When I read this news article just after Christmas about the fate of the White House's historic Magnolia tree, it felt like the cosmos was making up its own metaphors and a song needed to be written...

Andrew Jackson was one president who liked to speak his mind
He was a man of the people, but only his own kind
When his loving wife she up and died he had no time to mourn
But he took a shoot from Tennessee soil and he set it in the White House lawn

Magnolia blossom on a summer breeze
It's a long way to Washington from Tennessee
But maybe not so far as the 'Jim Crow' flies
Don't the truth get weary chasing all these lies?
Don't the truth get weary chasing all these lies?

If you plant a tree from a bitter root
Don't be surprised when it bears bad fruit
Now there's a heart of darkness behind white walls
And a well of hate enough to poison us all


Your preachers say it was a garden and a different kind of tree
Put the sins of the fathers on the likes of you and me
Between the preacher and the sinner there isn't much to choose
If you go walking in the swamp you'll get mud on your shoes
Don't go down in the delta if you can't sing the blues