Music By The Book / “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein

By Priya Perera

Back in elementary school, seeing a classmate reading a Shel Silverstein book was as prevalent as seeing yet another artist covering Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep” is these days.  The massiveness of Where the Sidewalk Ends will forever live in our hearts and I’ll personally always remember the 42-year late library book from A Light in the Attic’s poem “Overdue.”  But The Giving Tree stands alone – its ambiguity only becoming apparent when read many years later.

Back then it was simply the story of a boy growing up with friendly tree supplying his every need – a place to play when he’s young, apples to sell for money, wood for a house and a place to sit.  But now one could see it in a much different light – as the story of a boy with never ending wants, who takes a tree for all she’s got and gives nothing in return…or perhaps it’s the story of a tree that self-mutilates for the love of a boy…wait, er I mean, it’s an allegory for the parent child relationship of selflessly tending to every need and want.  Wow, for such a short, innocent-looking story with a lovely green cartoon tree sharing an apple with a boy on the cover, there is some serious intensity and relationship dynamics going on inside. Let’s go back to simpler times with an altruistically arborous playlist to lighten the mood.
John Coltrane “I Talk To The Trees”

Sia “Playground”

Barcelona “Come Back When You Can”

The Andrew Sisters “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree With Anyone Else But Me”

Foster The People “I Would Do Anything for You”

Cinematic Orchestra “To Build a Home”

The Beatles “You Never Give Me Your Money”

Teen Dream “Our Parents”

MGMT “Kids”

Priya Perera reads books and listens to music and likes to mix them up on Tadpole Audio.

  • Peter

    Very nice. What songs would Shel have wanted for his book?

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