Nobody’s Hero

“Nobody’s Hero” is a song by Canadian progressive rock band Rush, released as the third single from their 1993 album Counterparts.[1] The first stanza deals with the AIDS-related death of a homosexual man named Ellis, a friend of Neil Peart when Peart lived in London. After the chorus, the second stanza speaks of a girl who was murdered in Peart’s hometown, Port Dalhousie. The girl is rumoured to have been Kristen French, one of Paul Bernardo’s victims.[citation needed]

It inspired the title for the paper Nobody’s Hero: On Equal Protection, Homosexuality, and National Security by published in The George Washington Law Review.[2]

Stick It Out (Rush song)

“Stick It Out” is a song and single by the progressive rock band Rush from their 1993 album Counterparts. The song charted at #1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart.

A music video was made for the song. It was briefly featured on an episode of Beavis and Butt-head. The song has been featured live on several tours including the Counterparts, Test For Echo and Time Machine Tours.

Ghost of a Chance (Rush song)

“Ghost of a Chance” is the third single from Rush’s 1991 album Roll the Bones. The single peaked at #2 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart. The lyrics focus on finding love, and as its strength over any other force.

Although the song was a radio hit at the time of its release, it has rarely been performed live. It was most recently featured on the 2008 leg of the Snakes & Arrows Tour.

Heresy (Rush song)

Heresy is a song written by and performed by Rush and appears on their 1991 album Roll the Bones. The song is about the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and Russia, resultant about-face consumerism and the passing of the Cold War nuclear threat.

Like the rest of the album Roll the Bones, “Heresy” also marks the transition from the band’s 1980s style to their sound of the 1990s where guitars are a prominent part of this song and keyboard and organ are played in the background. As with the vast majority of Rush songs since the album Fly by Night, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson composed the song’s music while Neil Peart wrote the lyrics.

The percussion aspect of this song was noted in the Roll the Bones Tour program. Neil Peart explains,

“The drum part in this song was inspired by a different part of the world. One hot night I lay under the stars on a rooftop in Togo and heard the sound of drums from across the valley. Even on the edge of sleep the drumming moved me, the rhythm stayed in my head, and while working on this song I used variations of it and other West African influences.” [1]

Roll the Bones (song)

Roll the Bones is the title track and second single from Rush’s 1991 album of the same name.

The music of “Roll the Bones” was written by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, and its lyrics by Neil Peart. The lyrics reflect on taking chances in life, and urging those unsure to “roll the bones,” a term used for dice. But the bottom line…is to take the chance, roll the bones, if it’s a random universe and that’s terrifying and it makes you neurotic and everything, never mind. You really have to take the chance or else nothing’s going to happen.”
– Neil Peart, “It’s A Rap” interview, February 1992[1]

As a “lyrical experiment”, Peart wrote a “rap” section in his lyrics, as a result of listening to “the better rap writers”, like LL Cool J and Public Enemy.[2] The band considered seeking out a real rapper to perform this section of the song, or even considered approaching the section with a camp or comedic sensibility, and hiring singer-songwriter Robbie Robertson or actor/comedian John Cleese.[2] According to Geddy Lee, “We couldn’t make up our minds really if we wanted to be influenced by rap or satirize it, so I think that song kind of falls between the cracks and in the end I think it came out to be neither, it came out to be something that is very much us.”[2] Ultimately, the “rap” was performed by Lee: his altered voice is achieved through a drastic lowering of pitch and adding various effects.


“Dreamline” is the opening track and first single from Rush’s 1991 album Roll the Bones. The song peaked at number one on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and is a staple for live performances by Rush, having been performed on every tour from the inaugural Roll the Bones Tour until the 2010 and 2011 Time Machine Tour, when it was dropped. It was performed during the subsequent Clockwork Angels Tour, where it was accompanied by the Clockwork Angels string ensemble and a video with a dedication to Neil Armstrong. It was dropped again on the 2015 R40 Tour. When played live, the band uses laser lights based on the tempo of the guitar, as well as slightly protracting the midsection where Alex Lifeson integrates an extended guitar solo.

