"Flame Trees" as written by Don Walker and Steve Prestwich....
Kids out driving saturday afternoon just pass me by
And I'm just savoring familiar sights
We share some history, this town and I
And I can't stop that long forgotten feeling of her
Try to book a room and stay tonight

Number one is to find some friends to say "you're doing well"
After all this time you boys look just the same
Number two is the happy hour at one of two hotels
Settle in to play "do you remember so and so?
Number three is never say her name

Oh the flame trees will blind the weary driver
And there's nothing else could set fire to this town
There's no change, there's no pace Everything within its place
Just makes it harder to believe that she won't be around

But oh who needs that sentimental bullshit, anyway
Takes more than just a memory to make me cry
And I'm happy just to sit here a table with old friends
And see which one of us can tell the biggest lies

And there's a girl falling in love near where the pianola stands
With a young local factory auto worker just holding hands
And I'm wondering if he'll go or if he'll stay

Do you remember, nothing stopped us on the field
In our day

Oh the flame trees will blind the weary driver
And there's nothing else could set fire to this town
There's no change, there's no pace
Everything within its place
Just makes it harder to believe that she won't be around

Oh the flame trees will blind the weary driver
And there's nothing else could set fire to this town
There's no change, there's no pace
Everything within its place
Just makes it harder to believe that she won't be around


Lyrics submitted by Regos the Sane, edited by fantomai, ozpac76

"Flame Trees" as written by Don Walker Steve Prestwich

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Flame Trees song meanings
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43 Comments

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  • +2
    Song MeaningFlame Tree's are not Jacarandas as many has stated.. but Illawarra Flame Trees which grow on the east coast of Australia and often line roads, they turn vivid red late spring when flowering... the Wikipedia page on Flame trees states that this song is about the Illawarra Flame Tree.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    Jonuson October 27, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentchisel fan - you're close to being right, and that may be a literal translation, but I've read (on the liner notes of a Chisel CD) that it was a story about Don Walker going back to Grafton (on the NSW North Coast) to look for an old flame.

    The Flame Trees also refers to Jacarandas, which have a magnificent purple flower emerge in October. The entire city of Grafton holds the "Jacaranda Festival" around that time, and Grafton is one of the only places in Australia which the Jacarandas are so profuse.

    It's really a story of love, regrets about "the one who got away", and realising that you can never go back to the way things used to be.
    Tarrant7575on March 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song touches me more deeply the older I get. Funny that I was never a real fan of cold chisel or this song when I was younger.

    I think any older person who has left the town they grew up in can relate.

    To me, it is clearly about an older bloke who has returned to the hometown of his youth and is feeling nostalgic. He recalls a girl that he could have spent his life with but moved away. Most of his mates haven't because nothng much changes in the old town.

    Unfortunately the girl is now gone (I would say left not dead) and I would imagine he is reminiscing about what might have been.

    He looks at the girl near the pianola stand with the factory worker and wonders if "he" will go or stay...just like himself many years ago who decided to go......
    flaminghandson November 25, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSong is about c.c. band member travelling back to Grafton to look up an old flame.About how young guys cope with a break up and heartbreak and all the walls they put up in the process. Conveys the emotional aspect of that time of life they are going through, which may be prolonged and painful.
    kanejulie2on November 10, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFantastic song
    Baseball_cocconuton December 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIsn't it great?
    I think it's about reminiscing with your mates - over the girl that got away, over the old antics, and watching all the young people embarking on their lives, all the while remembering the old days.
    Such a richly evocative song.
    Arianrhodon January 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's a beautiful song... I personally think it might be about someone who goes back to their old hometown after hearing of the death of a girl they used to be friends with... altho im not sure at all!
    either way its absoloutely beautiful. great version used in new aussie movie 'little fish'.
    angel_ljon October 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song. I agree with angel about the death of a girl. There is also a really good cover of this song by sarah blasko
    tim_54321on December 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh yeah, what do the flame tress mean?
    tim_54321on December 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat track and always creates a feeling of melancholy in me whenever I hear it. I reckon it's partyly saying that you can go back to the haunts of your youth but don't expect a guarantee that all will be the same. Puts me off doing just that!
    hongkongmickon December 22, 2005   Link

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