Fools Garden’s “Lemon Tree” Lyrics Meaning
“Lemon Tree” was reportedly penned primarily by Fool’s Garden’s Peter Freudenthaler one afternoon while he was awaiting a visitation from his girlfriend. There isn’t any other information concerning that encounter or what actually transpired. But based on the storyline of the song, we get the impression that things did not go as planned as far as Freudenthaler, who also sings the song, is concerned.
The wording utilized therein is very ambiguous, and as such it has been interpreted in some, shall we say stretched ways. Such as it tends to go with hit songs, i.e. fans attributing all types of really deep meanings to the lyrics if they are vague enough to allow them to do so.
And by and large even though many of the explanations we’ve come across tend to be over-analytical, they aren’t far off from what appears to be going down.
But what really is happening in “Lemon Tree”?
And in terms of what is actually going down, most simply put it would appear that the vocalist was stood up by his girlfriend. Owing to this, he is going through the range of emotions you would expect from a dude who has faced such a disheartening disappointment.
In the first verse we bear witness to the fact that he is simply waiting for the addressee, that again being his girlfriend, and in the meantime is dealing with a serious case of boredom. What this basically boils down to is an idea like hooking up with her being the intended highlight of his day.
In the second verse it is implied that she never actually showed up, as the singer ‘puts himself to bed’ alone and generally appears to be quite depressed or uninspired. And whereas it is never explicitly stated that the addressee never materialized, it is further implied that she didn’t as in the bridge that follows we find the vocalist lamenting over his “isolation”.
And it is actually the third verse which is most revealing. And why? Because now, once again using poetic, nature-inspired language, the singer is coming off on that ‘well if you continue to act up I’ll go and find another girlfriend, and then you’ll be sorry’ type of tip.
And concerning the most-pressing symbolism in the lyrics, in the chorus in addition to the titular “lemon tree” contrastingly we also have “the blue, blue sky”. Using a lemon tree as a metaphor is not a conventional device. But the implication, once again, is that it is being contrasted against the blue sky. And a blue sky, in terms of what it is supposed to mean emotionally, is more obvious, as in good weather and relatedly pleasantness.
So we can reasonably postulate that when the vocalist says that the addressee ‘yesterday told him about the blue sky’, such would be akin to her assuring him that everything is copacetic in their relationship. But in terms of her actual actions, all the singer is able to perceive is “just a yellow lemon tree”.
So in the name of not repeating ourselves, let’s just say that her words and actions contradict. Indeed being stood up by a romantic interest most often means that he or she is not interested in the truest sense of the word.
So conclusively, perhaps the best way to describe this song is as one centered on heartbreak. No, the singer doesn’t necessarily come off as if he is emotionally devastated. But as a normal human being, whether he is deeply in love with the addressee or not, being stood up is something which would adversely affect him nonetheless.
And this is especially true being that based on the words of said addressee, everything is supposed to be cool between the two of them. So maybe more so than general disappointment, the emotion he is feeling is confusion, being the victim of a ghosting, as they would say in more modern times.
Fool’s Garden is a band from Pforzheim, a city in Germany, who have been around since 1993. According to their awards’ history, they experienced most of their success during the 1990s. And this track is from one of the albums they dropped during that decade, the third in their discography, which is entitled “Dish of the Day” (1995).
Facts about “Lemon Tree”
This song was written by Peter Freudenthaler (vocalist) and Volker Hinkel (guitarist), two of the members of Fool’s Garden. And their bandmates at the time were as follows:
- Thomas Mangold (bassist)
- Roland Röhl (keyboardist)
- Ralf Wochele (drummer)
The entire Fool’s Garden crew produced the track.
And to note, Hinkel and Freudenthaler are the only two members of the group to have remained down throughout the decades, even up until the writing of this post in 2021.
Fans of “Lemon Tree” can find a re-recorded version of the song as featured on the band’s 2009 compilation album “High Times – The Best of Fools Garden”. The crew also dropped another rendition in 2021, that time in conjunction with one of their countrymen, Alle Farben, a DJ specializing in techno music. And that version did manage to chart in a couple of countries.
The original “Lemon Tree” was a big hit though, being considered Fools Garden signature song. In fact it accounted for half of the accolades mentioned above, even wining a couple of awards issued by YMC-TV Channel Hong Kong.
It was a major international success, reaching number one in a handful of countries, including of course Germany but also a few others in the vicinity. It also broke the top 30 of the UK Singles Chart and appeared on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 stateside. This classic was also a major hit in Europe, actually peaking at number 4 on the Eurochart Hot 100.
And by the end of the day Lemon Tree had also been certified platinum in Germany, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.
When was “Lemon Tree” released?
The official release date of this song was on 4 December 1995. The labels that put it out are Intercord, Encore in the UK and Universal Records in the US.