Time Stand Still (song)

Time Stand Still is a single by the progressive band Rush that was featured on their 1987 album Hold Your Fire.[1] A music video for the song was directed by Zbigniew Rybczyński. Released as a single in 1987 credited to “Rush (featuring Aimee Mann)”, “Time Stand Still” peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. mainstream rock charts. It was also a minor hit single in the United Kingdom, peaking at No. 42 on the Singles Chart. The song received positive reviews from critics and remains a fan favorite.

Mystic Rhythms

“Mystic Rhythms” is a single featured on the Rush album Power Windows. The single charted at #21 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart.[1] The song was featured on several compilation albums[1] and was performed live by the band on their Power Windows, Counterparts and R30 tours, appearing on the live album A Show of Hands and the live DVD R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour. For this song, drummer Neil Peart utilized his electronic drum kit, playing it on the album and in concert during live performances of the track.

It was released as a single in Japan and was used as the opening song of the NBC news program 1986.[2]

The music video for the single was directed by Gerald Casale, who is a member of Devo.

Marathon (Rush song)

“Marathon” is the 4th track on Canadian rock band Rush’s 1985 album Power Windows. It was released as a single 4 years later in 1989 and reached #6 on the US Mainstream Rock chart.

It is written by Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Geddy Lee, and its lyrics are written by drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. The lyrics depict how one would feel while running in an actual marathon, but the meaning of the song is meant to use a marathon (an extreme challenge) as a metaphor for life, and say that life is full of obstacles and is all about achieving one’s personal goals.

In an 1986 interview, Peart said “(Marathon) is about the triumph of time and a kind of message to myself (because I think life is too short for all the things that I want to do), there’s a self-admonition saying that life is long enough. You can do a lot — just don’t burn yourself out too fast trying to do everything at once. Marathon is a song about individual goals and trying to achieve them. And it’s also about the old Chinese proverb: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

“Marathon” is the 4th track on Canadian rock band Rush’s 1985 album Power Windows. It was released as a single 4 years later in 1989 and reached #6 on the US Mainstream Rock chart.

It is written by Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Geddy Lee, and its lyrics are written by drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. The lyrics depict how one would feel while running in an actual marathon, but the meaning of the song is meant to use a marathon (an extreme challenge) as a metaphor for life, and say that life is full of obstacles and is all about achieving one’s personal goals.

In an 1986 interview, Peart said “(Marathon) is about the triumph of time and a kind of message to myself (because I think life is too short for all the things that I want to do), there’s a self-admonition saying that life is long enough. You can do a lot — just don’t burn yourself out too fast trying to do everything at once. Marathon is a song about individual goals and trying to achieve them. And it’s also about the old Chinese proverb: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Manhattan Project (song)

Manhattan Project is a 1985 song by Canadian progressive rock band Rush, named for the WWII project that created the first atomic bomb. Lyricist Neil Peart read ten books about the Manhattan Project before writing the lyrics so that he had a proper understanding of what the project was really about.[citation needed] This song appeared on the 1985 album Power Windows, Rush’s eleventh studio album. “Manhattan Project” is the third track on the album, and clocks in at 5:07. It consists of four verses, addressing:

1) A time, during the era of World War II,

2) A man, a scientist (such as J. Robert Oppenheimer),

3) A place, Los Alamos in New Mexico,

4) A man, Enola Gay pilot and mission commander Paul Tibbets.

The chorus refers to the explosion as “the big bang”, in allusion to the start of a new universe following the singular event, repeating the theme of the verses marking when and/or where “it all began”. While nuclear warfare may be seen as the ultimate pinnacle of human fear, lyricist Neil Peart does not include this song as being part of Rush’s Fear series. Rush performed the song live on their Power Windows, Hold Your Fire, Presto, and Clockwork Angels tours.

Power Windows (album)

Power Windows is the 11th studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released in 1985. Recorded at The Manor and Sarm East Studios in England, and AIR Studios in Montserrat, it was the first Rush album produced by Peter Collins, and the first to be released directly to CD.

