5 thoughts on “Thursday Music: Headlong Flight by Rush

  1. A continuation of their post metal evolution that we heard in “Snakes & Arrows” with some call backs to their earliest works. And there can never be too much Alex.

    Alas, Milwaukee is not yet on their tour calendar at this time.

  2. ARTIST: Rush
    TITLE: The Trees

    There is unrest in the forest
    There is trouble with the trees
    For the maples want more sunlight
    And the oaks ignore their pleas

    The trouble with the maples
    And they’re quite convinced they’re right
    They say the oaks are just too lofty
    And they grab up all the light
    But the oaks can’t help their feelings
    If they like the way they’re made
    And they wonder why the maples
    Can’t be happy in their shade

    There is trouble in the forest
    And the creatures all have fled
    As the maples scream, “Oppression!”
    And the oaks just shake their heads

    So the maples formed a union
    And demanded equal rights
    The oaks are just too greedy
    We will make them give us light
    Now there’s no more oak oppression
    For they passed a noble law
    And the trees are all kept equal
    By hatchet, axe, and saw

    1. While The Trees is one of my favorite Rush songs, it’s also the least Rush-like in that it asserts the presence of some higher power that acts as a leveler of society (in this case the hatchet-wielding god that makes all the trees equal). This resort to a deus-ex-machina to resolve the conflict between the trees (obvious metaphors for different groups of people) is odd, to me.

      You see this in 2112 as well. Instead of some Randian self-actualization where the character who finds the guitar is able to overthrow the evil Communist dictatorship (let’s call a spade a spade), it takes the return of the “elder race” to conduct that overthrow. Hardly a paragon of Randian self-reliance… I’ve always found that contradiction interesting.

      Neil Peart’s lyrics do tend to run more libertarian than that (Freewill for instance). The Trees is an exception to that rule for early-to-mid-career Rush songs.

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