Rush on Dreams

Articles | Jul 17th, 2004

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My favorite band of all time is none other than Canadian power rock trio Rush. Not only do they play thinking man’s hard rock to a state of perfection, but they’ve also written lots of songs about dreams:

2112 – Part V: Oracle: The Dream & Part VI: Soliloquy (2112)
One of the most famous musical interpretations of Ayn Rand’s Anthem, 2112 speaks of the unthinkable horror of music being outlawed in the near future (see Zappa’s Joe’s Garage too). In Part V of this 20-minute epic, the protagonist- a resident of Megadon, the heart of the Solar Federation-dreams of an oracle that shows him the truth: a previous race of humans left the planet to return when they’re strong enough to tear down the new “Temples of Syrinx.” Or something. In Part VI, the “sleep is still in [his] eyes, the dream is still in [his] head,” and he wonders about the land he had just seen, where music isn’t outlawed. So he kills himself.

La Villa Strangiato (Hemispheres)
This excellent 9 minute guitar solo chronicles a series of strange dreams experienced by guitarist Alex Lifeson. One of the greatest instrumentals of all time, this fantastic “exercise in Self-Indulgence” is broken down into 12 parts, most notably “II-To sleep, perchance to dream…” and “A Lerxst in Wonderland.” If you have ever considered Lifeson as being in the shadows of Neil Peart and Geddy Lee, treat yourself to this strange dream and apologize for your ignorance, fool.

Jacob’s Ladder (Permanent Waves)
I’m not really sure if this ethereal, beautiful song is a dream sequence, but there is the line “Follow men’s eyes as they look to the skies / The shifting shafts of shining weave the fabric of their dreams…”

Middletown Dreams (Power Windows)
This sad, oh-so-true song tells the stories of small town characters who wish they were somewhere else, doing what they REALLY want. Ah, but they still have their dreams: “Dreams flow across the heartland, feeding on the fires, dreams transport desires, drive you when you’re down / Dreams transport the ones who need to get out of town.”

Dreamline (Roll the Bones)
To be young, traveling the countryside, going on adventures: “Wandering the face of the earth, wondering what our dreams might be worth, learning that we’re only immortal for a limited time…”