The Hanging Tree (The Hunger Games song)

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"The Hanging Tree"
The Hanging Tree (The Hunger Games) Single cover.png
Single by James Newton Howard featuring Jennifer Lawrence
from the album The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
B-side "The Mockingjay"
Released December 9, 2014 (2014-12-09)
Format
Genre Americana
Length 3:38
Label Republic
Songwriter(s)
The Hunger Games soundtracks singles chronology
"Yellow Flicker Beat"
(2014)
"The Hanging Tree"
(2014)
"Deep in the Meadow (Baauer Remix)"
(2015)

"Yellow Flicker Beat"
(2014)
"The Hanging Tree"
(2014)
"Deep in the Meadow (Baauer Remix)"
(2015)[1]

"The Hanging Tree" is a song performed by composer James Newton Howard featuring vocals from American actress Jennifer Lawrence for the 2014 film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, in the third installment of The Hunger Games film series. The song did not appear on the original official soundtrack album for the film (although it does appear on the score album), but was added during the digital re-release of the official soundtrack for the film.[2][3] The lyrics were written by The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins and originally appeared in her novel Mockingjay. The music was composed by Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz of American indie folk band The Lumineers.[4][5][6]

Following its release, "The Hanging Tree" debuted in the top 40 of the singles charts of Australia,[7] the United Kingdom,[8][9] and the United States.[10] The song was released to American hot adult contemporary radio stations on December 15, 2014.[11] A remixed version of the song by Rebel was released to contemporary hit radio stations on December 9, 2014.[12]

Background[edit]

The songs lyrics were written by The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins and originally appeared in her novel Mockingjay. The melody to the lyrics was composed by Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz of American indie folk band The Lumineers.[4][5][6] The song did not appear on the original release of the film's song album (it does appear on the score album), but after the success of the song it was added during the digital re-release of the official soundtrack for the film,[2][3] with "The Hanging Tree" as the fifteenth track. Six days later, "The Hanging Tree" was released as the second single from the album.[13]

Protagonist Katniss Everdeen performs the song in the film, which is also heard over the closing credits. In the story's context, it is a song that Katniss learned from her father, and is used as a battlecry.[14][15][16] Jennifer Lawrence stated in an interview that she was nervous about singing the song for the film as she finds it uncomfortable to sing in front of people.[17][18][19][20] Lawrence reportedly suggested to producers of the film that the singer Lorde, already having been tasked with the film's theme song "Yellow Flicker Beat", should instead provide the vocals for the track in place of Lawrence, who would then have lip synced to it on film.[21]

Plot significance[edit]

In the film, Plutarch Heavensbee uses the film of Katniss singing as anti-Capitol propaganda and changes the lyrics from "necklace of rope" to "necklace of hope" to take away some of the morbid undertones. Plutarch then uses the song as a rebel anthem.[22]

Live performances[edit]

The song was performed during the First Ever European Live Concert Tour "3 decades of music for Hollywood" of composer James Newton Howard in 2017 where he shared the stage with the Czech National Orchestra, Royal Academy of Music Orchestra, Crouch End Festival Chorus, Cinematic Art Choir and Romania Oradea State Philharmony Choir [23]. The tour included 15 concerts through Europe for example in the Royal Albert Hall London UK or the Jahrhundert Halle Frankfurt Germany. The song was surprisingly sung by his daughter Anouk in London[24], in Frankfurt it was performed by the German folk singer Hanne Kah [25].

Commercial performance[edit]

The song debuted at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Digital Songs chart with first week sales of 200,000 copies, becoming the highest charting song from any of the soundtracks from The Hunger Games films.[10] It also marks Howard's and Lawrence's first chart at the Hot 100. As of January 2015, the song has sold over a million digital copies.[26]

Track listing[edit]

  • CD single (Germany)[27]
  1. "The Hanging Tree"
  2. "The Mockingjay"
  • Digital download – remix[28]
  1. "The Hanging Tree" (Rebel Remix) – 2:27

