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06.16.12 Best Documentaries 02.22.12 My Rush Journey, Chronicals IV: Top 10

My Rush Journey, Chronicals IV: Top 10 songs


Xanadu is about the story of one man who has a single goal: to find and live for all eternity in Xanadu. The promises of Kubla Khan of a wonderland where you may walk along the river Alph, explore and navigate the spectacular ice caves, and eat like a king on honey for all eternity in the beauty of nature. He finds it and is immedatly overbaringly excited and content. But, over a thousand years, he realizes what was once his paradise is now his prison, and wishes that he could escape this land.
Overall, I beleive the song is about self indulgence and greed, to major obstacles people face in life. This songs character decides that he will live there without any consideration of the future, his mind clouded by the idea of instant gratification. However, this was a bad choice and now, 1000 years later, he has come to know Xanadu as a prison, not a paradise.
This is undoubtedly one of my favorite Rush songs. It exemplifies the technical prowess of Alex Lifesons guitar playing, vocal range and bass/synthesizer playing of Geddy Lee, and unbeleivable percussion skill and song writing ability of Neil Peart. Xanadu steals the show on A Farwell to Kings, miles ahead of "Closer to the Heart", "Cinderella Man", and "Cyganus X-1".
2Cyngnus X-1 Book II

Cygnus-X1 Book II is based on Objectivist theory. Apollo, the god of wisdom, and Dionysus, the god of love, are in conflict, just as mankind struggles with pure logic and the altruistic side. Objectivism describes this in several ways, such as applying pure logic or applying empathetic values to social problems. In all these cases, the word described in Objectivism is temperance. The solution is usually somewhere in the middle, such as the case with Cygnus.
Nemt: Apparently, Cygnus takes another form (god-like evidently) and when he observed the fighting weeps for humanity. This ceases the fighting and he tells his story that neither extreme will resolve mankind's ills. He is then deemed the god of balance (temperance).
Brat Moj's opinion is that "most of Ayn Rand's 'rantings' are just nuts. This is not my opinion. Objectivism does require a higher plane of thinkng, something Americans (I used to be one) have forgotten.
3The Fountain of Lamneth

Ah, The Fountain of Lamneth. The idea that this song is about a person's life cycle is interesting. Still, anyone with familiarity with LSD will attest that this song has a psychedelic interpretation. "(eyes) are open very wide" refers to the large pupils of an LSD taker. The "no one at the bridge" part tells of the horrors of a bad trip. "Panacea" relates the blessing of a good trip. "Have I left my life behind" refers to the feeling during a trip that the tripper has "died" and been resurrected. The beginning and end parts pertain to the "I AM THAT I AM" god-definition of "yahweh", a solipsistic experience of godhood that psychedelic-takers and religious mystics have. There is zero chance that this song has no psychedelic connotations.
4Red Barchetta

I remember reading the short story "A Nice Morning Drive" that inspired Red Barchetta many years ago. It was published in one of the auto magazines (can't remember if it was Car & Driver or Road & Track) in the early 1970s where governmental controls over vehicle safety had evolved into massive "Modern Safety Vehicles" (MSVs), or "behemoths", that were capable of withstanding an impact of 50 mph without injury being suffered by the driver or passengers. As a result, the drivers of MSVs would crash into older, smaller cars for fun, because they knew that it wouldn't cause their vehicle any harm. The older car in the story was an MGB instead of a Ferrari however.
5The Analog Kid

Ah The Analog Kid. To me, the song is not so much about love, but about moving forward versus and staking your claim in life or staying behind for the familiar and comfortable.
First Stanza: metaphor for the flexibility (bending of tress in the wind/constant motion), even temper (hot and windy), and potential for great success (silver leaves) or failure (rocking in the breeze) that awaits analog kid if he pursues his 'nameless vision.'
Second Stanza: The use of 'quickens' could be related to 'quickening', which is described as the first time a mother can feel her fetus move. This occurs between 18 and 20 weeks generally. The kid in the song is probably around 18 to 20 years old. He feels that first sensation of wanting independence and success. Though he's not sure what his vision is, he's got something stirring in his soul driving him to want to pursue bigger things somewhere else.
Main Chorus: Only time he mentions being moved, it almost sounds like he's describing a city like New York or another metropolitan ocean front place and it's calling to him.
Third Stanza: The girl is on the edge of his dream, giving her less importance, but nonetheless, reminding him of what he'll leave behind. Her voice ringing in his ears, while sweet and nice to hear (like music of spheres) could be begging him to stay with her instead of pursue his dreams.
The hawk passing by as his mom calls out to him is his sign that it's time to strike out on his own. He ignores mom's call, and is beginning to grow and and possibly follow his amition.
I believe the last stanza pretty sums it all up.

