The Hanging Tree

From the ‘Mockingjay’

‘Are you, are you

Coming to the tree

Where they strung up a man they say murdered three.

Strange things did happen there

No stranger would it be

If we met up at midnight in the Hanging tree.

Are you, are you

Coming to the tree

Where the dead man called out for his love to flee.

Strange things did happen there

No stranger would it be

If we met up at midnight in the Hanging tree,

Are you, are you

Coming to the tree

Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free.

Strange things did happen there

No stranger would it be

If we met up at midnight in the Hanging tree.

Are you, are you

Coming to the tree

Wear a necklace of rope side by side with me.

Strange things did happen here

No stranger would it be

If we met up at midnight in the Hanging tree’


So this was stuck in my mind since so many days. What does this poem means. At the forst reading it seems the guys is trying to meet his beloved secretly at midnight near the tree where he was hanged for murder. But this has something more in it. Maybe the murders lover had something to do with the killing. It’s not until the third verse “The Hanging Tree” begins to get unnerving. You realise the singer of the song is the dead murderer. He’s still in the Hanging tree. And even though he told his lover to flee, he keeps asking if she’s coming to meet him. The phrase ‘where i told you to run so we’d both be free’ is the most troubling. Because at first you think he is talking about when he told her to flee, presumably to safety. But then you wonder if he meant for her to run to him. To death. In the final stanza, it’s clear that that’s what he is waiting for. His lover with her rope necklace, hanging dead next to him in the tree.

6 thoughts on “The Hanging Tree

Add yours

  1. I think it’s a story where two people confined to be together fall in love ‘gainst the stereotypical society. This indeed leads to hanging of the man (I suppose) and his spirit still lost in the desperation of meeting his lover wanders about the tree. While during this hanging, the lover (female) was asked to run by the man for her safety. Yet, ultimately, the man’s spirit regrets this decision and finally wait for the humanly form of her lover to end so they can meet eternally there where there are no stereotypes to pull apart their love.
    If this is what to you meant to explain please reply a thumbs up, if not please correct me, my grace.

    Liked by 1 person

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