By a curious coincidence, ‘Trees’—like ‘Till the boys come home’—has verses by an American journalist and poet who lost his life in World War I. It was supposedly an old oak tree in his native New Brunswick, New Jersey, that inspired Joyce Kilmer’s lovely poem, which was published in 1913 and at once became popular. However, Kilmer died as an army sergeant in Seringes, France, in July 1918. The musical setting by composer and educator Oscar Rasbach appeared four years later, and appropriately also enjoyed much popularity in France.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2002