Once Was a Tree

Once was a tree
Growing high upon a hill
And its branches spread wide
And its roots went deep
Down into that hill.
In the tree was a bird,
Just a little gray bird,
But the song that little bird sang
Was the sweetest in all the world.
That bird sung all day
And he sung half the night,
And as long as that little bird sang
Everything was allright.
One day there came a man,
And he climbed up that hill.
And he sat in the shade
Of that grand old tree.
He had time to kill.
He heard the bird singing
And he listened to its song.
He said to himself, “I could live
Right here my whole life long.”

And I guess you know what
happened then.

One day he came back,
Had some paper in his hand,
And some fool notion in his head
The hill was his
And it was all his land.
And he said, “I’ll build a house.
Out my windows I’ll see
Everything I own. The only thing in my way
Is this danged old tree.”
Then some men came with saws,
Came to cut the tree down,
And the bird flew away
But that poor old tree,
It was stuck in the ground.
They cut off all the limbs,
They chopped through the trunk,
Then they wrapped chains
All around what was left
And tried to pull out the stump.
And they pulled and they tugged,
And they tugged and they pulled.
And soon there was nothing
Left of that hill
But a great big hole.
So the man gave up.
He bought a house in town.
For the rest of his life
Not a thing went right,
And he always wore a frown.
Now, finally, in the end,
When he was on his last bed,
The preacher asked him, “Sir,
Is there anything you want said?”
“Say once was a tree
Growing high on a hill
And if not for me
That grand old tree
Would be there still.
Say I once heard a bird
In the late morning light,
And the song that little bird sang
Made everything allright.
If I could just hear that song,
Just one more time,
I think my whole life . . .”
And that was all he said,
And then he died.

Well, I guess you know what
happened then.

Yeah, the poukies came and got him
And they took him to the sidhe,
And there was the tree, and the hill, and the bird,
Just like they are always.
See, there’s only one tree,
And there’s only one hill,
And we’re all singing just a part of the song
That little bird sings still.

Once Was a Tree

smitisan

Trussvillle, United States

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

Song I wrote back about a year ago. I play it G,C,D7,C straight through but you can play it any way you want.

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