The Trees Lyrics - Rush

Review The Song (123)



There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade.

There is trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
As the maples scream "Oppression!"
And the oaks just shake their heads

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So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.






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Listening right now THE SPIRIT OF THE RADIO | Reviewer: Seppo Salo | 3/22/14

First thing: Normally I don't listen very carefully about the lyrics.The music it shelf is the main thing. (I'm a drummer). So these websites are for me important to understand also what is the message of the song. Right now I'm listening Tom Sawyer, the bass and complication of Neil Peart drumming, I'm allmost crying. Thanks somebody upstairs about exist of this kind of music

Over thinking | Reviewer: Minister | 5/5/13

I think many are way over thinking this. It is simply about the maples ( they could be any group(s) ) blaming the oaks ( the wealthy & powerful ) for their oppression and not seeing the real problem that is their ignorance and they start having their tantrums and eventually the oaks and maples all get cut down because they are too short sighted to be happy with what they have

Socialism does not equal to communism | Reviewer: mickey | 4/5/13

I really much like this song, and it's story. I am great fan of mr. Peart's lyrics, and I also know his interest in Rand's writings, though I also think that he is not agreeing it totally. The liberal capitalism shall never lead to freedom, or fullfilment of individual free will, which is more the basics of Peart's writings. (I consider Rand as a "wannabe" philosopher who created own philosophy to redeem her neglets over others!) This song is far more wider than the stupid capitalism vs. communism. It is an analysis over all human counteracts, political, scientifical, individual etc. So it may be even a story of gay community against the discrimational laws, or racial struggle.

I am somewhat disappointed that every time - especially Americans - it is spoken about socialism, it is considered to be negative and something to eneminized. But socialism is not same than the communism. Communism is totalitaristic dictatorship thet uses socialistic ideal for its own reasoning. Similarily the totally liberal capitalism is more equal to communism, because it is also an utopia, only achievable by force. Socialism is the ideal of economic equality, and thought how the GDP should be divided to nation so that all the members of the society can have a life worth living for. Socialism is the ground of the welfare in Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland, Danmark and NATO- member Norway). Also Germany, previously the West-Germany, France, Belgium etc. has a very socialistic influences in their legislations. It can be seen for instance in the status of social democratic parties in each country's political map. Socialism does not mean that rich become poor, or that entrepreneuers are not worthy, but it means that also they should be responsible for the welfare of the community, and that worker also is justified to benefit of the company's succes he/she is working for. And it can be seen that European socialism has produced a very strong economy, where poverty is less, and healthcare for everybody, not only for those that can afford it.

Anyhow, song is great.

Natural Order | Reviewer: MSUSpartan87 | 10/9/12

This album and this song had a profound influence on me when it came out when I was 15. The music, the nonconformance, the setting of the story, so calm and peaceful, then the conflict, the crescendos, the power chords! I always enjoyed Rush for their atypical messages. Usually not she broke my heart... oh what to do. Thinking back about this song, it reminds me of all the political struggles. The left and right, the have and have nots. It clearly suggests what the natural order of things should be without interference and unjust laws. It's survival of the fittest vs. entitlement. Nothing against maples, but they don't always have to grow next to an oak. If they do, then they should expect to be in the shade.

Socialism not freedom from imperialism | Reviewer: Neil Hunt | 9/28/12

Whilst references to oaks and maples could be seen to imply the lyrics are about Canada's yearning to be free from British imperialism - that does not make sense in the context of the rest of the lyrics.

If it were about that - the line would be ' the maples won their freedom through hatchet axe and saw'

That s NOT the line

The line is ' the trees were all kept equal by hatchet axe and saw'

Clearly implying that socialism and ultimately communism can only be implemented by forcibly curbing the stronger - as opposed to encouraging the weaker!!

Inspired by a merely humorous comic strip? | Reviewer: Paul T | 9/25/12

Read the last few lines of the lyrics, and, as you do, bear in mind the tendency of leftwing politics to consume its own.

"Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw."

Of course, it's not asserted that the maples, too, are cut down, but this possibility is not denied, either. I think it's relevant to add that leftism has proved itself to be the greediest and graspingest ideology ever. It may be the most ironic, too. Thus do the maples complain that

"'The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light.'"

