The Innocents film theme Oh Willow Waly

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The Innocents film theme Oh Willow Waly

Postby Digiwizz » Fri Jul 08, 2005 2:43 pm


The 1961 'horror' movie "The Innocents", which has come out on DVD, had a very haunting sad old lovesong as its theme called 'Oh Willow Waly' ;

OH WILLOW WALY, by George Auric & Paul Dehn

We lay my love and I, beneath the weeping willow.
But now alone I lie, and weep beside the tree.

Singing "Oh willow waly", by the tree that weeps with me.
Singing "Oh willow waly", till my lover return to me.

We lay my love and I, beneath the weeping willow.
A broken heart have I. Oh willow I die, oh willow I die.

If you watch The Innocents alone in the dark, this theme-song is very likely to stick in your head forever !

Hear it ;

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Postby GrimDad » Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:53 am

Yes Digiwizz a great film and a ghostly song.

I think the song must have been inspired by the operetta 'Patience' by Gilbert and Sullivan, first produced at the Opera Comique, London on April 23 1881 ;

Patience (part of), by Gilbert & Sullivan.

Prithee, pretty maiden - prithee,
tell me true,
(Hey, but I'm doleful, willow willow waly!)
Have you e'er a lover a-dangling after you?
Hey willow waly O!
(coming down-stage)
I would fain discover
If you have a lover!
Hey willow waly O!

Gentle sir, my heart is frolicsome and free-
(Hey, but he's doleful, willow willow waly!)
Nobody I care for comes a-courting me-
Hey willow waly O!
Nobody I care for
Comes a-courting - therefore,
Hey willow waly O!

Prithee, pretty maiden, will you marry me?
(Hey, but I'm hopeful, willow willow waly!)
I may say, at once, I'm a man of propertee-
Hey willow waly O!
Money, I despise it;
Many people prize it,
Hey willow waly O!

Gentle Sir, although to marry I design-
(Hey, but he's hopeful, willow willow waly!)
As yet I do not know you, and so I must decline.
Hey willow waly O!
To other maidens go you-
As yet I do not know you,

Hey willow waly O!

PS. You can read the full operetta at
GrimDad hey
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Postby Clare » Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:43 pm

I can believe you Grimdad, maybe, despite it having a Joan Biaz feel to me ?

So maybe reflecting an earlier Scottish song 'Waly, Waly' having a slighter similarity but with a version published on a Joan Biaz album in the 1960's ? ;

From 'The Singing Tradition of Child's Popular Ballads' by Bertrand Harris Bronson, credited to W. Thomson, Orpheus Caledonius 1733 :

Waly, Waly.

O, Waly, Waly, up yon Bank,
And Waly, Waly, down yon Brea;
And Waly by yon River's side,
Where my Love and I was wont to gae.

Waly, Waly, gin Love be bonny,
A little while when it is new;
But when it's auld, it waxes cauld,
And wears away, like Morning Dew.

I leant my Back unto an Aik,
I thought it was a trusty Tree;
But first it bow'd, and sine it brake,
And sae did my fause Love to me.

When ** turn siller Bells,
And Muscles grow on ev'ry Tree;
When Frost and Snaw shall warm us a',
Then shall my Love prove true to me.

Now Arthur-Seat shall be my Bed,
The Sheets shall ne'er be fyl'd by me;
Saint Anton's Well shall be my Drink,
Since my true Love has forsaken me.

O Martinmas Wind, when wilt thou blaw,
And shake the green Leaves off the Tree?
O gentle Death, when wilt thou come?
And take a Life that wearies me.

'Tis not the Frost that freezes fell,
Nor blawing Snaw's Inclemency;
'Tis not sic Cauld that makes me cry,
But my Love's Heart grown cauld to me.

When we came in by Glasgow Town,
We were a comely Sight to see;
My Love was cled in the black Velvet,
And I my sell in Cramasie.

But had I wist before I kiss'd,
That Love had been sae ill to win;
I'd lock'd my Heart in a Case of Gold,
And pin'd it with a silver Pin.

Oh, oh! if my young Babe were born,
And set upon the Nurse's Knee,
And I my sell were dead and gane,
For a Maid again I'll never be.
Clare lol
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Postby Digiwizz » Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:25 pm

Well wherever 'The Innocents' themesong 'Oh Willow Waly' may have come from, it is certainly a good song. It does have a medieval sound and a touch of Joan Biaz who liked that kind of sound and lyric ?
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Postby Colin » Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:06 pm

The bit of that 'Waly, Waly' song about "When frost and snow shall warm us all", does seem echoed in the Joan Biaz version of The Unquiet Grave about "When the autumn leaves that fall from the tree are green and spring up again" ?
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