Power Windows introduced more synthesizers into the band’s sound. The music videos for “The Big Money” and “Mystic Rhythms” both received significant play on MTV. During the period when the album was produced, the band were expanding into new directions from their progressive rock base,[1] having “tightened up their sidelong suites and rhythmic abstractions into balled-up song fists, art-pop blasts of angular, slashing guitar, spatial keyboards and hyperpercussion, all resolved with forthright melodic sense”.[2]

The Big Money

“The Big Money” is a song by Canadian rock band Rush, originally released on their 1985 album Power Windows. It peaked at #45 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Mainstream Rock chart, and has been included on several compilation album, such as Retrospective II and The Spirit of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987.

The title of the song comes from John Dos Passos’s novel The Big Money, part of his U.S.A. trilogy. Rush had previous referenced Dos Passos with the song “The Camera Eye,” from the album Moving Pictures.

The lyrics, written by drummer Neil Peart, reflect on the power of “big money” and the sheer magnitude of trade in the modern global economy, particularly during the 1980s.[citation needed] Regarding the idea that the song’s lyrics were inspired by a John Dos Passos book of the same name, Peart replied “I am a big fan of Dos Passos’ stylistic ability, his poetic approach to prose, but the ideas presented in the songs are quite different from those which he exemplified.” – Neil Peart, “Backstage Club Newsletter”, January 1988.

Fear (song series)

“Fear” is a set of four songs by the band Rush. The composition consists of Part I: “The Enemy Within” (from 1984’s Grace Under Pressure),[1] Part II: “The Weapon” (from 1982’s Signals),[2] Part III: “Witch Hunt” (from 1981’s Moving Pictures)[3] and Part IV: “Freeze” (from 2002’s Vapor Trails).[4] Parts I, II, and III were released in reverse order, while Part IV was released a little more than 18 years after Part I. The songs do not follow a set storyline. Instead, they deal with topics relating to the emotion of fear.

Rush performed the first three songs of the tetralogy in their entirety live on the Grace Under Pressure Tour of 1984 as well as the Power Windows Warm-Up Tour of 1985. “Freeze” has never been performed live, and of the other three songs only “Witch Hunt” has been performed live since 1986, being played on the Snakes & Arrows Tour in 2007-08 and the Time Machine Tour in 2010-11, on which Moving Pictures was played live in its entirety for the first time.

Red Sector A

“Red Sector A” is a song by Rush that provides a first-person account of a nameless protagonist living in an unspecified prison camp setting. “Red Sector A” first appeared on the band’s 1984 album Grace Under Pressure.

Lyricist Neil Peart has stated that the detailed imagery in the song intentionally evokes concentration camps of the Holocaust, although he left the lyrics ambiguous enough that they could deal with any similar prison camp scenario.[1] The song was inspired in part by Geddy Lee’s mother’s accounts of the Holocaust.

Distant Early Warning (song)

“Distant Early Warning” is a song by progressive rock band Rush from their 1984 album Grace Under Pressure. It is one of Rush’s most well-known songs due to being featured on multiple compilation albums as well as many of their live albums.

In a 1984 interview Neil Peart describes writing “Distant Early Warning”:

“The main theme of the song is a series of things, but that’s certainly one of the idea[s] (our very tense world situation), and living in the modern world basically in all of its manifestations in terms of the distance from us of the threat of superpowers and the nuclear annihilation and all of that stuff, and these giant missiles pointed at each other across the ocean. There’s all of that, but that tends to have a little bit of distance from people’s lives, but at the same time I think it is omnipresent, you know, I think that threat does loom somewhere in everyone’s subconscious, perhaps. And then it deals with the closer things in terms of relationships and how to keep a relationship in such a swift-moving world, and it has something to do with our particular lives, dealing with revolving doors, going in and out, but also I think that’s generally true with people in the modern world where things for a lot of people are very difficult, and consequently, work and the mundane concerns of life tend to take precedence over the important values of relationships and of the larger world and the world of the abstract as opposed to the concrete, and dealing with all of those things with grace. [more of the song is played] And when I see a little bit of grace in someone’s life. Like when you drive past a horrible tenement building and you see these wonderful pink flamingos on the balcony up there, or something like, some little aspect of humanity that strikes you as a beautiful resistance if you like.”

