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Lemon tree (Fool's Garden) (German)

This is a happy song about being sad, very sad, terribly sad, so if you just want to enjoy the happiness of the melody, don't read the "general meaning section" and go straight to the "language explanations". You can also enjoy this song in a more festive way watching two funny videos that act the song out using cartoons, so it's much easier to understand: CLICK HERE.

Also, you can do this karaoke version.

I'm sitting here in the boring room
It's just another rainy Sunday afternoon
I'm wasting my time
I got nothing to do
I'm hangin’ around
I'm waiting for you
But nothing ever happens and I wonder

I'm driving around in my car
I'm driving too fast
I'm driving too far
I'd like to change my point of view
I feel so lonely
I'm waiting for you
But nothing ever happens and I wonder

I wonder how
I wonder why
Yesterday you told me 'bout the blue blue sky
And all that I can see is just a yellow lemon tree
I'm turning my head up and down
I'm turning turning turning turning turning around
And all that I can see is just another lemon tree

Sing:
dup, du-du-du-dup dee-dup-duh
du-du-du-dup dee-dup-duh
dup dee-di-dee-duh

I'm sitting here
I miss the power
I'd like to go out taking a shower
But there's a heavy cloud inside my head
I feel so tired
Put myself into bed
While nothing ever happens and I wonder

Isolation is not good for me
Isolation, I don't want to sit on the lemon tree

I'm steppin' around in the desert of joy
Baby anyhow I'll get another toy
And everything will happen and you wonder

I wonder how
I wonder why
Yesterday you told me 'bout the blue blue sky
And all that I can see is just another lemon tree
I'm turning my head up and down
I'm turning turning turning turning turning around
And all that I can see is just a yellow lemon tree
And I wonder, wonder

I wonder how
I wonder why
Yesterday you told me 'bout the blue blue sky
And all that I can see, and all that I can see, and all that I can see
Is just a yellow lemon tree





ANOTHER= Remember that the pronunciation of this word is /ənʌðə*/,

ANOTHER RAINY SUNDAY AFTERNOON= Rain is a metaphor for sadness, so the weather is reflecting his mood (he feels sad), as opposed to the "blue skies" she talked about when she was with him.

WASTING MY TIME= If you waste your time, you spend time doing nothing (or nothing useful) when you should be doing something.

I GOT NOTHING TO DO= I’ve got nothing to do. Notice that his pronunciation of the O here is too open for BrE, more like the one we find in AmE, but his accent is an almost perfect BrE everywhere else. Nevertheless, some British singers also open their O's a lot (for example George Michael), especially with the verb "got" meaning "have got".

HANGIN’= Hanging. To hang around is to go here and there with no particular purpose or direction.

I WONDER= Pronounced /wʌndə*/. If you wonder, you don’t know but you feel curious about it, you’d like to know.

TO CHANGE MY POINT OF VIEW= Your point of view is the way you think about something. To change your point of view is to change your opinion about it.

LONELY= If you are lonely you feel sad because you are alone (solitary).

NOTHING= Remember that we pronounce it /nʌθɪŋ/

‘BOUT= About

MISS= If you miss something you feel the lack or loss of it, you’d like it to be here but it is not. Same with people: I miss you, I wish you were here.

ISOLATION= Isolation is when you are completely separated from other people or things. If you are alone and have no contact with people, you are isolated. You can also isolate a house with a special material to stop the temperature from outside to interfere with the temperature inside.

STEPPIN’= Stepping. If you step on something you put your foot on it, as when you’re walking. To step around is to walk with no particular direction.

ANYHOW= However, nevertheless; somehow.

EVERYTHING WILL HAPPEN= He’s opposing this optimistic situation to his present state, where "nothing ever happens", so "everything will happen" means in this context "I’ll go out of depression and be happy, my life will start moving again.".

There’s been a lot of speculation about the meaning of this song, particularly the meaning of the lemon tree. There are two powerful opposed metaphors in this song: the blue sky and the lemon tree. The blue sky is quite obvious, it represents a sunny day (a sky without clouds), and so it stands for happiness and optimism. The lemon tree is not a typical metaphor, but usually people take it as a sign for bitterness (lemon is acid, sour, bitter, and a lemon tree has lots of lemons), and so it would stand for sadness, pessimism, the opposite of blue sky. In fact, "lemon" is used as a symbol for bitterness, sad things, in the common expression: "when life gives you lemons... make lemonade", which means, when something bad happens to you, try to make something good out of it.

But everything makes sense if we know one fact about this song: The singer (Peter Freudenthaler) had a French girlfriend who died in a car accident... she crashed against a lemon tree. So yes, the lemon tree stands for bitterness, sadness, it’s the opposite of blue sky, but now we can easily understand why.

They had a nice relationship, they loved each other, everything looked fine and the future looked bright (blue skies), but then she died and he couldn’t get over it (he couldn’t continue with his life), so after a time of grief (we suppose) he’s now in a phase of deep depression. He’s not suffering so much anymore, but he feels completely void, desperately bored and alone (isolated). He can’t move on because now, the only thing he can see is a lemon tree (he can never forget her death, not even for one minute), he’d like to change his point of view but he can’t, he’s stuck deep into depression (I don’t want to sit on the lemon tree). He still feels she can be back any moment (I’m still waiting for you). Life has no meaning for him now, so he even thinks of suicide (I’m driving too fast).

It’s obviously all about depression when he says: "there's a heavy cloud inside my head /I feel so tired / Put myself into bed / While nothing ever happens and I wonder". "The desert of joy" is a place with no joy. But he wants to think things may change and he’ll get better: "anyhow I'll get another toy / And everything will happen".

ALTERNATIVELY

Anyway, supposing the story of his girlfriend car crash is an urban legend, then everything would change, but not that much. In that case the love relationship ended not because she died, but because she left him (she broke up). Now he's all depressed but has decided that he must cheer up and find another love. In that case, the following lines will make sense:

Baby anyhow I'll get another toy
And everything will happen and
you wonder

He says "another toy" because he resents her, so it's like saying "well, after all, your love was not important to me, you were just a toy and I can replace you".  And if I start feeling happy again, maybe then it's you who will wonder (you'll wonder if you did the right thing by leaving me). The lemon tree would just be a metaphor of bitterness, sadness, or even resentment.

Which is the right interpretation? Honestly, if we look at the singer's face while he's singing this song, he doesn't look like his girlfriend died crashing against a lemon tree. What do you think?

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