I wanted to write something about U2 and trees, it has been on my list for a while, but when I sat down to do it today I realized that there isn’t as much there as I thought. To be fair, I haven’t gone through all the lyrics looking for every reference, so I’m sure there are places where they’ve talked about trees but I have missed or forgotten it. If so, send me a tweet (see link at bottom of the page).
The obvious one when you’re talking about U2 and trees is The Joshua Tree. A very famous tree, could it be just about the most famous tree in the world? Certainly in some quarters (i.e. this one) it is. They picked it somewhat randomly, I seem to recall that Anton Corbijn was interested in the area for photographic purposes, then when they were there he found that tree and photographed the band in front of it and the rest is history. There have been various reports over the years about the tree, that it was sick or dying, but apparently someone either damaged or destroyed it recently. This sickens me, that a person would take the time out of their life to go destroy something like that, to destroy anything that another person has worked on or made famous through their endeavors. It’s like vandalism, where you’re just destroying for the sake of destroying, probably because you have no talent of your own and hate others who have it. Frustrating.
The second tree I thought of was the tree on One Tree Hill. This is another tree damaged by people, in this case attacked and eventually cut down because the attack had caused it to die. I can tell you a lot about the Maori in New Zealand, the native people who had their land stolen and have slowly worked to try and get justice. Much of what they claim is entirely reasonable, some is unreasonable, some is outlandish. But when a protestor destroys something like this because of political belief, I am very conflicted. In some ways it is a symbol of their repression, but in other ways it isn’t. And when you do something like this, when a band like U2 has sung a song about it, you’re inviting criticism from a lot more than locals. Anyway, great song, too bad the tree doesn’t exist any more.
There are Shadows And Tall Trees. A song that I recently reviewed, and thought it was kind of a cypher, not exposing itself very well to me. The title lyric sticks in my head, which I suspect is a good thing, but not much else. It does make me think of sitting in a forest, in a glade under a canopy of trees, enjoying the shadows and the quiet. I have done that a lot in my life, but not so much recently. Need to go do that again sometime.
And I’ll finish with Cedarwood Road. Of course Bono then talked about the cherry blossom trees and the blossoms falling from them, so I guess I’m a little confused about that. And nothing on Cedars of Lebanon, the two songs are barely linked by the cedars in them.