Album: Wake Up The Nation (2010)


  • This conceptual piece about growing old was inspired by the visits Weller made to his dad, John, when he was in a respite home. His father managed Paul for his entire career from the early Jam days, and was his best friend and confidante, but ill health had limited his involvement since the mid 2000s. John finally passed away in April 2009. Weller recalled to The Observer March 28, 2010 the residents as "little fossilised trees, all gnarled and curled up. But there were pictures on their doors of when they were young. They were mothers, beautiful young women, strong, proud, young men… reduced to this strange level, this in-between world where they're just waiting to go, waiting to die. 'Trees' was me imagining what their lives were like before."
  • Weller told Spinner UK: "The whole song is about old age and waiting to go and move on to their next phase in life, whatever you care to believe in. I really like the metaphor of people waiting to be planted back into the world. The song was born out of my experience, but if I was going to write a song about him at all I would write something very positive and celebratory, because that was the man, that's the spirit of him. That's how I dealt with it, looking at the positives, the things he's left to me and of his time on earth. I think it was harder on the rest of my family, but I've just cracked on. That's what you've got to do in life, you've just got to get on with it."
  • Producer and co-writer Simon Dine had the idea for five different musical parts to interpret Weller lyrics and the Modfather's cousin Mark was drafted in to play guitar.
  • The origins of this song are a poem that Weller wrote. He told Mojo magazine May 2010: "I'm always writing, thoughts, bits of prose. Trees and She Speaks on the new album started out as poems. Trees I wrote very quickly and I was happy to have written it for myself, expressed what I was feeling and what I wanted to say. It's another means of getting stuff out of your head. The process takes over."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

00s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

Do you know the girl singer on Eminem's "Stan"? If so, this quiz is for you.

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")Song Writing

Wes Edwards takes us behind the scenes of videos he shot for Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Chase Bryant. The train was real - the airplane was not.

Kim Thayil of SoundgardenSongwriter Interviews

Their frontman (Chris Cornell) started out as their drummer, so Soundgarden takes a linear approach when it comes to songwriting. Kim explains how they do it.

Women Who RockSong Writing

Evelyn McDonnell, editor of the book Women Who Rock, on why the Supremes are just as important as Bob Dylan.

Krishna DasSongwriter Interviews

The top chant artist in the Western world, Krishna Das talks about how these Hindu mantras compare to Christian worship songs.