Fame is but a fruit tree
So very unsound
It can never flourish
'till its stalk is in the ground
So men of fame
Can never find a way
'til time has flown
Far from their dying day

Forgotten while you're here
Remembered for a while
A much updated ruin
From a much outdated style

Life is but a memory
Happened long ago
Theatre full of sadness
For a long forgotten show
Seems so easy
Just to let it go on by
'til you stop and wonder
Why you never wondered why

Safe in the womb
Of an everlasting night
You find that darkness can
Give the brightest light
Safe in your place deep in the earth
That's when they'll know what you were really worth
Forgotten while you're here
Remembered for a while
A much updated ruin
From a much outdated style

Fame is but a fruit tree
So very unsound
It can never flourish
'til its stalk is in the ground
So men of fame
Can never find a way
'til time has flown
Far from their dying day

Fruit tree, Fruit tree
No one knows you but the rain and the air
Don't you worry
They'll stand and stare when you're gone

Fruit tree, Fruit tree
Open your eyes to another year
They'll all know
That you were here when you're gone


Lyrics submitted by Sweet Blue Way

Fruit Tree song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI've always read the line as "'til its stock is in the ground" - i.e when the fruit that has not sold is plowed back into the earth (to function as fertilizer, effectively). This would be in keeping with the metaphor.

    And the way Nick Drake pronounces 'stock' is in keeping with his educated accent: to hear 'stalk' would give him an American lilt.

    Anyone agree?
    johnny6666on February 21, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFruit Tree proved to be eerily prescient. And anyone notice that he died almost exactly five years after Five Leaves Left?
    screedon July 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWow what a great song. It's incredibly sad that it parallels Nick's life.
    cbmusicfanon September 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThere is a reason Heath Ledger was "obsessed" with Nick Drake. This song goes a long way to explaining the dark outlook on fame that both men had in common.
    Lantaon June 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttotally love this song...it's completly amazing. kind of spooky too...he sort of predicted his own death...weird huh..? the line
    "
    Fame is but a fruit tree
    So very unsound
    It can never flourish
    'till its stalk is in the ground "
    is about how you never get much publicity until you're dead...sad but true...this line often reminds of the marilyn manson line " the death of one is a tragedy, but the death of one is a tragedy..."
    rockstar001on May 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is amazing.
    triggerhappyjackon July 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmansons lyric "the death of one is a tragedy but death of a million is just a statistic" is a quote from stalin (ussr arsehole in cheif) i think - correct me if im wrong. i love nick drake - folky, mystical, ambient, absoluetly stunning
    lexyon January 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone word to describe this song - beautiful.

    there is nothing more.

    simply beautiful.
    deathwishon January 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is my favourite Nick Drake song - and it's not like it's any easy choice.

    Simply beautiful and very meaningful. I love it.
    Victor Drazenon February 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti heard a version by Tom Barman and Guy Van Nueten, is really beautiful.
    acqua@start.noon May 03, 2005   Link

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