Monday, June 30, 2008

R12 - Bravest Face

Though we might have precious little
It's still precious

In softest voice there's an acid tongue
In the oldest eyes there's a soul so young
In the shakiest will there's a core of steel
On the smoothest ride there's a squeaky wheel

In the sweetest child there's a vicious streak
In the strongest man there's a child so weak
In the whole wide world there's no magic place
So you might as well rise put on your bravest face

Out of order, I know. It may have been that first couplet, when I listened to clips online, that made me say "yeah, I want to get this CD". I just thought it was great. This, again, was one of those songs that helped me through. Might as well...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

R13 - Spindrift

What am I supposed to say?
Where are the words to answer you
When you talk that way?
Words that fly against the wind and waves

What am I suppose to do?
Where are the words that will make you see
What I believe is true?

One of the songs that made this record mean so much to me. One of the reasons I survived those 2 awful weeks.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

R14 - One Little Victory

A certain measure of innocence
Willing to appear naive
A certain degree of imagination
A measure of make-believe

A certain degree of surrender
To the forces of light and heat
A shot of satisfaction
In a willingness to risk defeat

Celebrate the moment
As it turns into one more
Another chance at victory
Another chance to score

The measure of the moment
In a difference of degree
Just one little victory
A spirit breaking free
One little victory
The greatest act can be
One little victory

One of my new favorites. Sometimes (Most of the time? All of the time?), all you get are little victories. But they can add up. A good way to approach every moment, as a potential victory.


Friday, June 27, 2008

R15 - Faithless

I've got my own moral compass to steer by
A guiding star beats a spirit in the sky
And all the preaching voices -
Empty vessels ring so loud
As they move among the crowd
Fools and thieves are well disguised
In the temple and market place

Like a forest bows to winter
Beneath the deep white silence
I will quietly resist

Thursday, June 26, 2008

R16 - Freewill

Each of us
A cell of awareness
Imperfect and incomplete
Genetic blends
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet

I started reading "Anthem" last night, my first foray into the books of Ayn Rand (and quite honestly, probably my last. I can't commit to 800 pages). It seems to me that you can trace the fading influence of her thought on Neil Peart pretty easily. "Fly By Night" (containing the song 'Anthem') and "2112" were it's apex. "Farewell to Kings" could be seen as disillusion with great men when they abuse power or fail to live up their positions. "Hemispheres" recognizes the limits of objective thought when it's not tempered by feeling, by emotion. With "Permanent Waves" there begins a real shift toward an understanding that there is a valuable place for "we" along with "I". If each of us are a "cell of awareness", that means together we make up one complete entity of some sort?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

R17 - Something For Nothing

What you own is your own kingdom
What you do is your own glory
What you love is your own power
What you live is your own story
In your head is the answer
Let it guide you along
Let your heart be the anchor
And the beat of your own song

The first Rush song I ever learned to play. A little Ayn Rand-y, but a good plea for individuality and trusting yourself. Again, to refer to Emerson - "To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius."

BTW, I've come to a different understanding of the line "What you love is your own power". As a 16 year old boy, that sounded like a description of a megalomaniac. Now, as a 45 year old man, it sounds like "the things you love are the things that give you power", about drawing power from and defining power by the things you love. Not sure if it was meant that way in the 70's, but that's how I read it here in the aughts.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

R18 - Entre Nous

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

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

Monday, June 23, 2008

R19 - Time Stand Still

I'm not looking back
But I want to look around me now
See more of the people and the places that surround me now

I claim not to be nostalgic (I don't think I am), but I admit to being sentimental. It would be a good thing to foster an appreciation for things and people, eh?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

R20 - The Spirit Of Radio

One likes to believe in the freedom of music
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity

Not everywhere, thankfully.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

R21 - Bravado

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

I could do with a little more Icarus in my personality.

Friday, June 20, 2008

R22 - Subdivisions

Conform or be cast out

OK, I know - very similar to R27. We get the message! Let your Geek Flag FLY!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

R23 - Resist

You can surrender
Without a prayer
But never really pray
Pray without surrender

I can learn to resist
Anything but temptation
I can learn to coexist
With anything but pain

I can learn to compromise
Anything but my desires
I can learn to get along
With all the things I can't explain

One of those lyrics that has several clever turns-of-phrase. BTW, tix arrived in the mail yesterday.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

R24 - Circumstances

Plus ca change
Plus c'est la meme chose

OK, I know I've used this recently, and I know it's certainly not original to Rush, but it IS the reason I remember this phrase.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

R25 - Witch Hunt

They say there is strangeness too dangerous
In our theaters and bookstore shelves
That those who know what's best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves

Monday, June 16, 2008

R26 - New World Man

He's got to make his own mistakes
And learn to mend the mess he makes
He's old enough to know what's right
But young enough not to choose it

Sunday, June 15, 2008

R27 - Vital Signs

Everybody got to deviate from the norm

It's not quite "Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist" (Emerson), but the sentiment is in the right place.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

R28 - Cinderella Man

Because he was human
Because he had goodness
Because he was moral
They called him insane

We could use a little more humanity, goodness and morality. Call me what you will.

Friday, June 13, 2008


The more we think we know about
The greater the unknown

-Mystic Rhythms

R.I.P. Tim Russert

Shocked. Far too young. Meet the Press was a Sunday morning ritual for me.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones.

R29 - Natural Science

Wheels within wheels in a spiral array
A pattern so grand and complex
Time after time we lose sight of the way
Our causes can't see their effects

Thursday, June 12, 2008

R30 - Armor and Sword

The snakes and arrows a child is heir to
Are enough to leave a thousand cuts
We build our defenses, a place of safety
And leave the darker places unexplored

Sometimes the fortress is too strong
Or the love is too weak
What should have been our armor
Becomes a sharp and angry sword

Our better natures seek elevation
A refuge for the coming night
No one gets to their heaven without a fight

We hold beliefs as a consolation
A way to take us out of ourselves
Meditation or medication
A comfort ,or a promised reward

Sometimes the spirit is too strong
Or the flesh is too weak
Sometimes the need is just too great
For the solace we seek
The suit of shining armor
Becomes a keen and bloody sword

The song that started my current fascination. Seemed an appropriate place to start. This song and this record (Snakes and Arrows) showed up at the exact moment I needed it. I think there's some sense that gratitude is playing a role in my Rush-mania of the last several months.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

R30 - T-minus One

Tomorrow will mark one month till the Rush concert at PNC in NJ. To get myself psyched for the concert, I'm going to dedicate the next month of this blog to favorite Rush lyrics. It's only in the last year that Rush have taken on some kind of importance in my life, and I'm still not entirely clear why. I just go with these things when they happen, don't bother to question too much. Just enjoy the ride, and the shreik. :-)

So, to Alex, Geddy and Neil - thank you, and looking forward to the concert!