The Golden Bough

Album: The Singles Collection (2008)
Play Video


  • This was written at the same time The Coral were recording their 2007 album Roots & Echoes.
  • The song was inspired by the Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer's book The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. Frontman James Skelly explained on his record label's website: "It's inspired by the book, about the link between magic and religion and science, that was the idea behind it, and also it was about thinking you're friends with someone but when it matters you only thought they were there, but they never were."
  • Sir James George Frazer (1834-1941) won acclaim with the publication of The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion in 1890. The book was a pioneering work on the origins of religion and sociology on a comparative basis, and it had a considerable influence on writers such as D H Lawrence and T S Eliot.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Gary Louris of The Jayhawks

Gary Louris of The JayhawksSongwriter Interviews

The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.

Best Band Logos

Best Band LogosSong Writing

Queen, Phish and The Stones are among our picks for the best band logos. Here are their histories and a design analysis from an expert.

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in Songs

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in SongsSong Writing

Elvis, Little Richard and Cheryl Cole have all sung about Teddy Bears, but there is also a terrifying Teddy song from 1932 and a touching trucker Teddy tune from 1976.

Frankie Valli

Frankie ValliSong Writing

An interview with Frankie Valli, who talks about why his songs - both solo and with The Four Seasons - have endured, and reflects on his time as Rusty Millio on The Sopranos.

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"They're Playing My Song

It wasn't her biggest hit as a songwriter (that would be "Bette Davis Eyes"), but "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" had a family connection for Jackie.


WeezerFact or Fiction

Did Rivers Cuomo grow up on a commune? Why did they name their albums after colors? See how well you know your Weezer in this Fact or Fiction.