Down In The Willow Garden

There’s a bit in a comics script I’m working on, set in the late 1920s, where my protagonist is staring moodily down at a darkened Texas town from his hotel room. On the radio is playing a lonesome cowboy version of the old murder ballad “Down In The Willow Garden”, which you may remember from Raising Arizona. It’s one of the finest moments in the Coen brothers’ filmography, Holly Hunter singing this mournful tune to soothe her kidnapped baby, because it’s obviously the prettiest song she knows. The song’s melody is a lietmotif throughout that film’s excellent score.

Anyway, here’s the Everly Brothers doing the song from their album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. Even though it came out some thirty years after my story takes place, in my head, this is what I hear, scratchy and lo-fi, on Bailey Chandler’s radio, playing softly into the warm Texas night.

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