Countdown (Rush song)

“Countdown” is a song by Rush from their 1982 album Signals. Its lyrics are about the first launch of the Space Shuttle Columbia,[1] which the band members watched from a VIP area called “Red Sector A” (the name was later used for a song on the band’s next album, Grace Under Pressure). The song incorporates audio from voice communications between astronauts John W. Young and Robert Crippen and ground control along with commentary from the Kennedy Space Center Public Affairs Officer leading up to the launch.[2]

The song incorporates a driving rhythm and heavy use of synthesizers, with Geddy Lee switching between his synthesizer on the verses and his Rickenbacker 4001 bass on the song’s chorus. The lyrics paint a vivid account of the group’s experiences witnessing the launch. The song closes the album, with its cautionary tales of man’s reliance on technology, on a more positive, celebratory note.[3]

The song was used as a wakeup song for astronauts during STS-109, which was the last successful flight of Space Shuttle Columbia. It was used again for astronaut Mike Fincke during STS-134, flown by Space Shuttle Endeavour on its final mission before retirement. Fincke described how his friends Greg Shurtz and NASA employee Ken Fisher chose the song because the band was inspired to write it after viewing the launch of STS-1. Fincke went on to say the song was played as a tribute to the space shuttle program, which has inspired people around the world.[4]

This song, as printed in the liner notes of the Signals album, is dedicated to “the astronauts Young & Crippen and all the people of NASA for their inspiration and cooperation.”

New World Man

“New World Man” is a track from the 1982 album Signals by Canadian rock band Rush. The song was the last and quickest composed song on the album, stemming from a suggestion by then-Rush producer Terry Brown to even out the lengths of the two sides of the cassette version. It went to #1 (on the RPM national singles chart) in Canada, where it remained for two weeks in October 1982.[1][2] Less successful in the United States, it nonetheless remains Rush’s only American Top 40 hit, peaking at #21 on the Billboard singles chart for three weeks in October and November 1982. It also topped the Billboard Top Tracks chart for two weeks (their first single to do so).[3] “New World Man” also reached #42 in the UK; a remixed version released as a double A-side with “Countdown” later reached #36 in the UK in early 1983.

A live version of “Vital Signs” appears as the B-side on the “New World Man” single. Other than the band’s self-released 1973 single of “Not Fade Away/You Can’t Fight It,” this is the only song Rush has ever released on a single that did not appear on a Rush album (Mercury #76179, US edition).

Subdivisions (song)

“Subdivisions” is a song by Canadian progressive rock group, Rush, released as the second single from their 1982 album Signals.

The song has been a staple of the band’s live performances, is played regularly on classic-rock radio, and appears on several greatest-hits compilations. It was released as a single in 1982, and despite limited success on the UK charts, the song had significant airplay in Great Britain.[citation needed] In the United States, it charted at No. 8 on the Album Rock Tracks chart.[1] Played live prior to its release, numerous pre-release live versions have circulated among collectors for years.

Vital Signs (Rush song)

“Vital Signs” is a song by progressive rock trio Rush from their album Moving Pictures. The song is heavily influenced by reggae (in the guitar riff) as well as progressive electronica (in its use of sequencers) and the music of The Police. These influences would carry on into their next four studio albums, Signals, Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows and Hold Your Fire. The song was released as the final single from the Moving Pictures album. It has appeared in Rush’s set lists as recently as the 2010-2011 Time Machine Tour, during which Moving Pictures was played in its entirety.

A live version of “Vital Signs” appeared as the B-side to Rush’s “New World Man” single in 1982. (Mercury #76179, US edition).

The song was the inspiration for a Pakistani pop music band of the 1990s, Vital Signs. The band reportedly adopted their name after listening to the song.

Limelight (Rush song)

“Limelight” is a song by the Canadian progressive rock band Rush. It first appeared on the 1981 album Moving Pictures. The song’s lyrics were written by Neil Peart with music written by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. “Limelight” expresses Peart’s discomfort with Rush’s success and the resulting attention from the public. The song paraphrases the opening lines of the “All the world’s a stage” speech from William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It; the band had previously used the phrase for its 1976 live album.

