Meaning | Reviewer: Tim | 6/7/07

This song is about Quebec trying to gain independence from Canada

The Trees | Reviewer: Tommy | 5/30/07

I am just discovering the genius of Rush, since I didnt have the privelage of growing up in the 70's and 80's. I find that when listening to them its great to think of all the possible interpretations of the song. Then somewhere along the road, something clicked in my mind and i just decided to stop looking at the lyrics of every song as some philosophical view on the world, but solely as for what it is; music. I found that this is what makes Rush wonderful to listen to. Granted, the intelligence behind the music puts the band on a pedestal, but that is not what makes Rush so great; its Geddy, Neil, and Alex who make the music flow. Not intelligent lyrics. That's what I think Geddy Meant when he said there was no message behind the lyrics.

hatchet, axe and saw | Reviewer: michael w | 5/13/07

The whole crux of the song is the final lines.

"For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw."

The point is that any efforts to create equality in an arbitrary characteristic (here it is in height) where it does not exist in nature has a cost. That cost is that neither party to the "noble law" gets what they deserve in a true and natural sense. Both sides see the injustice whether they march in the streets or not, and society suffers for it.

Churchill said "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries." In "The Trees" it is clear that neither tree wins when equality is maintained with a hatchet, axe or saw.

Maples and Oaks | Reviewer: Adjective | 5/10/07

Ever since I first bought the album Hemispheres I'd thought this was a specific allegory. Maples are Canadian and Oaks are the Brits. I'd tend to agree with those who think that the Ayn Rand objectivism is what Peart intended, but I think that one might also possibly interpret the message as a warning to the Oaks in a French Revolution, reign of terror kind of way. Probably what makes these great lyrics is that they work in meter and rhythm and can mean many different things depending on what the listener brings to the song.

Feminism? | Reviewer: Noah | 5/5/07

But wrap you head around this Paul, who really cares about Feminism, except Feminists, and they are generally hated anyway

Duh | Reviewer: Dallas | 4/30/07

Doug. The whole point is that the Maples need Shade. So the Oaks give them shade, but they don't like it, they want light. Even though, if it weren't for the Oaks giving the Maples shade, they would die in the light. It's like the needy people crying to their supporters to leave them alone, but if that happens, then the needy can't survive. Whether it be, dumb and smart, Welfare and taxpayers, or black and white.

Joe's right | Reviewer: Michael | 5/4/07

The oaks are the character in this story being abused. Everything was chosen carefully by rush to lead to this conclusion. As mentioned before, maples can survive quite well in the shade. They can live and be happy. They become envious of the tall oaks spending time in the sun. This song is about the evils of socialism.

The Trees and Rush today | Reviewer: Vincent | 4/26/07

I totally agree with brian, that rush needs to return to their style of the 70s and early 80s. Their music, from the mid-80s to today, has been great, but they have definitely changed from a progressive rock band, to a rather toned-down hard rock band. They better not let me down with "snakes and ladders", I've heard great news about it so far. Overall, Rush is one of the greatest bands to ever play music, period. Keep up the good work Geddy, Alex, and Neil.

Can't See the Forest For the Trees | Reviewer: Joe | 4/22/07

I think you're all missing the point in interpreting these lyrics probably for the same reason that some of you have misunderstood Rush in general. Their drummer, Neal Peart, wrote most of Rush's songs, and he's a big fan of Ayn Rand's objectivism -- basically, a theory that says survival is meant for the fittest, so therefore, only you can make your own misery no matter what your circumstance.

The message in The Trees, then, is neither one of Loraxian ecology nor the Oppressed confronting the Oppressors. It's saying that when equality is achieved through taking away rights from others by asserting irrational demands, everyone loses equally: "By hatchet, axe, and saw."

Rush, like escargot, is not for everyone -- some will find their music very palatable while others will reject it without even trying. For those of us who were raised on Rush, I can say that they filled a much needed intellectual hole in rock back then. Although I have never bought into most tenets of objectivism (and I can't stand Ayn Rand), I concede that Rush's music was empowering for young people simply because their complex lyrics and musical mastery of form spoke to the independent individual in all of us, calling us to at least think of the choices we make.

Ever think? | Reviewer: Paul | 3/19/07

Ever think that this song could be about feminism as well? Wrap your head around that one for a few minutes.

Nice | Reviewer: Cody | 2/22/07

This is definantly a great song in my opinion; one of the best really. It is very well thought out and it reminds me a lot like some politics. Rush is an AMAZING band. Maples wanting sunlight from the oaks a nice idea as trees have certain needs and it finshed off great with the hatchet, axe and saw. This is one of my favorite songs and it's a great sing-along song as well!

Screw your "forestry perspective" | Reviewer: Ligwin | 6/5/06

I see what you're saying, Doug, about how maples CAN survive in the shade. But so too can Africans survive beneath the hand of the white man. Have you ever talked to a maple to see if it's truly happy in the shade? Maybe it wants to get along by itself and be self-reliant, independent, and be its own damn tree.

Rush!!! | Reviewer: Haylee | 5/3/06

I definately agree with Debbie, Rush has real talent that they use in The Trees and every other song that they have done. The Trees is kind of a magical tale of the troubles between two races, kind of like what shaina said. Rush is deffinately the band you want to listen to if you are into the rock music that isn't all drugs and cussing.

Rush!!! | Reviewer: Haylee | 5/3/06

I definately agree with Debbie, Rush has real talent that they use in The Trees and every other song that they have done. The Trees is kind of a magical tale of the troubles between two races, kind of like what shaina said. Rush is deffinately the band you want to listen to if you are into the rock music that isn't all drugs and cussing.

Role Reversal - a forestry perspective | Reviewer: Doug Wallace | 3/27/06

There is nothing better than a few stanzas of great "tree" lyrics. The Lorax would be proud. That being said, from an ecological perspective the use of Oaks and Maples in "The Trees" should be reversed. Maples are very shade tolerant species and can exist indefinitely under those conditions, where as oaks are shade intolerant and need plenty of sun to function properly.