he was only 17 when he wrote this, a lonely cry to God that he recorded and produced himself in his parent’s basement. over 10 years later, this song has been on 3 albums, has ended hundreds of shows, and continues to inspire and impact millions upon millions of people.

just listen, and maybe it will touch you like it did i. every human, within the deepest movements of their being, longs for union with their Maker. this struggle is so beautifully evident in this song, dripping with emotion and crying out for help.

I know where you stand, silent in the trees

we know He is near. He waits for us, patiently and full of love. He has led us to this place of quiet and shelter, so that we may reach out to Him. will we make that advance?

And that’s where I am, silent in the trees

we know He is near. we are so close to him, just feet away. we are silent, and so is He. His presence is strikingly, thrillingly felt. we can almost glimpse His face, full of light, through the foliage of our minds.

Why won’t you speak, where I happen to be?

He is silent where He stands. we know that He has no obligation to speak, rather it is us who must approach Him in humility. but our fear and pride clouds the love with which He waits for us. why doesn’t He speak? no, why are we afraid to hear His voice?

Silent in the trees, standing cowardly

we are afraid. afraid of what encounter with Him may entail, of how it will effect our personal comfort, change the routine of our lives. we’ve followed him this far, and now he is only a footstep away, but we are faced with a choice. yet ‘he is waiting, oh so patiently.’

I can feel your breath

He is so near. the silhouette of his figure is before us, the warmth of his breath wraps around our own shivering souls.

I can feel my death

we know now that we are faced with a choice that will decide eternity for us, and the sheer blackness of our death crowds us from all sides. we fix our eyes on Him, and find something there that illumines the answer we must choose: hope.

I want to know you

He is shrouded in mist; hidden beneath the leaves and branches that fill our view; shrouded in mystery. the truth waits behind the foliage and the darkness and the confusion. the core of our being, rooted in its creator, thirsts for this connection. but our human nature, masked by pride, hesitates.

I want to see

we want to step forward, push aside the branches, and enter His presence. Behold His beauty and His Truth. Why can’t we move? Why are we frozen in the trees, silent and full of fear?

I want to say

death is pushing us, pressuring from all sides and trying to stifle the cry that is rising in our throats, trying to pull us away from the trees where he is waiting. but now we know what is hidden in the trees, standing silent and receptive. we realize that true life lies beyond our cowardice. we open our mouths for an impulsive prayer, a final rallying cry.


death assaults us with all its force at that moment, but we are suddenly filled with the spirit of life and we plunge recklessly through the darkness and the branches which obscure us from Him, and enter into the abode of His presence. we are covered with scratches and bleeding from our own frailty, gasping at our own unworthiness, but the moment we enter this presence, He has made us whole. we sing, we shout a joyous “hello!” into the sky, as we enter into a new chapter of life, a chapter of Light.

listen to the song here

this song is what trees sounds like in concert, at the very end, singing these words with tyler who wrote them as a struggling teenager so many years ago, and with thousands of other people who have decided to stay alive with him.


25 thoughts on “trees”

  1. I love your interpretation and commentary.
    We can see. We may not see what we want but we can see all the signs. The love and beauty around us.
    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Trees are so beautiful, they’re so calming and lovely to sit beneath and pray. I love how this song incorporates the image of trees into it 💚💙 thanks for stopping in!
      power to the local dreamer ||-//

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I love how we all take different meanings from their songs! I can definitely see it as a workout song because the energy is so high (especially at concerts!). Personally I’m the person who lies on the floor with their eyes closed listening to vessel when i feel lost and Trees has always represented for me that inherent longing to know your Maker. And when it explodes into electro-drumming-screaming I can feel that desire so strongly. Even without the lyrics, though, it’s a definite bop! 😉 ❤
      power to the local dreamer ||-//


  2. jul, it’s a half past one am and i’m reading this right now. i’m actually crying really hard because your interruption has touched me so very deeply. my attachment to this song is so great. and when tøp played this song live, i received so many flashbacks to my broken past and the late night when i became a Christian, honestly in some ways it was the worst night of my life because my struggles grew so great. until they finished the song i was just screaming, feeling so much joy and thanking God over and over again, never had i felt such happiness in being saved before. i just felt again, right there, reading your post. i love the layout of it. thank you. so much. i need this post in my life now. ||-//

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh sarah, this make me so inexplicably emotional and joyful and honored … I can’t even explain how much this means to me
      not everyone sees trees as a cry to God – but the fact that tyler wrote it as one is so inspiring to me, because I can relate to it SO MUCH
      it’s such a hard decision to give up your life. to place it in the hands of Someone who may not guarantee you smooth sailing. to go on a journey that will be difficult. you lose sight of eternity, and of divine happiness, and of the love you will receive when you’re making that decision.
      but then HELLO.
      i’m so happy you made that decision.
      i’m so happy you went to the show and felt that joy.
      I’m so grateful for them. for what they did for you, and for me. I see trees all over the place now – in the Bible, in other songs, in books about faith…
      thank you for reading, sarah. it’s scary sometimes to write Christian perspectives of seemingly secular songs, but really I know that tyler wrote more songs to God than people like to think
      it encourages me so much
      you encourage me so much
      I hope you feel better Sarah (if you’re still sick!!)
      and thanks again for reading this. i’m so happy you were able to find something in it
      power to the local dreamer ||-//

      Liked by 1 person

      1. oh jul, you just summed everything up so well. Becoming a Christian shouldn’t be taken lightly, it is such a big thing.
        we both relate. so SO much. you know, i’m the same… i see trees in everything. but, i never really was able to understand trees until i became a Christian. like, even actual trees mean a lot to me. in a forest, it’s dark, branches are all around. but the more i push on through the darkness, i see the sun shining through the branches and i just think of Jesus. He was still shining, even through the darkest moments of my life.
        and you, dear, encourage me. i gotta thank you for that.
        i understand that you were nervous to write a Christian perspective, i just wrote a post last night on music and when i became a Christian and such. it was going to be a music review, but i think God wanted me to write it differently instead. i’m a little nervous to post it, when i do. but i can’t be ashamed. and i’m proud of you for posting your perspective on this song.
        i am feeling better, thank you. much better.
        you don’t need to thank me for reading it, of course i would ❤ ❤ <3. and i'm also happy i was able to find something in it. sending all the love your way 😀

        (also, a trees photoshoot may be coming to the blog in a few weeks time) xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. oh christina thank you so much! i expected the same thing about that song, but was pleasantly (and emotionally XD) surprised! it really brought me back to the concert, and YES another relapse into post-concert depression XD
      thank you so much for stopping by and reading, it means the world to me ❤
      power to the local dreamer ||-//

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What an incredible description of my favorite song in the whole wide world. Thank you so much for writing it! And not only is it absolutely beautiful, but you’re discussing our Creator and how we yearn to be close to him? Amazing. Thank you so much!! 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much cressida! this made me so very happy … I’m so glad to see that you appreciate the spiritual significance of trees too! ❤ ❤ ❤ trees is one of my favorites in the whole wide world too … I say "one of" only because I can't pick between it and taxi cab! 😛
      thanks so much for leaving your positivity ❤
      power to the local dreamer ||-//

      Liked by 1 person

    1. honestly mine too! trees just means so much — it’s perfectly musically (the buildup and screaming at the end!), and also so beautiful lyrically. i find pieces of it wherever i go. i’m so happy to find a fellow trees lover! seeing it live was one of the best experiences of my life ❤ ❤ ❤
      power to the local dreamer ||-//

      Liked by 1 person

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