Willow Weep for Me

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"Willow Weep for Me"
"Willow Weep for Me".jpg
Songwriter(s)Ann Ronell

"Willow Weep for Me"
Willow Weep for Me - Chad &Jeremy.jpg
Single by Chad & Jeremy
from the album Yesterday's Gone
B-side"If She Was Mine"
ReleasedNovember 1964
LabelWorld Artists
Songwriter(s)Ann Ronell
Chad & Jeremy singles chronology
"A Summer Song"
"Willow Weep for Me"
"If I Loved You"

"Willow Weep for Me" is a popular song composed in 1932 by Ann Ronell, who also wrote the lyrics. The song form is AABA, written in 4
time,[1] although occasionally adapted for 3
waltz time.

One account of the inspiration for the song is that, during her time at Radcliffe College, Ronell "had been struck by the loveliness of the willow trees on campus, and this simple observation became the subject of an intricate song."[2]

The song was rejected by publishers for several reasons. First, the song is dedicated to George Gershwin. A dedication to another writer was disapproved of at the time, so the first person presented with the song for publication, Saul Bornstein, passed it to Irving Berlin, who accepted it. Other reasons stated for its slow acceptance are that it was written by a woman and that its construction was unusually complex for a composition that was targeted at a commercial audience (i.e., radio broadcast, record sales and sheet music sales).[1] An implied tempo change in the fifth bar, a result of a switch from the two eighth notes and an eighth-note triplet opening in each of the first four bars to just four eighth notes opening the fifth, then back to two eighth notes and an eighth-note triplet opening the sixth bar, which then has a more offset longer note than any of the previous bars, was one cause of Bornstein's concern.[1][3]


It is mostly known as a jazz standard, having been recorded first by Ted Fio Rito (with vocal by Muzzy Marcellino) in October 1932 and by Paul Whiteman (with vocal by Irene Taylor) the following month. Both were hits in December 1932.[2] Notable recordings continued into the 1950s, starting with Stan Kenton's version with June Christy.[1][2]

Some 3
-time versions are on recordings by Phil Woods (Musique du Bois, 1974) and Dr. Lonnie Smith (Jungle Soul, 2006).

Tony Bennett's 1996 version on his album “On Holiday” features a very moving voice and phrasing by Tony in a very sensitive performance.

It was a major hit for the British duo Chad & Jeremy. In January 1965, it reached No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100,[4] and went to No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.[5] It was included on their Yesterday's Gone album and many subsequent compilations.[6]

Other versions[edit]

Chart history[edit]

Paul Whiteman
Chart (1932) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 2
Ted Fio Rito
Chart (1932) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 17
Chad & Jeremy
Chart (1964–65) Peak
Canada RPM Top Singles[14] 13
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 15
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 1
US Cash Box Top 100 22
Carmel cover
Chart (1983) Peak
UK 79

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Zimmers, Tighe, E. (2009). Tin Pan Alley Girl: A Biography of Ann Ronell. McFarland. pp. 19-22.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 460–462. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4.
  3. ^ The New Real Book (1988). Sher Music. p. 406.
  4. ^ "Hot 100: Chad & Jeremy". Billboard. 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 51.
  6. ^ Ruhlmann, William. Chad & Jeremy: Yesterday's Gone at AllMusic. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  7. ^ "Greta Keller Collection 1929-1939". popularjazzarchive.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2020-08-08 – via Internet Archive.
  8. ^ Poet, J. "One by One". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Mr. Soul - Sam Cooke | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
  10. ^ Dryden, Ken. "Clark After Dark". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 Aug 2019.
  11. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Born 2B Blue". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  12. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Pearls". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  13. ^ Johnson, Zac (2002-09-10). "The Rodeo Eroded - Tin Hat Trio | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  14. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1965-01-11. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  15. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X

External links[edit]