Love is a tanglewood tree,
in a bower of green,
in a forest at dawn.
Fair while the mockingbird sings,
but she soon lifts her wings,
and the music is gone.

Young lovers in the tall grass with their hearts open wide
when the red summer poppies bloom
but love is a trackless domain
and the rumor of rain
in the late afternoon

Love is an old root that creeps,
through the meadows of sleep,
when the long shadows cast.
Thin as a vagrant young vine,
it encircles and twines,
and it holds the heart fast.

Catches dreamers in the wildwood with the stars in their eyes
and the moon in their tousled hair.
But love is a light in the sky,
and an unspoken lie,
and a half-whispered prayer.

I'm walkin' down a bone-dry river but the cool mirage runs true
I'm bankin' on the fables of the far, far better things we do
I'm livin' for the day of reck'nin countin' down the hours
I yearn away, I burn away, I turn away the fairest flower of love, 'cause darlin . . .

Love is a garden of thorns, (love's garden of thorns, how it grows)
and a crow in the corn, (black crow in the corn hummin' low)
and the brake growing wild. (brake nettle so pretty and wild)
(and thistles surround the edge of the)
Cold when the summer is spent, (dim dark hour as the sun moves away)
in the jade heart's lament, (lamenting a lost summer day)
for the faith of a child. (who nurtures the faith of a child)
(When nothing remains to cover her eyes?)
My body has a number and my face has a name (my body has a number, maybe my face has a name)
and each day looks the same to me (each hour like each hour before)
but love is a voice on the wind, (this longing is a voice on the wind)
and the wages of sin (she cultivates the wages of sin)
and a tanglewood tree (in a tanglewood tree)


Lyrics submitted by phoonzang

Tanglewood Tree song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentwhy in the world has no one commented? well, I love this song not only because it has good memories attached, but also-- look at it. It's the good and bad and ugly of love. There are "young lovers in the wild wood with the stars in their eyes", but love is also "a garden of thorns". and there's lost innocence ("who nurtures the faith of a child when nothing remains to cover her eyes?") also, "my body has a number, maybe my face has a name"- when someone loves you for your physical you, not for yourself. I love how "tanglewood tree" emphasizes all the confusion, all the emotions and such wrapped up in love.
    smallboyonherbikeon February 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDave said before a performance once that it's about how sometimes love doesn't turn out the way it ought to. How it starts out like a beautiful bud, and blooms into a beautiful flower, but then keeps on growing into something wierd and narled, like a tanglewood tree that you are just all caught up in.
    phoonzangon March 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love googling random lines from Dave Carter to see what allusions I can get. The "wages of sin" is death - yeah, some of you out there read the actual bible, but I had to look for it. Dave Carter's imagery is amazing, the contrasts of "old root" and "young vine", of love as a good and as a bad thing through nature imagery. Forgive my rambling, but I love the song.
    mercyonmeon March 13, 2006   Link

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