And on that tree there was a limb
And on that limb there was a branch
And on that branch there was a nest
And in that nest there was an egg
And in that egg there was a bird
And from that bird a feather came
And of that feather was
A bed …
What better way to mark 1st May than a traditional-style folky spring song to celebrate fertility and the life cycle? Written by Paul Giovanni with the band Magnet, featuring the pleasing sound of jaw harp and violin, we move from tree to bird to egg to feather to bed, girl, man, seed, baby boy to grave and round again, this sprightly number seems like an innocent enough ditty until you realise it is from the cult horror classic, the 1973 film The Wicker Man, directed by Robin Hardy and written by Anthony Shaffer.
Here the schoolmaster, played by Walter Carr, leads the merry number with his pupils, while Edward Woodward, a devoutly Christian police officer investigating a missing girl, looks on during his visit to the Scottish island, Summerisle. The officer is increasingly bewildered and shocked by what he encounters, from to the sexy wiles of the pub landlord's daughter, Willow, played by Britt Ekland, to the imposing presence of Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee), with educational and other practices across the community. Eventually, he discovers that this song, around the phallic maypole, truly is a song for fertility, and he is very much part of the story.
And on that bed there was a girl
And on that girl there was a man
And from that man there was a seed
And from that seed there was a boy
And from that boy there was a man
And for that man there was a grave
From that grave there grew
A tree …
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