"The Trees" as written by Ronald Ray Bryant, Drazen Kvocic, David Vurdelja, Angel Lafaele Noa and Armando Christian Perez....
I took an air-rifle, shot a magpie to the ground & it died without a sound.
Your skin so pale against the fallen Autumn leaves &
No-one saw us but the trees.

Yeah, the trees, those useless trees produce the air that I am breathing.
Yeah, the trees, those useless trees; they never said that you were leaving.

I carved your name with a heart just up above - now swollen,
Distorted, unrecognisable; like our love.
The smell of leaf mould & the sweetness of decay
Are the incense at the funeral procession here, today.
In the trees, those useless trees, etc.

You try to shape the world to what you want the world to be.
Carving your name a thousand times won't bring you back to me.
Oh no, no I might as well go & tell it to the trees.
Go & tell it to the trees, yeah.

Lyrics submitted by sunlaugh786

"The Trees" as written by Armando Christian Perez Angel Lafaele Noa

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Trees song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI'm pretty sure the bit about carving her name is literal. When you carve something in a tree, it grows out of shape - the tree grows unevenly, so the image gets distorted. "Like our love." ♥
    xsvsxon June 18, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI just found a quote of Jarvis talking about this song (on the website acrylicafternoons.com). He says: "In a romantic situation, people carve names on them and stuff, 'cos, I guess, you get some kind of permanence by doing it. But go back five years later and you can't read it 'cos trees don't grow uniformly - you're left with a distorted blob. The idea is, trees keep growing long after a relationship has gone down the pan."

    Eloquently put. Tht's pretty much what I was trying to say in my last comment anyway.♥
    xsvsxon June 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love the thought of the trees as silent witnesses and also the frustration in their silence: "I might as well just go and tell it to the trees".
    stonechipon February 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI just read that a magpie is a symbol of happiness and joy in the Chinese culture. The first line is probably symbolic of his destruction of a relationship.
    McGeno53on December 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOn the other hand, Jarvis could have committed murder, which makes it that much more intriguing.
    pumkinhedon September 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is about something bad he did that has ended his relationship " he shot the magpie "meaning he killed his relationship.i find it dificult to understand what the trees are but obviously the trees are used as a metaphor.
    tomlovespulpon January 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbittersweet little pulp number, this one.
    kankurouon February 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJarvis' comments:
    That was the last song we wrote. I'd had the song we sample in it [Tell Her You Love Her by Stanley Myers and Hal Shaper] for about four or five years and wanted to write a song around it. I'd had loads of goes. We were getting to the end of the sessions, so we had one more go and we nailed it. I'd like to point out that I've never shot an animal with an air rifle! There was an air pistol at my granny's when I was growing up and I was allowed to play with it without any pellets in it. As soon as I got to an age where I might have wanted to go out and shoot creatures, it was hidden. So I've never shot even a magpie... even though they are one of my least favourite because they bully other birds and they spoil their nests and stuff like that. They're a bit of a pest actually.
    The idea of the lyrics in that song is just [..] the idea of the trees being there and all the kind of human dramas that could happen in a forest: people meeting for an illicit affair or whatever, like that. But the trees are impassive to that. And the way that people will carve their name on the bark of a tree, thinking that's some kind of mark of permanence in a relationship, but then you go back a year or two later and try and read it, it'll be all like [twisted], because the tree doesn't grow in a linear way.
    thateuandgelookon October 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with pumpkinhed, how can those two lines "your body so pale against the autumn leaves & no-one saw us but the trees" be seen as anything him killing the girl, presumably in a fit of rage after her breaking up with him. Then him wishing he hadn't done it, and telling it to the trees, but obviously the trees can't do anything about it.
    Sure the caring of their names into a tree is a metaphors (and a good one at that) of their relationship being distorted and different from when it was carved, but it seems obvious to me that he killed her too
    RyanDeasonon March 21, 2017   Link
  • -1
    General CommentProbably Jarvis reminiscing over and mourning a dead girlfriend. kinda sad, yet kinda beautiful too
    pumkinhedon July 27, 2005   Link

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