Home Music Lyrics Videos Free Ringtones Guitar Solos Classical Guitar About Nemo Photos Contact Nemo

The Tree

From the Album The Gate

Up in the hills
There’s an old man who works on his land
With a tough leathered face
And a lifetime of work on his hands
He never asked more than to be left alone
With the wind and the rain in his hair
His family at the table at the end of the day
And the freedom to love and to care

“Now I ask you old man
There is something that’s puzzling me
Each day when you work
You stop by the side of that tree
Then you look to the sky with a tear in your eye
And a sorrow that I can almost hear
How can it be, that the sight of a tree
Can cost your tranquillity so terribly dear.”

He looked up and spoke
With a voice that still haunts me this day
“And why do ask, do you really care what I say?
Who are you with the left or the right
The centre, the up or the down
They all say the same, it’s the other to blame
And all that ever changes, is who wears the crown.”

“Each time they came
Demanding to set me free
But from what? I would ask
For I am all that I’ll ever want to be
But whatever their name, they took just the same
Everything I could ever grow
The only freedom I wanted was to be left alone
From being liberated, from what? I don’t know”

“So I worked and they took
And not once did you hear me say no
For my children were my life
A poor man’s riches you know
But then they filled up the heads
Of my sons with their dreams
And they proudly marched them to war
Now they lie there with me at the roots of this tree
Yet their leaders return and still ask for more”

The reds fight the blues, the blacks fight the whites
But the ending is always the same
No system is wrong, they all sing the same song
When you’re pointing your finger, it’s greed you must blame


Someone once told me about a film they saw where a soldier arrived at a man’s farm announcing he was from one glorious army or another. The farmer had no interest who the soldier represented but simply asked, “I suppose you want my chickens then?” It turned out that armies came, and armies went, but the only effect it ever had on the farmer’s life was that they wanted his chickens

It reminded me of my Italian grandmother telling me that when Mussolini wanted to invade Abyssinia, he called on married women to give up their wedding rings to help pay for the war. We always seem to be paying for things we don’t want, don’t need or don’t understand.