Trees have always been a symbol of growth, strength, and endurance; they are the guardians of our planet, purifying the air we breathe, providing shade and shelter, and nurturing a diverse ecosystem of flora and fauna.
But trees are not only important for the environment – they have also been a source of inspiration for artists, poets, and musicians for centuries.
Music has a unique ability to capture the essence of nature and convey the emotions that trees evoke in us.
Whether it’s the rustling of leaves in the wind, the majesty of a towering redwood, or the serenity of a quiet forest glade, trees have been a powerful muse for songwriters across a wide range of genres.
From iconic rock anthems to tender ballads each song explores a different aspect of the arboreal world.
Some songs use trees as a metaphor for love, loss, and renewal, while others draw on the cultural and spiritual significance of trees in different traditions and mythologies.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 23 songs that celebrate the beauty, power, and importance of trees in our lives.
They offer us a sense of grounding, a connection to the natural world, and a source of inspiration that transcends cultural and linguistic barriers.
So whether you’re a nature lover, a music aficionado, or just looking for some new tunes to add to your playlist, join us on this musical journey through the diverse and enchanting world of trees.
1. Fake Plastic Trees – Radiohead
To begin with, we have a haunting ballad by the English rock band Radiohead.
It was released in 1995 as part of their album The Bends and just from the beginning, the song sets the mood with mellow acoustic guitar chords.
Thom York’s soaring vocals suit perfectly to the music and gradually drive the listener to the climax of the track.
The song explores themes of alienation and the emptiness of modern consumer culture, using the image of a fake plastic tree as a symbol of the artificiality of our world.
2. Birch Tree – Foals
Foals released this amazing track in 2015 and included it in the album What Went Down.
As this British band has accustomed us, the song presents a dreamy atmosphere with bright guitars and driving bass.
Lyrically, the piece goes on themes such as love and longing to be with one’s loved ones.
Besides, also questions the fleeting nature of existence with lines directed to the listeners saying they won’t need anyone but themselves.
3. A Forest – The Cure
When it comes to post-punk, The Cure is perhaps one of the most representative groups of the genre and this track is a perfect example of it.
The song is part of the album Seventeen Seconds released in 1980.
Gloomy atmospheres are a staple of this band and A Forest is no exception.
The song is about a dark and mysterious forest in which the singer gets in to follow a woman but the girl was never there and the forest seems to swallow him up.
4. Hunger Of The Pine – Alt-J
Released in 2014 and taking part in the album This Is All Yours, this electronic song touches on themes of love and loss.
Throughout the piece, the idea of a tree is expressed as a dark and haunting connection to the natural world.
However, the members of the groups explained that the song goes on about the feeling of pain suffered when losing someone. In some cases, could be even stronger than physical pain.
5. Heart Of Oak – Richard Hawley
This acoustic ballad was released in 2015 and included in the album Hollow Meadows.
Lyrically, this track can be understood as a tribute to the resilience and strength of the human spirit.
According to the artist, the song speaks of people who selflessly give their time to others out of friendship and love, without thought or reward.
6. Old Pine – Ben Howard
This amazing song was the first single from Ben Howard’s first album Every Kingdom released in 2012.
This track was inspired by what could be a tragic event, a falling pine tree that almost killed Ben at the age of sixteen.
7. The Trees – Rush
The Trees is a classic rock song released in 1978 as part of the band’s album Hemispheres.
The song tells the story of a forest where the maples and oaks conflict with each other.
This track is notable for its use of allegory to explore themes of power, conflict, and social hierarchy.
Rush’s drummer, however, has claimed that the piece has no meaning at all and that the listener is free to interpret the song as they wish.
8. Mango Tree – Zac Brown Band
This country song by Zac Brown Band is a track from their album Jekyll + Hyde released in 2015.
The song tells the story of a man searching for his soul mate and finally finding her under a mango tree.
The track uses rich and expressive language, which evokes a picturesque depiction of an exotic haven where love can be found.
This piece was recorded featuring the singer Sara Bareilles.
9. Lemon Trees – Fools Garden
This song tells the story of a boy who waits for a visit from his girlfriend but she never shows up and stands him up.
Released in 1995 and included in the album Dish Of The Day, this track goes on themes of regret, nostalgia, and the passing of time.
Since the meeting was the highlight of his day, the boy gets bored and lies in bed.
After a while, however, he begins to reflect on his life and the choices he has made, so the guy appears to be quite depressed.
10. Little Willow – Paul McCartney
Little Willow is a Paul McCartney ballad from his album Flaming Pie released in 1997.
This song is a tribute to Maureen, Ringo Starr’s first wife who died of cancer.
The haunting acoustic guitar perfectly suits the heartfelt lyrics and gentle melody, which makes the listener feel connected to this deep and personal moment.
11. Lime Tree – Bright Eyes
12. Black Horse And The Cherry Tree – KT Tunstall
13. Four Cypresses – Grizzly Bear
14. Shadows And Tall Trees – U2
15. Shaking The Tree – Peter Gabriel
16. Weeping Willow – The Verve
17. Cactus Tree – Joni Mitchell
18. Speaking With Trees – Tori Amos
19. Thorn Tree In The Garden – Derek and the Dominos
20. Pine For Cedars – Dan Mangan
21. A Thousand Trees – Stereophonics
22. Norwegian Woods – The Beatles
23. The Dreaming Tree – Dave Matthews Band
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