The song Freewill explains how in the end, each of us made the choice that will determine our choices in the future, which affects our destiny. With Free Will, we create our own world, everything else is a consequence. One simple choice can affect millions, like a pebble being dropped in a still lake. The ripples spread out.
Now add pebbles for every other choice other people made, the ripples collide violently, causing the unrest in the world today. And...
"...If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.."

Tears is about someone who has had enormous emotional/existential struggles ("all of the seasons, all of the days..." for what seems like their whole life ("a lifetime of questions"), has always sought genuine understanding and empathy ("eyes that know why"), but has never found it. They feel totally alone in the world.
What I can't figure out is, when they see that the other person has cried for them, do they realize that that person truly understands what they're going through? The ending "I tasted the answers / and my body was weak / for you / the truth" seems to indicate that; but the part about "what would touch me deeper ... eyes that only cry ... or eyes that know why" might mean that they don't feel genuinely understood by the other person.
On a more intuitive level, this song made me imagine a grievous, emotionally draining relationship between two people. Perhaps they are so attached that it causes them great pain, or they desperately need each other but often wind up fighting. But in the pain they find great meaning; it proves how significant their relationship is. In the music you can hear the weakness the singer feels after being consumed by years of pain. I think it's beautiful how the music captures that feeling so poignantly.
8Entre Nous

Entre Nous, what a wonderful song. and this song contains the very best of their poetic writing. I personally think this song is about people are connected to each other and how they interact with one another.
"We are secrets to each other
Each one's life a novel
No-one else has read.
Even joined in bonds of love,
We're linked to one another
By such slender threads."
This means that we all have different lives and everybody has different experiences and go through life differently. And no matter what you do, you will never thoroughly know another persons life. Also, even if you ave a strong connection to someone, your relations with them can be cut.
"We are planets to each other,
Drifting in our orbits
To a brief eclipse.
Each of us a world apart,
Alone and yet together,
Like two passing ships."
People are all different, other people's lives are so foreign it's like being on another planet. We only see a fraction of other people's lives it is about as rare as seeing an eclipse.
"We are strangers to each other,
Full of sliding panels,
An illusion show.
Acting well-rehearsed routines
Or playing from the heart?
It's hard for one to know."
Again, we don't know everything about other people. People have so many layers (like sliding panels) that most of the time we only see an illusion of who that person really is. We all have been taught how to act in public that we rarely show who we really are, and when people do, there is no way to tell if they are showing their true selves or another illusion.
"We are islands to each other,
Building hopeful bridges
On a troubled sea.
Some are burned or swept away,
Some we would not choose,
But we're not always free."
We are all separate beings, and have connections to people like bridges. And like bridges, connections can be destroyed. Some of those connections we are forced into (work, school, family, etc.) because we are forced into contact with these people.
9Force Ten

Force Ten is about how we move rapidly through our lives, and all the intensity of our encounters with people and the world.
With the chorus, i think it is intentionally slowed down. It asks us to be more introspective and observant, and take our time to appreciate things. Whenever the chorus plays, i feel like i'm standing in the eye of a hurricane, "looking around" at the temporary stillness, at all the chaos outwith.
The reason I feel this is because of the title of the album on which "Force Ten" appears: "Hold Your Fire". And I think that since Neil Peart tends to have similar themes during an album, this one is about time, and taking the time to appreciate the stillness. Force Ten and Time Stand Still demonstrate this.

2112 is a classic story of oppression and overcoming oppression. Every word is precisely picked so that it can depict the mood and attitude that Peart wants to convey. Even the music reflects the mood of the lyrics. (Hard and rigid when the Priests are talking, and smooth and flowing when the man is talking). The song prooves that oppression isn't the answer and that the only way for humans to be happy is to be given the opportunity to fill their highest intellectual potential. An amazing work of both poetry and music. Rush's lyrics will change the way you view the world. They are so deep and meaningful.
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