The singing trees
Cliff Richards, Beyonc, GNR perform together in a little park in this Danish town
It’s a beautiful spring morning in the town of Aalborg, nestled in Denmark’s Jutland Peninsula. There is fresh dew on the leaves and the birds are singing. Giving them company is a park filled with grass and groves.
Everything about Denmark seems straight out of fairy land, and in this country where mer-people come alive, it’s hardly surprising to find trees that sing.
I’m out for a stroll in Kildeparken, in the heart of this bustling town. Every tree here seems to break into a song, in genres varying from classical to hard metal. The Singing Trees, or De Syngende Traer, is a musical project started by Cliff Richard in the late 1980s when he visited Aalborg for a performance. He commemorated his show by planting a tree and a jukebox next to it that would play his favourite tunes at the touch of a button. This evolved into a tradition, with every musician who visited the city planting a tree and a lyrical pillar next to it. Today, there are over 90 Singing Trees.
At a touch of the buttons, I hear Cliff Richard performing with Elton John, Back Street Boys shaking a leg with Shakira, Beyoncé dancing with Sting, Guns N’ Roses jamming with the London and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras. The breeze adds to the music as I walk around rows of wild cherry and oak trees, each singing a different tune. The notes reach a crescendo as the woods begin to sing different genres. The leaves sway to the morning breeze, as if rocking to the music. And I lose myself in the eclectic playlist.