Jennifer Lawrence's Hunger Games
character Katniss Everdeen sings this harrowing folk ballad of a man's hanging during the Mockingjay - Part 1
installment of the movie series. The song was arranged by the soundtrack composer James Newton Howard and the Lumineers. "The idea for the song came from the book... [author] Suzanne Collins wrote the lyrics and the idea was that it was an old Appalachian folk song that her father had taught her," director Francis Lawrence said during an interview as part of the AOL's Build Speaker Series
. "So I knew we needed a melody like that."
"And the Lumineers had written a really beautiful song
for the Catching Fire
soundtrack," he continued, "and I thought they could probably tackle something like that if they were interested. So I called them up... and the next day they sent me a recording of somebody whistling the tune and also a woman singing it. And it was perfect."