Willow's Song

Willow's Song

"Willow's Song" is a ballad by American composer Paul Giovanni using lyrics by the poet Robert Burns for the 1973 film "The Wicker Man".

Being the best-known song of the film, it is sometimes referred to as "The Wicker Man Song," although the film contains several other songs. The film tells the story of an upright Christian police officer investigating the disappearance of a young girl, the search for whom leads him to a remote Scottish isle inhabited by pagans. While staying at the Green Man pub, Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) is roused from prayer by the landlord's daughter Willow, played by (Britt Ekland), who sings this rather erotic ballad through the adjoining wall of their separate bedrooms. The song is an attempt to seduce Howie by alluding to Willow's sensuality (and promiscuity).

The music is played by the band Magnet. According to the film's associate musical director Gary Carpenter, the screen version was sung by Rachel Verney (although some have believed that it was sung by the Scottish jazz singer Annie Ross). There are two different album versions of The Wicker Man soundtrack. The 1998 version released by Trunk Records features the film version of the song. The 2002 version released by Silva Screen features an alternate recording in which Leslie Mackie (who played Daisey in the film) is reported to have sang to the same backing tracks. [http://www.wicker-man.com/musicofthewickerman.php]

It was also the title of a song Shakespeare used in "Othello".

Cover versions

The song has been covered several times, notably as " [http://www.last.fm/music/Sneaker+Pimps/_/How+Do How Do] ", on the Sneaker Pimps' 1996 album, "Becoming X". This version also appears in the 2006 horror film Hostel. Other covers include a version by the British rock band Doves on their 2003 "Lost Sides" album, a version by the Mock Turtles on their album Turtle Soup, one by Seafood on the 2004 album "As the Cry Flows", and one by former Belle & Sebastian singer Isobel Campbell on her 2006 album "Milkwhite Sheets". A version with vocals by Rose McDowall appears on the EP "A Dozen Summers Against the World" and the LP "Beauty Reaps the Blood of Solitude" by Nature & Organization. Faith and the Muse also covered the song in an appropriately haunting rendition from the album "The Burning Season". It is also covered by Anna Oxygen on her 2006 album "This Is an Exercise".Most recently U.K indie dance group The Go! Team released a cover of the song as a bonus track on their album "Proof of Youth". The band Bric-a-Brac issued their version on the 2006 album, 16 Luxury Units. In addition, a sample of the track was also used by British indie band Pulp on an album track, "Wickerman", from "We Love Life".


Heigh ho! Who is there?
No one but me, my dear.
Please come say, How do?
The things I'll give to you.
By stroke as gentle as a feather
I'll catch a rainbow from the sky
And tie the ends together.
Heigh ho! I am here
Am I not young and fair?
Please come say, How do?
The things I'll show to you.
Would you have a wond'rous sight
The midday sun at midnight?
Fair maid, white and red,
Comb you smooth and stroke your head
How a maid can milk a bull!
And every stroke a bucketful.

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