An American flag he hung down from the roof
And he hung it askew
He laid down on it in a drunken stupor
And dreamed about his daddy how his daddy used to do
Sleeping on an old cot out in the barn
Working through the heat out in the yard
Kicking back a whiskey 'til the sun come up
And showing up to church half drunk
Playing poker all night long
And playing the accordion that same old song:
Who loves you more than me?
Who loves you more than your family?
Yeah, he remembers it

Lookin' through the crack between the blanket and the wall
He sees his daddy bash a phone into his mamma's skull
Over and over and over again
And his rage and her shame flow through him
Well it's a strange little custom in the family
And the branch never falls too far from the tree
Now some may call that a natural thing
But I call it a good old-fashioned tragedy

'Cause it's an old-fashioned dream to plant a family tree
Mix blood on blood in a family recipe
And it could be so good, it's the oldest story in the book

She sees her stepdaddy comin' and her knees get weak
Just one touch she passes out on the street
But she covers up the bruises so her mamma won't see
'Cause what have you got without your family?
Yeah his mamma beat him just like that too
and now these two lay together in a drunken stupor
She's crying 'cause of what he might do
Now how can two of a kind create something new?

Yeah what's the good of forgiveness if the sinners go free
And come back to haunt you in your time of need to say:
Who loves you like I do?
Who else is gonna be there to see you through?

Because vengeance is such a waste of energy
And you get poisoned fruit from a poisoned tree
So let's pull it out by the roots
Let's chop it up and put it to a brand-new use:
It's fuel for the fire of a family tree


Lyrics submitted by delial

Family Tree song meanings
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