ground here and there. One she stuck over the bank where the output for the kitchen sink ran, keeping it pretty wet down there. That little switch grew up to be taller than the house which was a good 3 old fashioned stories high, and it was nearly as wide as it was tall. Yep, Grandma had a pretty good green thumb, easily making so many things grow from little more than a switch or twig. Bro Tom is almost as good as Grandma was, not quite – but almost.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    That’s one of my favorite songs!
    I especially liked the sawing
    effect Chitter does with the violin
    for an extra beat. The clean sound
    of a guitar (off camera) has got to
    be Paul. Great job folks…Ken

  • Reply
    June 23, 2013 at 10:32 am

    The girls are getting better all the time. So talented. Know you must be very proud of them.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Lovely. And while I am usually not this nosy I have to ask what it is that is hanging in this pic. I would tell you what it looks like to me but I know I would be so far off that I couldn’t bear the shame.

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    June 23, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Very nice!! I believe the girls get prettier everytime. Growing into young ladies. Pap’s looking good too.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2013 at 10:07 am

    P.S. – Lots of good versions of this song out there on You Tube and the Pressley girls are right along with them! I especially liked Dolly Parton’s version with Emmy Lou Harris and Linda Rondstadt – the third harmony is a nice touch.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2013 at 9:51 am

    It is fascinating, the way folk songs adapt to circumstances, customs, memory, changing social conventions, history (although that is not evident in this one – except, perhaps for the use of the symbolic willow on headstones.) I also learned a new phrase: “steam dozen”.!
    By the way, a good watermelon (a sure sign of summer along with fireflies) doesn’t need salt but if the watermelon was picked a little early, got too much water before it was picked, or just never flavored up, a little salt will help.
    How do you determine if a watermelon is ripe? – – a good backhanded thump with the knuckle of your middle finger. A nice mellow hollow sound and its ready to eat. An empty hollow sound and its overripe. A few high pitched overtones or a muted sound and it isn’t ready yet.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 23, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I was sittin here watching for squirrels to jump from one of your oak trees to the other. Then I saw the 12 gauge shells hanging in the corner.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 23, 2013 at 8:49 am

    and girls…I just loved this post. You’all did a great job on the song. Sometimes I would love to hear Pap jump in there with his
    wonderful voice and add to the chorus! Sort of like adding the voice of the missing love in the background as he shows up to find her under the weeping willer tree!
    The willow is the first tree I fell in love with as a child. I always thought they were fairy like trees near the water with those weeping limbs hanging down and moving in the breeze.
    I would grab a handful or armful and swing on them…that was back when I didn’t weigh much! lol
    My Dad hated them, said all they were good for was getting in the water lines! He had ours cut down!
    I actually cried! I moved on to another tree…Our Dogwood which is a wonderful tree in itsself…
    I could still Daydream about those big old willows…When I saw a sprout down in the lower part of our property…I told my husband not to cut it down…
    Great job girls and Pap…
    Love the song,
    Thanks Tipper for the memory of the willows….

  • Reply
    June 23, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Such a wonderful way to start my Sunday morning! Your family is filled with great talent! Hats off to the entire family, especially Tipper, who keeps the information flowing each day!

  • Reply
    Tim Mc
    June 23, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Fine job Girls,, This is one of those tunes that you grow up hearing and never get tired of,, and makes you pat you feet or nod your head…

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 23, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I see Cbatter on the mandolin, I haven’t noticed that before. Guess both girls are going to master anything with strings. I love that my granddaughters are so smart, beautiful, and talented!
    The history on old songs is interesting. I wonder who really wrote it and what they were thinking. Sounds like they may have been sad as they thought of dying.

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