The popularity of Mockingjay’s “The Hanging Tree” – currently at #12 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart – has led the record label to release a radio edit.
Unfortunately, the record label (Republic) appears to be tone deaf when it comes to understanding the success of the song. Listen below:
“The Hanging Tree” is not popular only because it’s catchy. It’s popular because it is performed while we watch the Districts rise up against the Capitol. It’s popular because the song inspires people to take down President Snow.
For crying out loud: According to the book, Katniss is sung the song by her father as a child, and she later realizes the song is about a dead man asking for his lover to join him beyond the grave.
This song is not popular because people are dying to get their groove on to it at Club Catniss. It’s not intended for when you’re in the car on the way to work, either.
But that’s the only reason we can imagine as to why “The Hanging Tree” received this pop makeover this week.
To its credit, the radio edit of “The Hanging Tree” includes aspects of James Newton Howard’s score, like the Districts chanting the chorus at the end.
The remix on a whole is actually pretty catchy – but again, this is not what the song is for.
A radio edit of Anna Kendrick’s “Cups” was released after the song found success in Pitch Perfect. It received a slightly and appropriately more up-tempo remix because it made contextual sense.
This does not.
‘Hanging Tree’ joins Lorde’s ‘Mockingjay’ soundtrack on iTunes
In related news, James Newton Howard’s original version of “The Hanging Tree” has joined the film’s Lorde-curated soundtrack.
The United States iTunes Store appears to be the only place right now where you can buy “The Hanging Tree” as part of Lorde’s Mockingjay soundtrack . Presumably those who’ve already purchased the soundtrack pre-“Hanging Tree” will be able to use iTunes’ “Complete My Album” feature to grab Katniss’ song.
Previously “The Hanging Tree” was only available on James Newton Howard’s score (also available for purchase).
Neither Lorde nor Lionsgate were seemingly able to predict how popular the song would become, but it’s cool to see them add it to the main soundtrack after watching it receive a warm welcome.