by Peter Kearney

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In 1986 in Alice Springs, Pope John Paul II used the image of the Tree that endures in his address to a large gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:
"For thousands of years, you, the Aboriginal people have lived in this land with a culture that endures to this day, with an endurance that your ancient ceremonies have taught you. If you stay closely united, you are like a Tree standing in the middle of a bush fire. The leaves are scorched and the tough bark is scarred and burned; but inside the Tree the sap is still flowing and under the ground the roots are still strong. Like that Tree, you have endured the flames and you still have the power to be reborn".

The image of the Tree is originally from Job 14: 7-9.



There is hope for the tree when the rain doesn’t fall
Though the dryness goes deep, and the dust covers all.
While across the dry land slow death seems to crawl
There is hope for the once lovely tree - hope for the tree.

There is hope for the tree as it burns on the wind
Though the leaves turn to ash - black and charred is the skin.
When the smoke is so dense that the sun’s going dim
There’s still hope for the once lovely tree - hope for the tree.

This tree that had grown up for thousands of years
Reaching to the skies of the south hemisphere
Where the birds of the air could rest without fear.
And there is hope they will rest here again - hope for the tree.

There is hope for the tree when the axeman comes round
As he sharpens his steel and the branches come down.
And when all that is left is a stump in the ground
There’s still hope for the once mighty tree - hope for the tree.

Yes, there’s hope for the tree, ‘cos its roots they are strong
And deep in the land they reach on and on.
And when the water is found, new growth won’t be long.
There is hope for the tree, still hope for the tree
Hope for the once mighty tree.
Hope for the tree. Hope for the tree.
Hope for the tree. Hope for the tree.
Hope for the tree.

Words and music by Peter Kearney.
Based on Job 14: 7-9


released February 7, 2020
Recorded February 2020 in The Little Portion Studio, Welby. Voice & guitar Peter Kearney.

An earlier arranged version with a different time signature and slightly different lyrics was included in The Year of God's Favour? album, 1988.

Patricia (Pattie) Newman. Photograph by Marie Grunke (used with permission of Pattie's relatives)

The Year of God's Favour? Custom-CD aradium.com/3drdy
The Year of God's Favour? Music Book aradium.com/5lysd
(both containing an earlier version of 'Hope For the Tree'.

COPYRIGHT © 1988 Peter Kearney.
This song is registered with One License, APRA and AMCOS.
Church and school licences through 'One License'.
E: info@onelicense.net

SEE ALL SONGS posted so far: peterkearney.bandcamp.com


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Peter Kearney Mittagong, Australia

Peter Kearney is an Australian songwriter and singer. His early folk-hymns 'Fill My House' & 'The Beatitudes' are internationally known. He has written many other songs of justice and peace, songs for children, and a musical-narrative on St. Francis of Assisi. His published recordings include 153 original songs.

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