Musically, this song was inspired by the Japanese prog group "Mr Sirius", with a section toward the end obviously inspired by "Gentle Giant".
Lyrically, it was inspired by a news report a couple years ago about a few hundred year old tree that was cut down to be the Christmas tree for the White House. I thought about everything this magnificent tree lived through to survive that long, everything it saw in it's long life, just to be cut down to be a decoration. I was a bit irritated by all this, so I wrote this song.
And contrary to popular belief - cutting down and decorating a tree doesn't bring honor to Jesus. It's a pagan custom.
When you began, you were just a little seed falling, adrift on the wind
You fell to the ground,and kissing the earth, the rains falling,
Your life could begin
And you took root,
And you started inhaling your life from the ground underneath
And you survived, not being scorched by fire,
Nor trampled under our feet
You started to grow, stretching up to the sky, to the sun,
Through winter and spring
And you found your place, part of the ebb and flow,
The give and take of all things.
Now you are here, living longer than almost anything else on this earth
Ones see you in awe, in all your beauty and glory,
Who could value your worth?
There, there you stand so high, reaching toward the sky,
Looking down on birds flying by
You are a work of art, in truth you have a part,
Reflecting back the artists heart.
I think of all you've seen in the course of your life
So much of history, you've seen things that we can only read about-
The rise and fall of kings and empires, battles fought and legends born
Friendships, fights and conflagrations, lovers meeting, lovers scorned
The births and deaths of saints and scoundrels,
Including some we could do without
Think of all the shade and shelter ones have sought
beneath your boughs
So many secrets told in the course of time
You've seen them all unfold, you could solve many mysteries, true
You could solve many crimes.
You know where things are hid, what things they did,
of things that we don't even know.
If you could only speak, tell us what you know
And tell us what you've seen,
You've seen so many things no longer around.
The California golden bear, the eastern elk, the golden toad
The passenger pidgeon, the dodo bird, the West African black rhino
Creatures that the people of this world will never see again
But you know what it was like to live in this world way back when.
If you could tell us all, all you've seen in your life,
Oh would the world be full?
from The Secret Place
released March 11, 2017
Music and lyrics by Scott Gillham
all rights reserved