There's an enormous five disc edition of The Wicker Man out this week, a 50th anniversary celebration of the film. The box contains three versions of the film (Director's Cut, Theatrical Cut and The Final Cut) along with all manner of extras- interviews, trailers, documentaries, commentaries and photographs. There's more info at the BFI shop. The final disc is a CD which has grown from a Katy J Pearson cover of Willow's Song which was on her Sound Of The Morning album. Willow's Song is from the film and supposedly sung by Britt Eckland, played by the band Magnet (Britt apparently struggled to hold a tune even when equipped with a bucket and Willow's Song was actually sung by Rachel Verney. Or possibly Annie Ross). Written by composer Paul Giovanni, Willow's Song is haunted 1973 psychedelic folk, genuinely beautiful, a moment of calm with a darkness residing inside it too.
Credit where it is due- earlier this week Khayem featured the Richard Norris remix over at Dubhed as part of a 2023 mix he put together, marking the slow fade from summer to autumn. All three versions of Katy J Pearson's cover have the shiver of autumn about them, the dusk falling sooner and the mornings cooler and mistier even if the trees are still full of green leaves.
Back at the tail end of 2021 Sean Johnston put Hardway Bros aside for a while and released a cover of Willow's Song as The Summerisle Trio, a collective formed with Duncan Gray and singer Sarah Rebecca (later expanded to The Summerisle Six for the This Is Something 12"). Willow's Song was only available as 7" vinyl on Golden Lion Sounds, backed with The Emperor Machine's chunky self explanatory dancefloor monster Dance Your Tit Out. The Summerisle Trio's cover is less folky than Katy's cover, the drum machine and synths casting an electronic shimmer behind the vocal. You can listen to it here.