The single charted at #4 on the U.S. Billboard Top Tracks chart and #55 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and remains one of Rush’s most popular songs. “Limelight” was one of five Rush songs inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on March 28, 2010.[1]

YYZ (instrumental)

“YYZ” is an instrumental rock piece by Canadian rock band Rush, from their 1981 album Moving Pictures. It is one of the band’s most popular pieces and a staple of the band’s live performances. The live album Exit…Stage Left (1981) and the concert video recording A Show of Hands (1989) both include versions in which Neil Peart incorporates a drum solo; as an interlude on the former, and as a segue out of the piece on the latter.

YYZ is the IATA airport identification code of Toronto Pearson International Airport, near Rush’s hometown. The band was introduced to the rhythm as Alex Lifeson flew them into the airport. A VHF omnidirectional range system at the airport broadcasts the YYZ identifier code in Morse code. Peart said in interviews later that the rhythm stuck with them.[1] Peart and Geddy Lee have both said “It’s always a happy day when YYZ appears on our luggage tags.”[2]
The piece’s introduction, played in a time signature of 5
4, repeatedly renders “Y-Y-Z” in Morse Code using various musical arrangements.[3][4]

Red Barchetta

“Red Barchetta” is a song by the rock band Rush, from their 1981 studio album Moving Pictures.

The song’s lyrics tell a story set in a future in which many classes of vehicles have been prohibited by “the Motor Law”. The narrator’s uncle has kept one of these now-illegal vehicles (the titular red barchetta sports car) in pristine condition for some “fifty-odd years” and keeps it hidden at his secret country home (previously a farm before the enactment of the aforementioned Motor Law). Every Sunday, the narrator sneaks out to this location and goes for a drive in the countryside. During one such drive, he encounters a “gleaming alloy air car” that begins to chase him along the roads. A second such vehicle soon joins the pursuit, which continues until the narrator drives across a one-lane bridge that is too narrow for the air cars. The song ends with the narrator returning safely to his uncle’s farm.

Tom Sawyer (song)

“Tom Sawyer” is a song by Canadian rock band Rush, originally released on their 1981 album Moving Pictures as its opener. The song relies heavily on Geddy Lee’s synthesizer playing and Neil Peart’s drumming. Lee has referred to the track as the band’s “defining piece of music…from the early ’80s”.[1] It is one of Rush’s best-known songs and a staple of both classic rock radio and Rush’s live performances, having been played on every concert tour since its release. It peaked at #25 on the UK Singles chart in October 1981,[2] at #44 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and at #8 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart.[3] In 2009 it was named the 19th-greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.[4] “Tom Sawyer” was one of five Rush songs inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on March 28, 2010.[5]

Freewill (song)

“Freewill” is the second track on progressive rock band Rush’s 1980 album Permanent Waves. It is written by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson with lyrics by Neil Peart. The song’s lyrics deal with the subject of free will, emphasizing that free will is not a gift but rather a choice; explaining that Man can attempt to evade the fact that he must choose, but that evasion is itself a choice.[1]

Lee has stated that the end part of “Freewill” is at the highest part of his vocal range.[2]

The Spirit of Radio

“The Spirit of Radio” is a song released in 1980 by Canadian rock band Rush from their album Permanent Waves. The song’s name was inspired by Toronto radio station CFNY’s slogan.[1][unreliable source?] The song was significant in the growing popularity of the band. The band had grazed the UK Top 40 two years earlier with “Closer to the Heart”, but when issued as a single in March 1980, “The Spirit of Radio” soon reached #13 on the UK singles chart.[2] It remains their biggest UK hit to date (the 7″ single was a 3:00 edited version which has never appeared on CD to date).[3] In the US, the single peaked at #51 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980, and in 1998 a live version of the song reached #27 on the Mainstream Rock Charts.[4] “The Spirit of Radio” was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and was among five Rush songs inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on March 28, 2010.[5]

Promotional 12-inch copies were released in the United States late 1979 with the B-sides of “Working Man” and “The Trees”, and the song being incorrectly titled “The Spirit of the Radio”.[6]

The Trees (Rush song)

“The Trees” is a song by Canadian rock band Rush, from their 1978 album Hemispheres. The song is also featured on many of Rush’s compilation albums, and has long been a staple of the band’s live performances. On the live album Exit…Stage Left, the song features an extended acoustic guitar introduction titled “Broon’s Bane.”

