This old man I've talked about
Broke his own heart, poured it in the ground
Big red tree grew up and out
Throw up its leaves, spins round and round

I know all this and more

So take your hat off when you're talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree

This little squirrel I used to be
Slammed her bike down the stairs
They put silver where her teeth had been
Baby silvertooth, she grins and grins

I know all this and more

So take your hat off, boy, when you're talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree
Take your hat off, boy, when you're talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree

This old man I used to be
Spins around, around, around a tree
Silver baby, come to me
I'll only hurt you in my dreams

I know all this and
I know all this and
I know all this and more

So take your hat off, boy, when you're talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree
Take your hat off when you're talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree



Lyrics submitted by spliphstar


Feed the Tree song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment:feed the tree = death
    incubus421on March 11, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:The lyrics _are_ quite surreal and there's an almost dark and sinister sound to the music, in my opinion, until the chorus kicks in. I think there's a supernatural hint -- the repeated lines of "the old man I used to be," "the little squirrel I used to be" makes me think of reincarnation. I think the song's from the point of view of a very old soul, demanding the respect for everything they've learned and know from their years on the planet. "Be there when I feed the tree," so that the knowledge can be passed along.
    Daisukeon May 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:[Quote from SongFacts]
    Tanya Donnely was quoted in The Illinois Entertainer as saying this song was about commitment and respect. The metaphor is the tree that would be planted on large farms as a point of reference to getting around (the only tree sometimes). Because nothing would grow under the large tree, the family would be buried under it. Hence: "Take your hat off, boy when you're talking to me and be there when I feed the tree."
    [End Quote]
    oggy07on April 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I love this song - I love the energy I feel from the music and the imagery I get from the lyrics. I always wondered what it was about - my husband thought about death from 'feed the tree.' I thought respect and commitment - 'take your hat off...and be there....." I thought too about personal growth or reincarnation - with 'this old man I used to be... For me the song is magical - I think genius too - there are so many ways to interpret it -
    shelsanon September 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I agree, incubus421. This song, to me, is about self-destructive tendencies (flirting with death). This is one of my favorite songs ever. I love the surreality of the lyrics.
    cuddledumplinon November 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:This song is really great
    i love the imagery
    "broke his own heart, poured it in the ground"
    Genius
    whiskeyclonehotelon September 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Its not so much about death as it is about devotion and respect. Old fashioned values. Take your hat off(have some manners) Will you be there when I feed the tree= Will you be there when I die.
    DecemberGuyon April 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:i looooove this song. i don't even care what it's about.
    [RighteousBabe.]on March 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:"Broke his own heart,
    Poured it in the ground.
    Big red tree grew up and out"

    "And be there when I feed the tree"

    its not death as much as when she (or he or who ever) does the same... breaks there own heart and pours it in the ground, feeding the tree.

    and i think the these religious comparisons arent to accurate as far as the intention of the song, but everyone gets there own meaning and interpertation.
    bfng3569on February 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:IT'S ABOUT LIFE&DEATH.
    dark_eyez_666on June 24, 2008   Link

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