The reason communism comes to mind | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/1/08
The reason people immediatly go to thinking hte song is about communism is because the word 'union'. Immediatley you think about the soviet union and then communism. They probably meant the word union as a way to show that the maples formed a group against the oaks. Its very strange how politcal a song can be when interpreted in a metaphorical form.
the maple is Canada | Reviewer: Dolde | 6/17/08
I don't have a lot of time to write right now, but before you go jumping to conclusions, keep in mind that everybody recognizes the maple as a symbol for Canada. I suppose then that the oak could be the US, but I don't know why it would be.
Why Communism??? | Reviewer: Benjamin
When I first heard this song and read the lyrics, I though nothing of Communism as everyone else seemed to! The first thing that came to my mind was equality of races and civil rights. I recognized the oaks as the whites and the maples as the blacks searching for equality. But I can understand why it could be seen as a world situation rather than a racial situation...I guess there are a lot of things that could come out of this song! Either way, it is an amazing song that provokes thought and feelings, all the while maintaining its ability to entertain.
Yeah man. | Reviewer: Jeph | 3/8/08
I agree that this song could be about some form or other of communism. Because of the union forming line. And, because they are all kept under control and equal, by an outside equalizer. You know what I mean?
IMO, Rush doesn't have an opinion on the matter, it is just what happened. They leave it up to the listener to determine> is it fair? Even though the trees are equal now, SHOULD they be? Its not the trees fault that they are taller.
picture this: a nice sunny eevening a nice cool breeze and little deer at the creek with the sound of birds chirping and the water trickling and then the trees knocked flat against the ground. A mushroom cloud arises all of the nature in the facinity is destroyed all the beauty is gone. The this song clearly states that the problem resides within us, man kind we cant see that we destroy the trees which provide oxygen. we are the problem the song syas it the U.S. versus the world. We are the problem "By hatchet, axe and saw."
Great Ideas People | Reviewer: Wailwulf | 2/1/08
I never considered communism or Marxism or any of the other -isms about this song. Which is great at looking at all these replies. For me, the song was about Canada and the USA. Canada being the Maples and USA as the good old American Oak. I was thinking that it was how America and Americans (I live in California) act as if we are the only real people and Govt in N. America, and therefore Canada is always over shadowed. I took the ending of the song as a warning that if not careful, both sides can lose all they now have by not working together.
Agreed | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/30/08
I agree to a great extent with Closer Reader. The way that both social classes are viewed in a somewhat negative light makes me believe that Peart was trying to show both the pitfalls of communism and the set class structure suggested by the initial situation. I believe that he wanted to display the disadvantages of the set structure, where those who contributed the most to society were better rewarded, unconditionally; to the point of disregarding the basic needs and values of the lower class. Still, his position is even stronger on the disadvantages to communism, showing that while the former structure is unfavourable, the latter is destructive. Indirectly, I believe he was suggesting a right-wing ideal, but encouraging mutual control, and this is where marxist theory comes into play. Applied to a right-wing social structure, marxism would enable the contentment of both (or all) social groups while keeping the productivity of the initial situation suggested at the beginning of the song.
Maybe Marxist? | Reviewer: Close Reader | 1/22/08
I don't think Rush really means to take sides in the conflict at all. Many people read this and assume these lyrics are a criticism of the maples in a libertarian sense, but in reality I think they are critical of both. The oaks are portrayed as unable to see why monopolizing the sunlight upsets the maples (who, like all trees, need light to live).
Ultimately, I think it's almost a Marxist statement of what happens when one group is oppressive and unreflective on the consequences of their actions. The maples might be the ones bringing the negative actions down on both of them, but the oaks are culpable as well if they are taking away the things the maples need to live.
I love It. | Reviewer: Erich | 1/17/08
i didnt know the lyrics to the song very well...in fact not very well at all. then i was studying and i heard "So the MAples formed a Union.." i stopped and thought "ok this song has deeper meaning" i looked the lyrics up and loved it.
i would hear them on the radio and love em but forget what i heard by the time i got to the store (to buy albums) i finally got some and i love Rush
awesome song | Reviewer: erich | 1/18/08
i agree with whoever said that rush is good at letting you think at the surface and making you think deeply.
both are great in this song.
Not endorsement of feudalism | Reviewer: Pat | 1/2/08
Do you really think Rush would make an album called Farewell to Kings (hardly an endorsement of monarchy) and then endorse feudalism? Anyone who has read Peart's other lyrics would conclude that the "shade" is the improved quality of life brought by the improvement of technology and general higher level of achievement under capitalism. The oaks are the achievers in a capitalist society, the maples are the socialists.
While I can see how people with essentially anti-democratic tendencies would interpret this song as an endorsement of feudalism, I just can't see how the author of "Bastille Day" and the lyrics of "Power Windows" would share that sensibility. I know Peart was a devotee of Ms. Rand when he was younger and stupider, but I have to agree with his comments in Modern Drummer: "I was working on an entirely different thing when I saw a cartoon picture of these trees carrying on like fools. I thought, 'What if trees acted like people?' So I saw it as a cartoon really, and wrote it that way. I think that's the image that it conjures up to a listener or a reader. A very simple statement." His attitude is more cynical than idealogical.
Rush: The greatest band of all time and great libertarians to boot. | Reviewer: Steve | 11/22/07
The Trees (and Rush's music in general) is ultimate in libertarian/conservative themes in a profession filled to the brim with commie pinkos. I've always thought of The Trees as a song that extols the virtues of self-determination and decries the pitfalls of "equality" a la "affirmative action". These guys are not only the best musicians in the genre, you won't find a more powerful message that the one found in Peart's lyrics.
The Trees | Reviewer: PAUL | 11/6/07
It is my belief that only NEIL really knows! But like all RUSH songs they are made to be taken in the form "you" can fit it into "our" own lifes, trials and tribulations. We all are blessed to have this outstanding band that can make us all think deep or just think on the surface. I personally dwell in the lifes music of "RUSH" and honor them for who and what they are as musicians, family men and a group that is guided by their lifes trials and tribulations. Their music guides my life and soul! Keep on "RUSHIN"
What is this song about? My thoughts... | Reviewer: Oliver DeFrantz | 10/19/07
I always heard this song as a simple yet succinct and brilliant metaphor for the causes of the rise and then inevitable pitfalls of communism. Ayn Rand was a decided anti-communist and this was toward the end of the period when she was still a heavy influence on their lyrical themes. I wouldn't say that it is anti-humanitarian in stance. It is more of a warning (like some of their other songs) that when "equal" rights are pushed too far (particularly when motivated by jealousy as opposed to a sense of fairness), the end result may be that everyone becomes "equally" subjugated by a totalitarian regime in the name of "the greater good."