Fearless Dream

reflections of a pragmatic optimist, lover of freedom

Category: Rush (the band) (page 2 of 4)

Rush: Lessons

This is the fourth post in a series of six, in which I’m lyricblogging the 1976 Rush album 2112. To start at the beginning, see the post that started it all here.

“Lessons” picks up the mood with an upbeat, rambling riff and largely optimistic lyrics to match. The impression I get is of a joyous homecoming, as might be experienced by the guitar-discovering protagonist of 2112 in encountering the world he had only dreamt of, or perhaps by members of the Elder Race, as they returned to reclaim their home planet. The choruses in between the upbeat bits evoke the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx, protesting that their demands of conformity to The Plan have gone unheeded. Their reprimands appear to be in vain, as the song ends on an upswing, fading off merrily over the horizon.

Lessons

Sweet memories
Flashing very quickly by
Reminding me
And giving me a reason why
I know that
My goal is more than a thought
I’ll be there
When I teach
What I’ve been taught
And I’ve been taught…

You know we’ve told you before
But you didn’t hear us then
So you still question why
No! You didn’t listen again!

You didn’t listen again!

Sweet memories
I never thought it would be like this
Reminding me
Just how close I came to missing
I know that
This is the way for me to go
You’ll be there
When you know what I know
And I know…

You know we’ve told you before
But you didn’t hear us then
So you still question why
No! You didn’t listen again!

You didn’t listen again!

Previous: The Twilight Zone | Next: Tears

2112The Complete Album

  1. 2112
  2. A Passage to Bangkok
  3. The Twilight Zone
  4. Lessons
  5. Tears
  6. Something for Nothing

Rush: A Passage to Bangkok

This is the second post in a series of six, in which I’m lyricblogging the 1976 Rush album 2112. To start at the beginning, see the post that started it all yesterday here.

I had a lot to write about the album’s title track, “2112”, which is quite long and dense with interesting material, and seemed in need of detailed description/explanation. For this second track, “A Passage to Bangkok” (which, it may relieve you to learn, is only three and a half minutes long) and some others, I’ll largely just post the lyrics — in no small part because the song’s role in the overall story is still a bit of an enigma to me.

My best guess so far is that it describes the return to Earth of the “Elder Race of Man” mentioned in the title track — which, interestingly, would seem to imply that the ominous chant of “We have assumed control” that’s repeated at the end of the previous track is not a malevolent declaration by the Priests of the Temple of Syrinx, but a proclamation by the Elder Race that they’ve arrived “to (re)claim the home where they belong”. Having returned home after a long exile, they travel the planet to survey all the old familiar places.

That’s just a guess though. This stuff is pretty out there. Rarely can Rush be accused of unimaginative lyrics…

A Passage to Bangkok

Our first stop is in Bogota
To check Columbian fields
The natives smile and pass along
A sample of their yield
Sweet Jamaican pipe dreams
Golden Acapulco nights
Then Morocco, and the East,
Fly by morning light

We’re on the train to Bangkok
Aboard the Thailand Express
We’ll hit the stops along the way
We only stop for the best

Wreathed in smoke in Lebanon
We burn the midnight oil
The fragrance of Afghanistan
Rewards a long day’s toil
Pulling into Katmandu
Smoke rings fill the air
Perfumed by a Nepal night
The Express gets you there

We’re on the train to Bangkok
Aboard the Thailand Express
We’ll hit the stops along the way
We only stop for the best

More to come…

Previous: 2112 | Next: The Twilight Zone

2112The Complete Album

  1. 2112
  2. A Passage to Bangkok
  3. The Twilight Zone
  4. Lessons
  5. Tears
  6. Something for Nothing
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