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[57] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[58] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[59] Platinum 80,000^
Germany (BVMI)[60] Platinum 400,000^
United States (RIAA)[61] 2× Platinum 2,000,000[62]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
United States December 9, 2014 Contemporary hit radio Republic [63]
December 15, 2014 Hot adult contemporary radio [11]
Germany December 19, 2014 Compact disc [27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Deep in the Meadow (Baauer Remix) [From "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 2"] - Single by Jennifer Lawrence on Apple Music". 
  2. ^ a b "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". December 7, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Garcia, Patricia (December 1, 2014). "Does Jennifer Lawrence Have the Midas Touch?". Vogue. 
  4. ^ a b Brandle, Lars (November 30, 2014). "Jennifer Lawrence's 'The Hanging Tree' Nabs Top 20 Debuts in U.K., Australia". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1 (Original Motion Picture Score) by James Newton Howard". iTunes Store. Australia: Apple. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Merry, Stephanie (December 1, 2014). "Jennifer Lawrence: A reluctant pop star hits the charts with 'The Hanging Tree'". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Taylor Swift Is Number 1 ARIA Single". Noise11. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Jennifer Lawrence has entered the UK singles chart with The Hanging Tree". Metro. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  9. ^ Nudd, Tim (November 28, 2014). "Jennifer Lawrence, Pop Star? Her Hunger Games Song Is a Top 40 Hit". People. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Keith Claufiled and Gary Trust (November 4, 2014). "Jennifer Lawrence Debuts on Hot 100: 'The Hanging Tree' Bows at No. 12". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b ""The Hanging Tree" is Most-Added at Hot AC; Meghan Trainor, Selena Gomez Follow". headlineplanet.com. Retrieved December 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (December 5, 2014). "Jennifer Lawrence's "The Hanging Tree" Got a Pop Radio Remix". Fuse.tv. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Jennifer Lawrence's "The Hanging Tree" Got a Pop Radio Remix". December 7, 2014. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  14. ^ Kristobak, Ryan (November 30, 2014). "Jennifer Lawrence's 'The Hanging Tree' Heading For Top 40 Debut On Billboard Hot 100". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  15. ^ Smith, C. Molly (November 21, 2014). "Hear Jennifer Lawrence sing 'The Hanging Tree' in 'Mockingjay'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Jennifer Lawrence's "The Hanging Tree" hits the Billboard chart". CBS News. December 4, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  17. ^ Hasty, Katie. "Jennifer Lawrence cried the day she shot her singing scene for 'Mockingjay'". HitFix. HitFix. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  18. ^ Bui, Hoai-Tran (November 24, 2014). "Listen to Jennifer Lawrence's haunting song 'The Hanging Tree' in 'Mockingjay Part 1'". USA Today. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
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  20. ^ Boardman, Madeline (December 1, 2014). "Jennifer Lawrence Becomes a Pop Star With Success of "Hanging Tree," Hunger Games Soundtrack Song". Us. 
  21. ^ Finn, Natalie (November 21, 2014). "Jennifer Lawrence Is Actually a Lovely Singer and "Hanging Tree" From Mockingjay Will Haunt Your Dreams: Listen!". E!. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  22. ^ Mason, Amelia (December 10, 2014). "The Hidden Roots Of 'Hunger Games' Hit Song? Murder Ballads, Civil Rights Hymns". WBUR. Retrieved July 20, 2015. 
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  25. ^ GmbH, Echo Zeitungen. "Mainzer Sängerin Hanne Kah tritt mit James Newton Howard in Frankfurt auf". Retrieved 2017-12-04. 
  26. ^ Paul Grein (January 22, 2015). "Maroon 5's 'Sugar' Rushes to the Top 10". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
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  44. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201450 into search. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  45. ^ "SloTop50 – Slovenian official singles chart". slotop50.si. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  46. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – James Newton Howard feat. Jennifer Lawrence – The Hanging Tree" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  47. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – James Newton Howard feat. Jennifer Lawrence – The Hanging Tree". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  48. ^ "Swisscharts.com – James Newton Howard feat. Jennifer Lawrence – The Hanging Tree". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  49. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart: CLUK Update 6.12.2014 (wk48)". Zobbel.de. Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
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  51. ^ "James Newton Howard Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
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  53. ^ "James Newton Howard Chart History (Dance Mix/Show Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
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  55. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  56. ^ "Hot 100: Year End 2015". Billboard. billboard.com. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  57. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2015 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  58. ^ "Austrian single certifications – James Newton Howard – The Hanging Tree" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved March 22, 2015.  Enter James Newton Howard in the field Interpret. Enter The Hanging Tree in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  59. ^ "Canadian single certifications – James Newton Howard – The Hanging Tree". Music Canada. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  60. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (James Newton Howard feat. Jennifer Lawrence; 'The Hanging Tree')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved April 28, 2018. 
  61. ^ "American single certifications – James Newton Howard – The Hanging Tree feat. Jennifer Lawrence". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  62. ^ "Hot AC | James Newton Howard ft Jennifer Lawrence "Hanging Tree" | Republic Playbook". Republic Records. Archived from the original on January 28, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  63. ^ "CHR – Available For Airplay". FMQB. Archived from the original on January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015.