Once upon a time, some maples formed Occupy, but they failed to cut down the oaks. They will try again.

A song about Communism | Reviewer: Tree65 | 9/13/12

This song is about Communism and reflects upon what is going on in the U.S. today. Peart is a fan of Ayn Rand's writing. While the concept of using trees to create a narrative might have been inspired by a cartoon, I believe the concepts and ultimate message of the content is a direct critique on greed, envy and the desire of government to implement total control.

Revolution | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/5/12

I believe that the song is about the revolution between Canada and Britain. "The maples shout oppression and the oaks just shake their heads" is clearly about Canada feeling unequal in the eyes of Britain. I've heard the Niel wrote this song completely off of a funny comics strip, but I don't think he can write lyrics this in depth purely off a joke about talking trees. I think he says that so that he doesnt get In Trouble with Britain by writing a song that depicts them as a bunch inconsiderate power hungry oak trees. He might have gotten the idea of using trees as a metaphor from the comic strip, but I don't think he got the whole idea from it.

Lennin vs Peart | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/24/12

Imagine no possessions. vs and the trees were all made equal by hatchet axe and saw. By the way, try getting maple syrup out of an oak. I like the omnicient narrative of the story. An observer who sees all. It doesn't take sides in the struggle, but it does report the results of the conflict. Whether or not Mr Peart got the idea from a cartoon or not i do not know. Whether or not is was mr pearts vision or the cartoonist, this song will be known (if there's anyone left to remember) as a prophecy when it comes to fruition. The friction of the day.

Class Struggle | Reviewer: Karl | 11/3/11

Why are capitalists considered hard working and labors considered lazy? Most capitalists couldn't handle the work of the laborer. Maybe also the other way around, but still it is not about working hard, but owning rights to resources and abusing privilege. The "working harder gets more rewards story" is propaganda and rhetoric which those on the top of society are happy to propagate (even though they know it a fallacy) because it keeps you in your place. Their program is to crush all competition, not reward it, and keep control of all resources.

Britain/Canada | Reviewer: Duggan | 11/6/11

Well, personally, I'd always seen it as Canada's struggle for rights against Britain, With Canada being the Maples and Britain being the Oaks. The British went around colonising everything, and eventually Canada wanted to be free to do it's own thing.
Still, the other interpretations also make sense, and I only know what Ive been told by my dad :P

Trees | Reviewer: i.i.i | 10/22/11

There really is only one plausible interpretation, and it is very general. The message: political power favors the voice that shouts the loudest, regardless of how abhorrent the demands of that voice are.

disjointed song | Reviewer: stinger | 8/10/11

Like many Rush songs, its a conglomeration of separate musical sections that do not necessarily flow well from one to the other.

From a compositional standpoint, this song could have been four other songs each sprouted from its unrelated and random musical themes.

And lets not get started on the obvious mention of Neil Peart's pretentious lyrics that are usually a misfire in the direction of a social statement. Rather weak attempt at word-art.

But hey, if you dig Rush (and as performers/instrumentalists I actually do dig them), then enjoy!


Oaks...Maples.. and evolution | Reviewer: Pilo | 6/16/11

This song always seems to remind...read; support people's political philosophies; yet humans physical features, like that of trees are honed by millions of years of selective pressures that may benefit them for this moment in time...to suggest that you have a "right" to a resource simply because you were born to be tall is great if you are tall, but it is through through no hard work of your own. Ironically, tall people enjoy an advantage in our society at this particular moment in time...is that hard work that got them this advantage?

Signed; way taller than average 5'8" person will advantages.


Red and Blue | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/10/11

It always reminds me of the struggle between the republican and democratic parties. The Oaks are the elephants and the Maples are the donkeys. The oaks have earned their height through hard work and determination, and shall reap the rewards for generations to come. Oak trees live longer, and therefore grow longer and thus taller. The Maples are trying to speak out agianst something in place of good old fashion hard work and determination. They are lazy but still want everybody to pity them and pay for theirr free lunch. In the end, all will die, but the Oaks have left a legacy for generations to come, and the Maples (who spend more time campaigning than acting) will just become another statistic. They are worthless and the system will forget them.


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------ 09/03/2014

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