Monday, June 12, 2006

Tree of Life

(7-20-2006 For an update on the Tree of Life click here.)


As I mentioned a while back my lemon tree is blooming, and now there are these cute little 'baby' lemons on it:



And the blooms have attracted a wide range of insects, and I'm having fun with that.

Today I found a young praying mantis:



They are always welcome because they are great predators of not-so-welcome guests.

And I also was amused by this little guy:



He appears to be some kind of weevil, but I will call him a "'possum bug" because when he saw me he immediately jumped off the leave above and played dead where he landed. Yes, I must be that scary-looking! Hopefully, if he is still in the tree the mantis will show him exactly how to play dead. ;-)

I think lemons have gotten a bad rap. Sure, they are sour, but with a little sugar or other sweetness they are delicious in drinks and foods. And lemon oil is good for cleaning and deodorizing.

I got to thinking about the symbolism of lemons. We call a bad car a "lemon". Poor lemons! Why not call bad cars turnips? I hate turnips. I think that would be a much better name of a bad car or any other inferior thing.

I even found that there are songs about lemons. One very sad one written by Will Holt has been sung by many performers like Peter, Paul, and Mary:

When I was just a lad of ten, my father said to me,
"Come here and take a lesson from the lovely lemon tree."
"Don't put your faith in love, my boy", my father said to me,
"I fear you'll find that love is like the lovely lemon tree."

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

One day beneath the lemon tree, my love and I did lie
A girl so sweet that when she smiled the stars rose in the sky.
We passed that summer lost in love beneath the lemon tree
the music of her laughter hid my father's words from me:

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

One day she left without a word. She took away the sun.
And in the dark she left behind, I knew what she had done.
She'd left me for another, it's a common tale but true.
A sadder man but wiser now I sing these words to you:

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.


And then Electric Light Orchestra's song "(Here We Go 'Round) The Lemon Tree" is a little less tragic:

There's a girl next door to me who's round the bend
But she wonders why she can't make any friends
From her garden she could see me
In her silver-clad bikini
Singing, dancing round her fruit tree

Here we go round the lemon tree
Mister, can't you hear me
Here we go round the lemon tree
Mister, don't come near me

Could I calm her down by throwing stones at her
If only I could make the right approach to her
Think I'd rather tame a tiger
Turn those lemons into cider
Still I'd like to get beside her

CHORUS

Three o'clock in the morning
I could her her toneless singing
I could smell her lemon perfume in the air
I walked up to the window
In the hope that I might see her
Could the deadly shade of night still bring her there

CHORUS

Morning came and into action went my plans
Went to meet her dressed in bright green underpants
I crept in and sang discreetly
Seemed to change her mind completely
Danced together singing sweetly

CHORUS

CHORUS


But the one I'm most familiar with is Led Zeppelin's "The Lemon Song" which is I'm pretty sure a cover of an old blues song:

Should have quit you, long time ago. (X2)
I wouldn't be here, my children, down on this killin' floor.

I should have listened, baby, to my second mind (X2)
Everytime I go away and leave you, darling, you send me the blues way down the line.

Said, people worry I can't keep you satisfied.
Let me tell you baby, you ain't nothin but a two-bit, no-good jive.

Went to sleep last night, worked as hard as I can,
Bring home my money, you take my money, give it to another man.
I should have quit you, baby, such a long time ago.
I wouldn't be here with all my troubles, down on this killing floor.

Squeeze me baby, till the juice runs down my leg. (X2)

The way you squeeze my lemon, I'm gonna fall right out of bed.

I'm gonna leave my children down on this killing floor.


"The way you squeeze my lemon, I'm gonna fall right out of bed." I've never been sure if that was a good thing or not. ;-)

So, as the old cliche goes, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"
(Regardless of how you get the juice...) *evil giggle* ;-}

8 comments:

QUASAR9 said...

Yep, I'm gonna have to get my Led Zep out. That and Stairway to Heaven, and ....

Love the lemon tree, well worth having, smell nice, refreshing drink, and I love squeezing fresh lemons on my ... food too.

PS - You know in Colombia they have sweet lemons, they are like a hybrid between orange & lemon, but they are lemon tasting and sweet. You should see if some shaman can fly you some over. Laters ... Q

Possum Bug said...

Help! I've fallen and I can't get up.

Rae Ann said...

Q, get your Led out! lol

possum bug, you're just too cute!!

Rainypete said...

Lemons are fantastic creations. Not only do they make my fish taste great, but if you rub the sliced half of a lemon in the eyes of an attacker you can get away safely. Of course you always haev to carry a lemon and a knife, but it's a small price to pay for your continued safety right?

Rae Ann said...

rainypete, yes, they sure are.

Readers, I'm getting lots of traffic to this post. I'd love your comments! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Destroy all turnips!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

IN homage to the original lemon song which was an homage to "killing floor" is Prince's Lemon Crush:

Every time U kiss me - lemon crush
Nay, I can't resist thee - lemon crush
Every time U do me - such a rush
Ooh it goes right through me - lemon crush

All it takes is a little bitty
Of your ooh! pretty, pretty
And I'm the wildest in the city
Ooh! pretty, pretty one
Come on, come on
I'm ready 4 the crush"

pretty clear, eh?

Anonymous said...

Also original "lemon" reference comes from Robert Johnson's traveling riverside blues.

So Prince may have been paying homage to RJ instead of Howlin Wolf, one will never know.