Pert as a poet | Reviewer: gtrip1 | 6/1/09

If you go back and look at the nearly 40 years that this band has been making great music, you will find that Mr.Peart is an existentialist with views boardering on the Post-modern. Almost all of the songs in Rush's catalogue have everything to do with the human condition. His style of writting is a lot more interesting than just screaming about how life just sucks and there is no purpose for our existence.

Sadly | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/29/09

It is sad to me that the one on here attack the solar federation for having a view point can't see the validity of the civil rights argument here.

It is also sad that the truism of keeping us all equal by hatchet, axe or saw (political correctness, legislation, or quotas) in sotomayor's comments. Where as a white man would have been ostracized for uttering anything remotely so racist, the left (maples) feel it is just fine.

It is a clear parallel, that some people are simply incapable of seeing, but perhaps in time they will.

current parallel | Reviewer: Gary | 4/30/09

It's too bad the current administration is working overtime to cut the oaks down to size rather than finding a way to promote growth in the maples.
Yes Peart is a genius behind the drum kit, and in poetry.

Attention all Idiots of the Solar Federation | Reviewer: anonymous | 4/29/09

ATTENTION ALL IDIOTS OF THE SOLAR FEDERATION-
do you all actually think that Neil Peart, Geddy Lee, and Alex Lifeson wasted their time thinking of analogies for communism or conflict resolution??? I don't think so....this song is written by three guys with a hilarious sense of humor who thought it would be funny to write about trees that act as humans. THAT'S IT no communism, no conflict resolution, no civil rights, no libretarianism, NOTHING...babinator is right, Neil Peart has better things to do than try to come up with lyrics to piss russia off..and ya'll GET A LIFE

Unrest in the forest | Reviewer: Bladeofdf | 3/12/09

I think this song is about the black/white struggle. When black people (maples) wanted to be equal most of the white people (oaks) could not understand why the black people were not happy just being freed from slavery and wanted to be important to society. The "light" would be equality. Now days, if you even remotley make somone think you are racist against black people they will break out the hatchet, the axe, and the saw and saw your balls off. But hey, theres no point to the song so dont argue with me if you dont agree.

Antisocialism | Reviewer: Niklas | 1/13/09

This song is obviously about antisocialism, probobly a bit inspired by Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged'.
To me, it conveys a pretty scary eletist message.
-Those less fortunate (maples) should know their place and must accept living in poor conditions.
(in the shade / at the bottom of society)
Because if theywere to attempt to achieve a more fair distribution of wealth (sunlight) they would ruin it for everybody.
Letting the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor is the best solution.

It's the lyrics that matter, not the interviews. | Reviewer: Andrew MacEwen | 12/12/08

Neil's comments in that interview do not negate any political reading of the lyrics. It doesn't really matter whether he was "trying to make a political statement" when he wrote those lyrics: the lyrics naturally have political implications that cannot be denied, although to carry it too far would be foolish. First and foremost, the song exists on a more general human level than the political, but the political is present. Neil is a master lyricist, but artists are not necessarily the incontrovertible authority about the meaning of their own work.

Look at the facts | Reviewer: babinator | 11/22/08

People,
as much as i enjoy reading your political analysis of this amazing song, and even though i have my own opinions about the nature of Neils lyrics, Neil has stated when asked if there was a message in "the trees"

"No. It was just a flash. 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." -- Neil Peart, in the April/May 1980 Modern Drummer magazine

FUCKING INCREDIBLE SONG tho

sometimes the simplist answer.... | Reviewer: Rohbiwan | 10/15/08

While it seems that there is great joy in matching the lyrics of trees so some particular political agenda or statement, I think the the meaning is simpler than that. It is suggesting that equality is in the mind and the only way to even the playing field (in the eyes of the have-nots)it to cut everyone down to size. It is not racial or political warfare so much, "The trouble with the maples, (And they're quite convinced they're right)" implies that they are not actually right though they think they are. After all, the "oaks can't help their feelings If they like the way they're made." implies that through no fault of their own they are fortunate enough to get most the light. I think the statement is simple: People are not equal in their "god given" gifts and that it is a flawed notion that bringing down the successful actually helps the weak. In reality it only makes them weaker.

a lesson to be learned | Reviewer: mahavishnu | 10/15/08

my take on this song is that the maples are those greedy lil sob's who "dont know what they got til its gone. maples are shorter for a reason. they dont really handle alot of sunshine. but here they represent "trees" that just want more if others get more. and in the end, a violent solution is reached by which the oaks lose their heighth and the maples lose their shade. lose-lose. learn the lesson from the losers.

Diffent views, same message | Reviewer: Jared | 8/4/08

I first thought 'industrial revolution' when I heard this song. The "union" being literal. Great Britain, first industrialized nation, literally passed a "noble law" too.
However it is interpreted, the meaning is the same. Affirmative action, government economic controls or any other interpretation is equally valid.
The song is a criticism of forced "equality". Let people succeed or fail according to their own merit. Atlas Shrugged 101.

I just want to say this, it is NOT a fairy tale and it is NOT ecological in nature. What does a union or noble law have to do with ecology? O.o

Ayn Rand FTW!

As it is ment to be | Reviewer: Rush2112 | 7/31/08

Niel is a thinker, and the fact you all respect him as so, is awsome. I own all there published material as you probably all do.

About 7 years ago there was a VH1 special, I cannot remember the name, but Geddy was on it, and they asked him about a few of the songs, and he offered something about the "Trees" Which he doesn't do alot, offer insight into there music, he like people to apply it to there own lives as it has meaning to them.

They said there first inspiration for the Oaks and Maples was the 50's when black people were being oppressed and the goverment was trying to integrate them into schools and so forth. How there were massive protests and marches, and so many people got hurt. Its funny that meaning like that could so easily translate to all the meanings I have read here today.

They are great thinkers, and I hope they continue to publish there great music. I hope to see them in concert one day.

Libertarian Philosophy | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/19/08

Rush's Neil Peart is an endorser of libertarian philosophy, or government protection without control, and also opposes altruism. most likely that is the point of this song, reading into his purpose like "Anthem", though I do agree that the song should be debated though accepted as whatever it is by whoever reads into it.

Great Song | Reviewer: Howard | 7/17/08

This is a great song. To me it is about conflict resolution. The two parties, oaks and maples, are in the forest together and naturally conflicts arise. The parties cannot settle their issue by themselves so a third party settles it for them. I think the lessons learned can apply to any conflict between people, groups or governments. Because civil rights and the Cold War were in full bloom at the time of writing, I would have to say they are most applicable.

Earlier statement | Reviewer: Jeff_Paneel | 7/11/08

Everyone here is right.

As long as the meaning you read into the lyrics applies to them, then it is just fine. that's the point of this song, and quite possibly many other rush songs. the lyrics suggest a general idea, and you can read into it what you like. It could be anything from an extreme political commentary to a silly little fairy tale about talking trees. I'm sure Peart won't complain.