The German lyric tradition follows that of the French. Aside from some anonymous songs, the Middle High German lyric did not really flower until it felt the influence of the Provencal troubadours. In fact, German poetry, more than that of any other European country, underscores realism almost to the point of naturalism. The nature setting in a North French poem often seems like a window dressing; in a German poem, it is a recurrent reminder of the natural life. The linden tree becomes a dominant symbol of the force of nature, complemented sometimes by the brooks and the meadows. The realistic nature of German song is also conveyed by the fact that the lyrics frequently have a narrative at their base. German lyrics also have a rather somber, brooding tone that often asserts itself. Philosophy to the medieval German poet is frequently not theology, and the poetry itself is the key to the meditation.