The Rush song Neil Peart wrote about “love in a different way”

Neil Peart

Rush covered many thematic bases in their time. It included drugs, fantasy, and, controversially, Ayn Rand’s work. It was from 1974’s self-titled debut album to 2012’s Clockwork Angels. Drummer Neil Peart joined the band in 1974 and wrote the majority of the lyrics. The lyrics were instrumental in the band carving out such a distinct niche for themselves.

Peart’s lyrics, like Rush’s music, aren’t for everyone. But even those who dismiss their work couldn’t deny that the words were an important part of their sound. It was as if they added a more tangible feel to the music and were perfectly suited to its often rather out-there nature.

Neil Peart covered a wide range of topics during his career. Whether it’s referencing the fictional Mark Twain character Tom Sawyer on ‘The Spirit of the Radio,’ or the change in radio format on ‘Roll the Bones’. Or getting more philosophical and imploring everyone to take a chance in life on ‘Roll the Bones’. The drummer has arguably the most extensive collection of lyrical subjects in rock music.

Peart was also fearless in addressing love on occasion. This may appear strange at first for a band so deeply connected to the prog genre, an environment more concerned with high fantasy than anything else. This was Rush, though, and they were always masters of their fate. As a result, they covered a lot of ground lyrically and musically in their time.

According to Neil Peart on the Roll the Bones Radio Special for the hit 1991 album Roll the Bones, one of the album tracks ‘Ghost of a Chance’ was a love song. However, the drummer saw it as an opportunity to write about “love in a different way”. It was as if he was generally hesitant to explore romance and its haphazard nature.

He went on to say, “I’ve always shied away from love songs and even mentioning the word in songs. It was because it’s so much cliché. And until I thought that I’d found a new way to approach it, or a new nuance of it to express, I was not going to write one of those kind of songs”.

‘Ghost of a Chance’ fit right in with my overall theme of randomness and contingency and so on. But it was also a chance for me to write about love differently. ‘Here are all these things that we go through in life and the people we meet, it’s all by chance,” he continued. And the corners we turn and the places we go and the people we meet there.’”

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