A Liberty Message Behind Rush's 1978 Classic "The Trees"

By the Left Coast Rebel 

Ever the humble world's best drummer and lyricist, Neil Peart denies there's a political message behind "The Trees" but if you read the lyrics, it's pretty obvious what he is saying:

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade.

There was trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
As the maples scream "Oppression!"
And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.

I see "The Trees" as an allegory to America's socialist woes: Objective reason and individual liberty are no longer our guiding principles, rather we are ruled by "noble" laws purporting to keep us equal...

...by progressive "fairness," tax, and Leviathan law.


  1. DUDE. This has always been one of my favorite songs. Rush was really in a world of their own among the typical rock bands of the time period. Both in musical talent and lyrics! Peart, Lee and Lifeson all admired Ayn Rand big time and it shows. Great post!

    1. Same here, Hack. Rush has always been my favorite band of all time - there's simply no band like them.


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