The lyrics relate a short story about a conflict between maple and oak trees in a forest. Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart was asked in the April/May 1980 issue of the magazine Modern Drummer if there was a message in the lyrics, to which he replied “No. It was just a flash. I was working on an entirely different thing when I saw a cartoon picture of these trees carrying on like fools. I thought, ‘What if trees acted like people?’ So I saw it as a cartoon really, and wrote it that way. I think that’s the image that it conjures up to a listener or a reader. A very simple statement.”[1]

Cygnus X-1 (song series)

“Cygnus X-1” is a two-part song series by Canadian progressive rock band Rush. The first part, “Book I: The Voyage”, is the last song on the 1977 album A Farewell to Kings, and the second part, “Book II: Hemispheres”, is the first song on the following album, 1978’s Hemispheres. Book I is ten minutes and twenty-five seconds long (10:25), and Book II is eighteen minutes and eight seconds (18:08).

A mysterious black hole, known as Cygnus X-1 (an X-ray source believed to be an actual black hole), lies in the constellation Cygnus. An explorer aboard the spaceship Rocinante journeys toward the black hole, believing there may be something beyond it. As he moves closer, it becomes increasingly difficult to control the ship and he is eventually drawn in by the pull of gravity. The final words of Book I describe his ordeal: “Sound and fury drown my heart/Every nerve is torn apart.” Just before the final note a faint heartbeat can be heard, suggesting the explorer may have somehow survived.

The explorer re-enters the story midway through Book II. He has emerged into Olympus, where he witnesses the gods Apollo and Dionysus caught in the struggle between Mind and Heart. Prior to his arrival, the logical thinkers are led by Apollo and the emotional people are ruled by Dionysus. Apollo had shown the people how to build cities and explore the depths of science and knowledge, but Dionysus had lured many of them into the wild forests and provided love, which many felt that Apollo’s society was missing. However, his followers do not store any food for the winter and are caught unprepared. A conflict now breaks out as the two different ways of life clash. Short snippets of Book I are used to mark the explorer’s entry into this realm.

When he reflects on what he sees, he becomes tormented in the lack of balance of the people who insist on one extreme or the other. His silent scream of terror is felt by the warriors and causes them to rethink their struggle and unite together. The gods recognize the explorer as a nascent new god and name him Cygnus, the God of Balance.

Closer to the Heart

“Closer to the Heart” is a single by Rush, released in 1977, from the album A Farewell to Kings. It was the first Rush song to feature a non-member as a songwriter in Peter Talbot,[1] a friend of drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. It was issued as a single for Christmas 1977 and was Rush’s first hit single in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 36 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1978. “Closer to the Heart” was one of five Rush songs inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on March 28, 2010.[2]

“Closer to the Heart” is one of Rush’s most popular songs, and has been performed live regularly since its release. It was not played for the bulk of the Vapor Trails Tour (2002), the R30 Tour (2004), and the Snakes & Arrows Tour (2007–08) because, according to Peart, “we got sick of it.”[citation needed] The song returned to Rush’s setlists during the 2010-11 Time Machine Tour. After not being performed on the 2012-13 Clockwork Angels Tour, it was brought back for the 2015 R40 Live Tour.

The live albums A Show of Hands and Different Stages feature performances of the song with jam-style playing after the last verse. On the 1981 live album Exit…Stage Left, the song segues into “Beneath, Between and Behind,” and on Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland, it shifts into a triplet feel for the last verse. On the DVD release of the latter album, a polka rendition of the song is played during the end credits.

Although the original recording and most live performances feature acoustic drums, Peart used an electronic drum kit to play the song in concerts from 1984 to 1994.[citation needed]

The song’s title was used for an episode of Trailer Park Boys, in which Alex Lifeson appears as himself. At the end of the episode, Lifeson and Bubbles (Mike Smith) play the song together. In 2005, Rush performed the song with Smith (in character as Bubbles) and Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies as part of a CBC telethon for the Canadian Tsunami Disaster Fund. This performance is included on the R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour DVD.

Xanadu (Rush song)

Xanadu is a song by Canadian rock band Rush from their 1977 album A Farewell to Kings. It is approximately eleven minutes long, beginning with a five-minute-long instrumental section, then transitioning to a narrative written by Neil Peart, inspired by the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem Kubla Khan.

