Writing this a couple of years after Hurricane Katrina had devastated New Orleans, I wanted to find the image of a tree under which people took refuge. But which tree? It had to feel right, and express the emotion and meaning of the song. When I thought of "Cypress", it felt right. Then, I looked up the tree's symbolism. Not only is it the State tree of Louisiana, it's a symbol of death. . . Whoa. Chills.