What does Trees mean?

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Rush: Trees Meaning


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Trees Lyrics

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...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 28th 2009 report

    I think the song is about any and all various forms of forced equalization. Name it: socialism/communism, affirmative action, equal rights amendment, not keeping score in kids baseball, etc... It's impossible to make everyone equal. While we all may be created equal, that doesn't mean that we all have equal talents/skills/strength/intelligence. There is a Jewish saying that goes along the lines of "We're all kneaded of the same dough, but not all baked in the same oven." The only way to level the playing field is to bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator. How? By hatchet, axe, and saw.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jan 25th 2009 report

    This song sounds like an egalitarian's dream. Why can't we all be equal?
    But there are two key phrases that reverse the whole meaning.
    First, "The oaks can't help their feelings if they like the way they're made." I interpret this to mean, that some of us are Olympic champions, and some are not. Don't get mad at a gold medal winner for being proud of what they are.
    Second, there is a warning to all who seek equality at all cost: "now the trees are all kept equal, by hatchet, axe, and saw".
    Better to live in the shade, than to have your stump exposed to the sun.

  3. anonymous
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    Jul 24th 2017 report

    EVERYONE knows it is about a magical forest where the trees talk

  4. kooljohn176
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    Dec 20th 2014 report

    Getting into RUSH in the mid 70's for the first time to be honest by a friend of mine that turned me on to this band that i could not distinguish the tone of voice of RUSH if it was female or male. It certainly had a different tone compare to most bands at that time. For some strange reason it reminded me of the movie the wizard of oz where the divinity of the female got divided as a bad witch and a good witch, or if it was a male i asked myself, is the voice a magician wizard like warlock of some kind that just wants to express himself?

    Well within time getting passed the blackboard chalk screeching sound of RUSH i realized this is a great band with individualistic conservative lyrics that makes you think with integrity that powers the self to take control with responsibility in a multiple view to experience their sound. It was creative ahead of its time music of RUSH that sounds as timeless today as it did back in the past. In the lost secret knowledge of the past ''The Trees'' like the Oaks were looked upon as sacred on the hilltop forests as a cycle of nature of life and death where female and male deities were honored from the Greeks, Romans, Canaanites ,Druids,etc., as gods and goddesses.

    The Bible also states that some trees have sacred meanings, according to the Torah and the Talmud states '' Behold the man is like the tree in the field''. In Deuteronomy 20:19-20 The Trees are compared to people that this songs also reminds me of in a way and to our Constitution that all trees are created equal under the sun according to its nature, or like all men are created equal in the image of the Creator[GOD], but are not always born equally under its light of circumstances of oppression in the family of trees unfortunately to be cut down if they don't bare any good fruit to share equally in the light of its oppressors.

    In today's day it is good and a must to be more conscious not to cut more of the mighty oaks down, i would only give them a trim, otherwise if they all cut down to get more light we might expose ourselves to radiation fallout in the Light of the Sun.

  5. anonymous
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    May 6th 2012 report

    i think thAT This song is about the government.... and that they are always contolling us and not letting us free and do what we please.. they are greedy and take our money and joy. and the maples(us) are mad and upset...but... maybe they r telling the truth and it is just a humorus cartoon they read about arguing trees... but hey... who knows?? only geddy, neil, and alex know the answer to our whole question... "what is this song about?"

  6. anonymous
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    Jan 5th 2012 report

    Sorry if this is stating the obvious, but Neil's primary lyrical theme si individualism and protection of the rights of the individual. It appears obvious that this song is in that vein and how a political or governmental force get it wrong and you end up with neither oaks or maples but generic trees.

  7. anonymous
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    Dec 11th 2011 report

    I am a 35 year Rush fan who remembers the meaning when it was written. One poster touched upon it earlier, but the Oaks as in reference in this song are UK and US, and their interfence in all Canadian matters, not just Quebec.

    This is one of the few truly vetly politically slanted songs that Rush ever did.

  8. anonymous
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    Nov 1st 2011 report

    I think this song is probly a spin off of the cartoon with the magic flute, witchy poo, and the talking trees. Keep in mind Rush is known to enter the stage while the Three Stooges theme song plays. Just maybe they're not cerebral egg heads all the time.

  9. anonymous
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    Aug 29th 2011 report

    i thinks its about the different levels in the world. theress the really rich high end guys (the oaks) and theres the struggling to get by guys trying to make their mark (the maples). well there comes a time in every "maple tree's" life to get up there with the "oaks" so take the chance. and the oaks know that the balance of things would be messed up by the maples coming up to their level the try to force them back down. and the maples keep complaining but the oaks say "we cant help the way they're made" which means that they couldnt control what happened it just did and this is how the cards fell. this was the way it was meant to be. but the maples still wont except it and the keep fighting back. so soon the "forest" which is really like society gets in to a huge arguement over position in the world.

  10. anonymous
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    Jun 7th 2011 report

    Geddy Lee said that the song is not actually about anything he just wrote a song about trees that don't get along. They dont represent anything.

  11. anonymous
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    Mar 26th 2010 report

    Its about the Candaian separatist movement in Quebec. The general consensus is that Canada has become too British, and the French separatists (represented by the Maples - i.e. Toronto Maple Leaves) want their independence. The lyric "so the Maples formed a union, and demanded equal rights, they say the Oaks are just too lofty, and they grab up all the light" implies that the French Canadian minority wishes to seceed, but they can't because the majority won't allow it. The song continues to state that the "oaks just shake their heads", implying that the majority cannot understand the separatist's choices. The lyric about keeping them equal by "hatchet, axe, and saw" implies that despite their differences, they all are succeptible death. The song actually created quite a stir in Canada during the 70's when it was released, and many radio stations actually refused to play it out of fear of rousing separatist feelings.

  12. anonymous
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    Oct 16th 2009 report

    I think it's about communism. Communists forces everyone to be equal regardless of effort.

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