In Peart’s lyrics, the narrator describes searching for something called “Xanadu” that will grant him immortality. After succeeding in this quest, a thousand years pass, and the narrator is left “waiting for the world to end,” describing himself as “a mad immortal man.”

Although the song does not explicitly state what “Xanadu” is, references to Kubla Khan imply that it is a mythical place based on the historical summer capital of the Mongol Empire.[1]

A Passage to Bangkok

“A Passage to Bangkok” is the second song on Rush’s album, 2112. Released in 1976, the song follows the album’s title song 2112. With the album’s title track comprising the first half of the record, “A Passage to Bangkok” opens the second side of the album (on the original LP and audio cassette).

The song’s lyrics, written by drummer Neil Peart, are widely interpreted as describing drug tourism, specifically cannabis.[1] The lyrics employ innuendo, eschewing naming any actual drugs. The song describes visiting Colombia, Mexico, Jamaica, Morocco, Thailand, Afghanistan, “golden Acapulco nights”[2] (a reference to Acapulco gold), Nepal, and Lebanon. Mention is made of “smoke rings”, “pipe dreams”, various fragrances, and welcoming natives who “pass along” their unspecified crops.

In the documentary Classic Albums Presents The Making of 2112 & Moving Pictures (2010), Peart states the intent was to be “light in tone and write some funny songs” when discussing “A Passage to Bangkok”. In the film, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, Rush producer Terry Brown, and Peart explain and demonstrate the subtleties in the song that make it a tongue-in-cheek reference to drug use in the 1970s.[3]

2112 (song)

“2112” is a side-long title track from Canadian rock band Rush’s 1976 album of the same name. The overture and the first section, Temples of Syrinx, were released as a single and have been featured in most of Rush’s setlists since. The “sci-fi” sounds in the beginning of the song were created using an ARP Odyssey synthesizer[4] and an Echoplex tape delay.[5] On the “2112 / Moving Pictures” episode of the documentary series Classic Albums, producer Terry Brown states the synth intro is composed of various parts played by Hugh Syme that were put together in a collage. Since 1997, when any parts of the song are performed live, they are transposed down one full step,[6] as heard on every live album and DVD from Different Stages forward. With the combined movements being twenty minutes and thirty-three seconds long, it is the longest song or suite in Rush’s library.

Lakeside Park (song)

Lakeside Park is a single from Rush’s third album Caress of Steel. The music was written by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, and the lyrics were written by Neil Peart. The song details Peart’s memories of many summers spent at the park.

The “Lakeside Park” mentioned in this song is on the shore of Port Dalhousie, a suburb of St. Catharines, Ontario, on the south shore of Lake Ontario in Canada. Peart lived very close to Lakeside Park, and spent summers as a child working and playing there. The lyrics mention the “24th of May”, which is Victoria Day, commemorating Queen Victoria’s birthday.

The actual Lakeside Park in Port Dalhousie overlooks the War of 1812 wreck sites of the USS Hamilton (1809) and the USS Scourge (1812). The smaller of the two piers in Port Dalhousie has been used as a staging area for most of the Hamilton–Scourge survey expeditions to the wreck sites, since the early 1980s.

Neil Peart gave some insight regarding the song:[1]

In my early teens I achieved every Port kid’s dream: a summer job at Lakeside Park. In those days it was still a thriving and exciting whirl of rides, games, music, and lights. So many ghosts haunt that vanished midway; so many memories bring it back for me. I ran the Bubble Game—calling out ‘Catch a bubble; prize every time’ all day—and sometimes the Ball Toss game. When it wasn’t busy, I would sit at the back door and watch the kids on the trampoline. . . . I got fired.

— Neil Peart, A Port Boy’s Story; Merely Players

Geddy Lee gave a somewhat unfavorable mention of this song in a 1993 interview:[2]

A lot of the early stuff I’m really proud of. Some of it sounds really goofy, but some of it stands up better than I gave it credit for. As weird as my voice sounds when I listen back, I certainly dig some of the arrangements. I can’t go back beyond 2112 really, because that starts to get a bit hairy for me, and if I hear “Lakeside Park” on the radio I cringe. What a lousy song! Still, I don’t regret anything that I’ve done!

