The Tree

For a long time I wanted to see you again,
my old childhood friend.
There were some things I wanted to tell you
and I knew you would understand.

Even as a little girl I came to you with all my worries.
I felt safe with you,
and all sorrow flew away
when I wept in your arms.

You stroke my hair with your green leaves, my old friend.
My friend, the tree, is dead,
he fell in the early dawn.
You fell this morning, I came too late.

Never again will you sway in the wind,
felled you must lie on the roadside
and some people who go by don’t respect the remains of life
and rip at your green branches,
which now bow down to the earth dying.

Who will now give me the peace
that I found in your shade?
I lost my best friend,
who connected me with childhood.

My friend, the tree, is dead!
Soon there will grow a house of glass and stone,
where they have chopped him off.
Soon grey walls will soar there,
where he lies in the sunshine.

Maybe a miracle will happen,
secretly I will wait for it.
Maybe a garden will blossom in front of the house,
and he will be revived.

But then he will be weak and small,
and even when many years will have gone by,
he never will be the same.

My friend, the tree is dead
He fell early dawn

Lyrics “Der Baum” sung by Alexandra in German 1968
Translated by The Happy Quitter

Her voice, so distinctive and very smooth, mature for her age. She gave us messages and touched subjects other artists normally don’t sing about. A song about a tree, yet it made her famous overnight. Her music and her early death at only 27 years old, made her a legend.

She died in 1969 one year before I would come to live with my grandma.

For many years her songs were played on German and Austrian radio stations. Alexandra was part of my upbringing and over forty years later I still remember her songs and the lyrics.

“Der Baum/The Tree” by Alexandra played in our farmhouse often. Alexandra’s record, with all her beautiful songs, was one of the few albums my grandmother bought, owned, and defended with her wooden spoon.

Today, by accident or luck, I stumbled over the video on YouTube -on my search for my daily morning laugh. I stopped, listened, and smiled. The smile we get when we go back in time to something very treasured.

Song lyrics like poetry! I thought I share.


18 thoughts on “The Tree

  1. Her voice and lyrics evoke strong emotions of sadness and reverence, and also gratitude that other people have felt these things for trees, too. If trees have souls, which I believe they must, then maybe they can feel our love and connect with us again on the other side.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s