Apple Tree

from Apple Tree by Pale Bird

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lyrics

To think that I’d been sleepwalking all this time
And the thread I ran behind
Was twisted into this melody
Leading me out through the forest
Past the oaks to the apple trees

And I saw you there, Evangelist
Abuelo, Methuselah, Prometheus, trembling
And you brought pic-a-nic baskets full of bread
And sang songs to the great grandmother of Gilgamesh

Praying for an unbroken line
Braided, hand over hand
Pulled taught over time
And what did you get?
Did you retrace your steps
Through the spiralling labyrinth
To the orchard that you can’t quite forget?

With acorn-pitted soles of feet
and brass rubbing bark palm filigree
Filling your fingernails with rock and earth
Toenail black crescents of mud and leaves

Do you shout out these questions,
“When does a melody turn into a harmony?
When does a harmony become a song?”
So what
What do we do with these bitterest herbs
And these sweetest of fruit
What do we do with this drunken melange?

And why does it feel like the song never ends,
It just changes its shape as it's passed tongue to tongue?
It’s not your burden alone to finish the tune
But that doesn’t mean you stop singing the song

And what does it mean if the song never ends?
If it’s changing its shape as it’s passed tongue to tongue
It’s not your burden alone to finish the tune
But that doesn’t mean you stop singing the song

credits

from Apple Tree, released February 12, 2020

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Pale Bird Austwick, UK

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