— Geddy Lee, Raw Magazine

The song was played in part, for the first time since the mid-1970s, on the 2015 R40 tour. In a 2016 interview with Guitar World, Lee reaffirmed his distaste for the song, but agreed to include it in the setlist when Lifeson expressed interest.[3]

Bastille Day (song)

“Bastille Day” is a song by Rush, the opening track from their third album, Caress of Steel.[5] Like most Rush songs, the music was written by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, and the lyrics by Neil Peart. It is about the storming of the Bastille, which began the French Revolution, and the events that followed it.

Live versions of the song appear on the albums All the World’s a Stage and Different Stages. It was last performed live in 1981, but an instrumental section was played during the R30 Tour as part of the “R30 Overture,” which opened concerts on that tour.

Progressive metal band Dream Theater, originally known as “Majesty,” took their original name from founding drummer Mike Portnoy’s description of the ending of “Bastille Day” as “majestic.”[6]

Fly by Night (Rush song)

“Fly by Night” is the title track of Rush’s second album. The music was written by bassist Geddy Lee and the lyrics were penned by drummer Neil Peart. Peart wrote this song about his first trip away from home. In 1971, at 18 years old, he left behind his small-town Canadian life and flew to England. This was a major turning point in his life.[citation needed] Lee sings the lead vocals and on the song’s middle eight, his voice is fed through a Leslie speaker.

It was released as a single in May 1975. It marked the first time a single by the band was also released in markets outside Canada. “Fly by Night” is their highest-selling single to date, regularly seen on Top 10 radio spin charts in the category of classic rock.[citation needed] It was certified 5× Platinum by the RIAA as of June 9, 2009.[citation needed]

Peart wrote a prologue that is not in the song: “airport scurry / flurry faces / parade of passers-by / people going many places / with a smile or just a sigh / waiting, waiting, pass the time / another cigarette / get in line, gate thirty-nine / the time is not here yet.”[2]

Working Man

“Working Man” is a song by rock band Rush from their self-titled debut album. The song’s guitar solo was voted 94th in Guitar World magazine’s list of the 100 greatest guitar solos.[1]

Donna Halper, then a disc jockey and music director at WMMS in Cleveland, Ohio, is credited with getting Rush noticed in the United States by playing “Working Man” on the air. The song proved particularly popular in the working-class city. The response resulted in a record deal for the band, which gave her special thanks for her part in their early history and dedicated their first two albums to her.[2][3]

Like all of the songs on the band’s first album, the song features original drummer John Rutsey, who was replaced by Neil Peart in 1974. On the 1976 live album All the World’s a Stage, the song segues into “Finding My Way” and a drum solo by Peart. After not being performed live for most of the 1980s and 1990s, it returned to Rush’s setlists during the 2002 Vapor Trails Tour. It has been played on every tour since, with the exception of the 2007-2008 Snakes & Arrows Tour, and is included on the live albums Rush in Rio, R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour, Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland, and “R40 Live”, on which it segues out of “What You’re Doing”.

Two versions of the song are available as downloadable tracks for the music video game series Rock Band. One is a cover based on the original recording, while the other is a previously unreleased released master track with an alternate guitar solo.[4] The alternate version proved so popular that the band released it on the iTunes Store, under the title “Working Man (Vault Edition).”

The song is featured in episodes of the television series My Name is Earl, That ’70s Show and Supernatural, the 2011 film Goon, and a 2014 Walmart television advertisement.

Rush (Rush album)

Rush is the eponymous debut studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, released on March 1, 1974 by the band’s own label Moon Records in Canada and by Mercury Records in the United States and internationally. Their first release shows much of the hard rock sound typical of many of the popular rock bands emerging earlier in the decade. Rush were fans of such bands as Led Zeppelin and Cream, and these influences can be heard in most of the songs on this album.

Original drummer John Rutsey performed all drum parts on the album, but was unable to go on extended tours because of complications with his diabetes and was let go by the band after the album was released. Rutsey contributed to the album’s lyrics, but never submitted the work to the other members of the band. The lyrics were instead entirely composed by Lee and Lifeson.[2][3] Rutsey was soon replaced by Peart, who has remained the band’s drummer.

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