Stories Behind the Songs // Family Tree 

the chorus i had first:

 

hold fast fast fast

hold close close close

hold on on on 

my friend

 

and i worked backwards from there. each verse starts with "father", "mother", "son", and the title came to be "Family Tree". each verse also ended up telling about some kind of loss: the "Father" verse communicates that his daughter lost her ability to trust another man because her father left her.

 

father crowned in victory

remember to take all your riches when you leave

don't you understand, how can i trust another man

i never learned how to stay

 

the "Mother" verse tells about a child losing their mother and wishing she were still here.

 

mother i so wish you were here

my hiding place, my saving grace from all my fears

you planted seeds in place, casting kindness in your wake

well i'm still here to finally watch them grow

 

the "Son" verse alludes to questioning, doubting, and losing strength to be able to live in freedom from those things.

 

son are you praying by the tree

do you know my doubts, do you hear my cries, do you see me

well i'm not strong enough to go to the empty tomb

for a wretched sinner dressed in clean clothes, is there room?

 

but then the lyrics repeat again to hold fast, hold close, hold on.