"King of Trees" as written by and Yusuf Islam Cat Stevens....
He was the King of trees
Keeper of the leaves
A deep green god of young
Love stained memory
We used to meet by him
Far from the hustling town
I loved you
Now they've come to cut you down

He was the guardian of days
We held the same
Beneath the shade he gave
Shelter from the rain
Oh Lord how its empty now
With nothing save the breeze
Now they've come to burn the leaves
Don't burn the leaves

And if my mind breaks up
In all so many ways
I know the meaning of
The words I love you
And if my body falls inside
An early grave
The forest and the evergreens
Are coming to take me back
So slowly as I roll
Down the track

The forest and the evergreens
Are coming to take me back
The forest and the evergreens
Are coming to take me back
Please take me back

He was the King of trees
Keeper of the glades
The way he enchanted my life
Makes me so amazed
We used to meet by him
Many years ago
I love you
Now they've come to lay the road
Don't lay the road

Lyrics submitted by BrainDamage

"King of Trees" as written by Yusuf Islam Cat Stevens


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King of Trees song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentAnyone knows what does this song mean?
    Cat Stevenson April 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentzomg cat stevens^!!!
    snowsantaon July 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so sad. I think it's about a tree, and not just any tree...the king of trees and it was willy nilly chopped down to make a stupid road. This makes me sad because it happens all the time. We just don't see what is truly important.
    singleeyeon February 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCould be metaphor for his childhood. The 'tree' could be his father. Just a thought; with Cat, there's always something deeper. What a poet!
    aspiranton April 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationSo this is a very blunt interpretations but no one else seems to be offering anything

    The song follows a boy who grows up around the tree's and nature but as time passes he begins to drift from the tree's and years later returns to the forest he once called his friend only to cut it down building a highway through it and using the lumber for warmth

    This view goes along with some of the other things Islam has written about especially on the album Tea for the Tillerman with themes of growing up like in "Father And Son" and of the industrial destruction of nature from "Where do the children play"
    locust001on March 24, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationHere's my take on it.

    The tree is a place where a man an old love used to meet; to get away from the city, the noise, and just enjoy each other's company. Under this tree, he learned real love, probably for the first time.

    Now, many years have passed, and all the man has of that love is just the tree's presence to serve as a reminder. And now, even the tree's about to be gone.
    Haunton April 04, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'Now they've come to cut you down'--the anonymous 'they,' from the 'hustling town,' now encroaching on the 'forest and the evergreens' from which they've severed themselves and no longer understand or respect, to the extent that they can casually 'burn the leaves.'

    The artist desires a return to 'days we held the same;' i.e., the good old days when he and his young friends saw eye to eye and understood each other. At first he sounds bravely confident he isn't simply indulging in nostalgia: 'The forest and the evergreens are coming to take me back.' But he knows better, and the lyric quickly becomes a plea: 'Please take me back'--I'm begging you.

    'Now they've come to lay the road,' and there's no stopping them. The final line is a plea, too: 'Don't lay the road;' i.e., don't go in that direction. You're heading completely the wrong way, not back to nature but ahead to a desolate future in which even the 'king of trees' can be cut down, sacrificed to a road to nowhere. It's a hopeless cry of despair.
    Mattmarkon January 27, 2016   Link

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