ILCR Pick: 5 Lyrics From Neil Peart
via Hudson Music/YouTube
A Prolific Writer
Neil Peart’s more than a legendary sticksman. Sure, his wild skills behind the kit remain unmatched but when he joined Rush, he didn’t just sign up to be their drummer – he also took over the songwriting duties. Geddy Lee may have written most of the lyrics from Rush’s first LP but he wasn’t actually interested in the process. Peart was only too happy to be their primary lyricist and it’s clear that he thoroughly enjoyed writing. In fact, he penned seven nonfiction books.
And as a tribute to the legend we lost early this year, here are some of his best lyrics.
5. “Bravado” (Roll the Bones, 1991)
“If we burn our wings
Flying too close to the sun
If the moment of glory
Is over before it’s begun
If the dream is won
Though everything is lost
We will pay the price
But we will not count the cost”
Peart was interested in Greek Mythology which is why some of the lyrics here allude to Icarus.
4. “Bastille Day” (Caress of Steel, 1975)
“Lessons taught, but never learned
All around us, anger burns
Guide the future by the past
Long ago, the mould was cast”
This became a fan favorite and Rush often performed it as an opening number for their concerts.
3. “The Pass” (Presto, 1990)
“All of us get lost in the darkness
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars
All of us do time in the gutter
Dreamers turn to look at the cars”
Like “Resist,” this one references Oscar Wilde’s play titled “Lady Windermere’s Fan.” Even Peart admitted that he’d get emotional whenever they played this track.
2. “Resist” (Test for Echo, 1996)
“I can learn to resist
Anything but temptation
I can learn to co-exist
With anything but pain”
One of Alex Lifeson’s favorite Rush songs, it again includes a quote from Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan.”
1. “The Garden” (Clockwork Angels, 2012)
“The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect
So hard to earn, so easily burned”
It concluded Rush’s final studio album and what a glorious way of wrapping it all up. It was actually hard to pick just a few verses because the all the lyrics are so well-written.