The trees | Reviewer: Dan
Obviously this is one of those "Stairway to heaven" type songs, everyone is free to their own interpretation of it. I personally just see The oaks and maples as America and Canada, and in the end they're just as bad as each other for being power hungry, Rush are Canadian, right? It just makes sense to me. But anyhow, they're genius lyrics by a genius band.
democracy is a suggestion box for slaves | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/1/11
to get some solid philosphical viewpoints based on logic, check out free videos, aufio/ pdf books and podcasts at freedomain radio (dot) calm.
some of the work there provides a blueprint for a free,anti- violent society where making money doesn't harm people the way it does in the cutrrent statist paradigm.
AWESOME AND TIMELESS | Reviewer: John
I don't pretend to know the original intent of these lyrics. They are awesome and timeless. You can look to any time and find a place to ably these lyrics. The fact that this song can be interpreted in many ways and have different meaning to listeners is why it is so cool.
Well, upon reading up on these lyrics I found the truth... These lyrics are not symbolic whatsoever. Neil Peart said he wrote the song after he read a cartoon with trees arguing. He thought it was funny and proceeded to write "The Trees." This song has no symbolic meaning. But the beauty in that is that this can be interpreted into anything anyone likes. So I can safely say everyone is right!
The Infinite Tension | Reviewer: Jazgar | 11/17/10
On one end you have capitalism. It's an efficient wealth creator, but in its unregulated form what it does best is concentrate wealth in the hands of few.
On the other you have democracy. The masses don't have much patience for suffering and will Nationalize resources if not adequately redistributed.
It's a tension. The plutocrats(Oaks) try to suppress democracy, the working class(Maples) strive for more equitable distribution of wealth($unlight). Too much of either is dangerous.
Plutocrats, however, are warned to ignore people's suffering at their own peril.
Ayn Rand | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/27/10
I heard that Rush followed Randian Objectivism and this song is a poke in the eye to all union supporters. The USSR was one big union for example. I believe the term " noble" is used quite facetiously.
All are not created equal | Reviewer: Dudley Morris | 7/13/10
The song makes me think of the Kurt Vonnegut short story "Harrison Bergeron", which presents a world where absolutely social equality is enforced by crippling those with special abilities so they are at the same level as the lowest common denominator. It's essentially a clever retelling of the "tall poppy syndrome", where people want to cut people with more money, talent, better looks, or whatever, down to size. I'm not sure if at the end the maples have arranged to have the oaks literally cut down to size, or if the maples' agitations have led to the whole forest being clear cut, but either way it's a clever jibe at those who nurse resentments and want to bring down those above them in some way.
Hatchet, axe and saw | Reviewer: Farzone
Interesting the variances and similarities on everones take of these lyrics. To me "The trees are now kept equal, by hatchet, axe and saw" isn't about the trees being of equal height. But in the destruction of all the trees. Clear cut if you will. To paraphrase a saying I once heard. "There is nothing more unequal than trying to treat everyone the same". In otherwords, realize the differences and don't hate or be envious because of them.
This got turned into RACE black and white,.,. no you hearing the wrong song WTF It the song that RUSH did, go listen to it ,its moneys have have knots, Politicians maybe more than ANY COLOR thing . Go listen to the song BIG MONEY from RUSH and blend the songs together and maybe get a fresher look.
The oaks and maples are both wrong | Reviewer: Ballrag | 6/1/10
This song demonstrates the futility of always thinking you're right, and failing to understand that there are two sides to every situation.
The oaks ignore the pleas of the maple. Whether the maples are right in screaming 'oppression' or not, the only concern the oaks give them is a dismissive head shake, because they are convinced there is no real problem, aside from the maple's faulty reasoning. The maples are just as convinced that they are in the right, because the oaks are just assholes.
If either side had thought to say "Well, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the other guy has a good point that I'm just not capable of seeing." maybe they could have done something that worked out for both sides. Instead everything devolves into a clusterfuck of craziness until there is nothing left of the forest.
This shit happens all the time. Everyone is always convinced that they're the good guy in a situation. See: The Cold War, Nazis, your average couple going through divorce/separation, Liberals vs Conservatives, Israel and Palestine etc.
The point of this song is that if we're going to live together, we all need to practice a little compassion and understanding, or shit hits the fan and it screws all of us over.
"When in the course..." | Reviewer: Slammin
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness-that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alteror to abolish it and to institute new Government..."
My take | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/17/10
Please forgive this humble simpleton and his views. tyia. I think the quote "Be careful what you wish for" works well here. I think also the song speaks about nature first and then the metaphors and allegory kick in. See in nature, as we all know, there is a place for everything and everything in its place. Oaks are taller for a reason. Maples REQUIRE shade to optimize their lifes. So when they asked for something that they thought they were missing out on (only humans do that acutally), they got their wish and suffered for it. Thats the beauty of nature, or one of them. NO WHINING !!!
Pompous Ass1 | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/8/10
To me this song is about the envious and the jealous against those who are born with an advantage yet those with the advantage are expected to not take advantage of it as a natural right...Who are the maples to demand the oaks be other than what they are so that the maples may have what they want...is it trully the oaks who are greedy, or is it just petty jealousy on the part of the maples that cannot be content in their place with what they have naturally been given?...instead they demand that the oaks sacrifice life and limb, literally, to promote the maples welfare... isn't that an unfair demand to begin with--"by hatchet, ax and saw"? It is a battle for dominance, one by natural advantage, the other by hook or crook in order to take away and secure an advantage by means of political movement...there is no evil or good. Neither is inherently "right"...just two parties using whatever petty means to be on top. The games we play.
An opinion | Reviewer: Frank
When I first heard the song back in college about five years after the album came out (that dates me!) I felt the song was a commentary on the struggle between the haves and have-nots. Then one day two of my friends were arguing over the meaning - I remember one said it was a commentary on socialism and I don't recall now what the other friend thought. Recently, I read a commentary from the originator of the lyrics ( Neil Peart) and he got the idea for the song from a cartoon he saw in a newspaper in which trees were arguing about some current event going on back in 1977 or 1978. He thought it was rather humorous and then wrote the lyrics. I think you can relate the meaning of the song to almost and class struggle or struggle between good and evil.
Wow !!! Never really considered that this song could have all these different interpretations :)!! I always thought this song talked about the social movements that raised in the end of the Industrial Revolution to stand against the excesses of the burguesy and capitalism.
To me the the oaks were the burgesy and the maples were the workers. Since there were no regulation in the factories, the owners kept most of the profits ( the sunlight) and oppressed the workers ( keeping them from the sunlight?). So the workers (who didn't have a very nice opinion of the "oaks") were "quite convinced" that they should have more rights and better labor regulation, and at first the "oakes ignored their pleas". So the "trouble in the forest" continued until the "maples formed an union and demanded equal rights" .Afer that many "noble laws" were created to try to stop the "oak opression" and guarantee the basic rights and working conditions for the workers... with "hatchet,axe and saw" ??? (this last phrase speaks for itself ;) )
...well, at least to me it makes sense :/