The old hanging tree

A popular punishment for many centuries was hanging. But no one could tell the tale better than the tree who lived through it…

“There have been many tales
Tainted by truth twisted by time…
Some choose to forget
Yet it still weaves webs in their minds…

And it seems like she’s been here forever
Her branches as black as the seas
She’s been through it all
By the luck of the draw
She became the old hanging tree…
She asked for nothing
Except maybe
A little rain…
They used her strength
To help them steal lives away…
And she witnessed the sadness and the sorrow
To this day she still doesn’t know why
And her heart broke
When they came with the rope
To declare her the old hanging tree…

Life stranger then fiction
Can make you want to cry
Roots could never stop her
From reaching for the sky…
Those years have all past
Lucky for us lucky for her…
Now, children play at her feet
And in her arms she cradles birds…
And it seems she’s been here forever
These days are the best that she’s seen
But somewhere in the back
Of her mind
Is the time
She was known as the old hanging tree…

The instrumental talents and vocal arts of “Blackmore’s Night” inspired me to create an image based on their song “Ocean Gypsy” This image of the Old Hanging Tree was based on another piece by this group from their latest album, “Fires at Midnight”


Technical aspects: The tree – the centerpiece – was created entirely in XFrog 3.5. Cheri Ives assisted me greatly in this. I am most grateful to her for her input and encouragement. The foreground grass was created using a freeware utility by Bantam3D. The figures were created in Poser 4 with various bits and pieces of clothing and hair from here and there – too numerous to mention. The scene was rendered in Bryce 4.1 using a “volumetric” world sky preset in two separate files, each taking a mammoth 146 hours to render. (almost 2 solid weeks in total) The two final images were then composited the foreground grass blurred with a distance mask in Bryce 4.1 and the text added using Corel PhotoPaint 10.

(On 26 January, 2003 “The Old Hanging Tree” has been awarded the prestigious 2003 Golden Tori Award for the ‘Most Original Scene”.)

Worlds in the Making