Redwood Tree (song)
|Single by Van Morrison|
|from the album Saint Dominic's Preview|
|B-side||"Saint Dominic's Preview"|
|Genre||Folk rock, R&B|
|Van Morrison singles chronology|
"Redwood Tree" is the sixth song on Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison's 1972 album, Saint Dominic's Preview. When released as a single it was not as successful as Rolling Stone reviewer Steven Holden had anticipated: "The affirmation of Saint Dominic's Preview is translated to the past in 'Redwood Tree', an ecstatic boyhood reminiscence centering on the image of a sheltering redwood tree. This beautiful, sensuous cut has the album's greatest potential as a hit single." It was released as a single but only charted at number ninety-eight on the Billboard Hot 100, which made it less of a success than the album's lead single "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)", which reached number sixty-one.
Biographer Johnny Rogan believes "'Redwood Tree' enshrined the beauty of Marin county," which was where Morrison was living at the time. John Collis describes the song as "A charming if somewhat folksy reminder of Morrison's interest in country music at the time." Another biographer, Brian Hinton remarks:
'Redwood Tree' is a song of reconciliation, which seems to graft Van's Belfast childhood onto California, where redwoods actually grow, "Keep us from all harm", an invocation to the spirit of the ancient wood.
Personnel on the original release
- Van Morrison - vocals, rhythm guitar
- Jules Broussard - tenor saxophone
- Bill Church - bass
- Gary Mallaber - drums
- Doug Messenger - guitar
- Janet Planet - backing vocals
- Tom Salisbury - piano
- Ellen Schroer - backing vocals
- Jack Schroer - alto and baritone saxophones
- Mark Springer - backing vocals
- Holden, Stephen (1972-08-31). "Van Morrison:Saint Dominic's Review". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- "Van Morrison: Charts and awards: billboard singles". allmusic.com.
- Rogan, No Surrender, p.275
- Collis. Inarticulate Speech of the Heart, p.132
- Hinton. Celtic Crossroads, p.143