Posted by: r.m. | June 3, 2011

the tree of life… I want to be a tree, I want to be a nation

below is a quick translation of the song. a […] means that I didn’t understand what was said.


beautiful is the feeling
in planting the seeds

how will the tree become
when will it flower

knee on the ground
hands entangled in my heart
sending you my wishes

i wish your life will be without obstacles,
without sufferings
without the torture of the chainsaw and the bulldozer

[i wish] you find the people always
fulfill your right
and you find life going on around you,
and the cycle of life persisting around you

and the vengeance of the strangers always far from you

i wish you a happy life
may you not meet a fire

remember the hope you gave to the ship when you were drowning

i wish

you do not become with the insane
talking with trees is not accepted in the 21st century

they asked me
about the situation
i told them, it is fine

gratitude and mercy

I am planting
I am planting

they told me
the cold
can kill the roses
I told them
let it

I am planting
I am planting

end of chorus

I went to an nursery
to learn how to plant
i found a tree taller than me
[i couldn’t understand the next line]

i’m sorry, i don’t want to scare you from your future
but, oh seed, grow to become a tree
grow green so i can pick a fruit from you

i don’t want revolution (?)
i don’t want fame
i just want you to give me shade when i grow tomorrow

i sit beside you and i think of yesterday
how lucky you are, when you grow you will […]
you’ve seen how when we grow up, we become separated from others

forget about me and sleep into the soil
your roots have grown and seeped into the wall
i kiss your soil
even if this doesn’t happen
you in me, and i in  you, i shall live


my tree
i want to speak to you  a story
i am afraid of dying
although i know that all of us will die, and not just me
but i’m still scared
i’m trying to convince myself that life is beautiful, that it has a goal, that there are thoughts greater than my existence, […] that love is beautiful, that play is funny, that it is good to breathe, laugh, run, cry, sleep, dream but i can’t convince myself
when i was a boy
my father came to me and said
‘son, when you grow up what do you want to become?’
i told him
‘Yaba [father], when i grow up, i want to be a tree’
my father laughed and said to me, ‘a tree?’
i said, yes
i said, a tree is large, compassionate, steadfast, standing
i told him, Yaba, a tree is a nation
and i want to be a nation, Yaba

i swear to my mother, i want to be a nation, Yaba
I want to be a nation like a tree

why was i not born a tree?



— note:

the background music is from ziad rahbani’s brilliant composition “qamh” (wheat).

the last verse – about a tree is a nation – is reminiscent of the last lines in duraid laham’s  brilliant play “gherbeh”



  1. Thank you so much for posting the translated lyrics. Its a beautiful song and knowing the meaning is great, have shared w/ all my friends 🙂

  2. I always knew this song has a precious meaning but i never bothered to understand it word by word. But now after doing so , i am able to appreciate more the next time i listen to it.
    As for the concept of the song, it is surely a holy one where people like us get to learn how to admire a tree…how to look at a tree…how to treat a tree…and definetly the importance of planting a tree that will always be there for us standing proudly with enough confidence during the storm just as during the sun.

  3. Quite interesting how this song addresses the tree as if it was a human being. Talking about its fears and sharing yours with it; praising its “virtues” so we learn from them. Humans are always the central of attention. “Things” like trees are never important. We will do what we want! But this song tells a different story; the tree’s version of what’s going on! amazing.

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