Lyrics Post: “Territories” by RUSH

A bonus second lyrics post today, another from RUSH, another tribute to Drummer and Lyricist, Neil Peart, who passed away last week.

These lyrics are from the sam period, same album that “The Big Money” was recorded. The words spoke to me in a special way at the time, when my sense of local and global was still forming. And the words still speak to me today.

Territories”

I see the Middle Kingdom between Heaven and Earth
Like the Chinese call the country of their birth
We all figure that our homes are set above
Other people than the ones we know and love
In every place with a name
They play the same territorial game
Hiding behind the lines
Sending up warning signs

The whole wide world
An endless universe
Yet we keep looking through
The eyeglass in reverse
Don’t feed the people
But we feed the machines
Can’t really feel
What international means
In different circles, we keep holding our ground
Indifferent circles, we keep spinning round and round

We see so many tribes overrun and undermined
While their invaders dream of lands they’ve left behind
Better people… better food… and better beer…
Why move around the world when Eden was so near?
The bosses get talking so tough
And if that wasn’t evil enough
We get the drunken and passionate pride
Of the citizens along for the ride

They shoot without shame
In the name of a piece of dirt
For a change of accent
Or the color of your shirt
Better the pride that resides
In a citizen of the world
Than the pride that divides
When a colorful rag is unfurled

The Big Money

Sometimes you wake up with a song in your head and you gotta share it.

This one from RUSH. What I think of as the third chapter in their musical canon. GOOD.

“The Big Money”

Big money goes around the world
Big money underground
Big money got a mighty voice
Big money make no sound
Big money pull a million strings
Big money hold the prize
Big money weave a mighty web
Big money draw the flies

Sometimes pushing people around
Sometimes pulling out the rug
Sometimes pushing all the buttons
Sometimes pulling out the plug
It’s the power and the glory
It’s a war in paradise
It’s a Cinderella story
On a tumble of the dice

Big money goes around the world
Big money take a cruise
Big money leave a mighty wake
Big money leave a bruise
Big money make a million dreams
Big money spin big deals
Big money make a mighty head
Big money spin big wheels

Sometimes building ivory towers
Sometimes knocking castles down
Sometimes building you a stairway
Lock you underground
It’s that old time religion
It’s the kingdom they would rule
It’s the fool on television
Getting paid to play the fool

It’s the power and the glory
It’s a war in paradise
It’s a Cinderella story
On a tumble of the dice

Big money goes around the world
Big money give and take
Big money done a power of good
Big money make mistakes
Big money got a heavy hand
Big money take control
Big money got a mean streak
Big money got no soul…

By Peart, Lee Weinrib, Lifeson

Neil Peart, The Professor, RIP

They called him “The Professor” because he read all the time, because he was learned, because he was a master.

I heard the news yesterday that Neil Peart died on 7 January. SPEECHLESS. The legendary drummer and lyricist of the Canadian rock band RUSH was 67.

While I’m certainly saddened by the news, I’m also eternally grateful for the mountain of music and canon of amazing lyrics he left behind.

One of my good buddies sent me this text that sums it up beautifully:

“RIP Neil Peart
Bummed & shed a tear today on many levels
Masterful musician, lyricist, thinker, adventurer, big time quality dude, wacky Canadian, and so much more.
We need people like him to be on this planet as long as possible.
Kills me that he had to battle an insidious cancer & he couldn’t go out on his terms or terms befitting him.
Glad I was blessed to be able to enjoy Rush’s musical experiences with family & friends & be moved by his amazing talents.

One of the best, ever!”

Amen AMEN, that’s about all I could add. I agree with all of that.

RUSH music changed my life for the better. It still does.

I hope I see you on the other side, Neil.

God Bless.

And this collection of images from social media. And the statement from his bandmates at the end.

Lyrics Post: “Curbside Prophet”, Jason Mraz

Heard this one originally back in 2005, from one of my oldest friends and true music lover, Scott Murph.

Still grateful for that lead-in, all these years later. Funky sound, fun lyrics, GOOD.

“I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket to come

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket

You see it started way back in NYC

When I stole my first rhyme from the M.I.C.

At a west end avenue at 63

The beginning of a leap year, February, ’96

With a guitar picked up in the mix

I committed to the licks like a nickel back of tricks

Well look at me now

Look at me now

Look at me now, now, now, now

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket to come

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket

Well you’re never gonna guess

Where I’ve been been been

And I have no regrets

That I bet my whole checking account

Because it all amounts to nothing up in the end

Well you can only count on the road again

We’ll soon be on the radio dial

And I been payin’ close attention to the Willie Nelson style

Like a band of gypsies on the highway while

I’m one man pushin’ on the California skyline drive

Up the coast mc brag the most

I’m pickin up my pace and makin’ time like space ghost

Raising a toast to the highway patrol with the most

Put my cruise control on coast

’cause I’m tourin’ around the nation on extended vacation see

I got Elsa the dog who exceeds my limitation

I say, “I like your style, crazy pound pup!

You need a ride?

Well come on, girl, hop in the truck!”

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket to come

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket to come on

I’m just a curbside prophet

With my hand in my pocket

And I’m waiting for my rocket

See I’m a down home brother, redneck undercover

With my guitar here

I’m ready to play

And I’m s a sucker for a filly

Got a natural ability to give the freestyle

Look at my flexibility

Dangerous at the mike

My ghetto hat’s cocked right

The ladies say, “yo, that kid is crazy”

The backstage betties taking more than they can get

They say, “what’s up with m-are-a-z?”

Hey, hey, something’s different in my world today

Well they changed my traffic sign to a brighter yellow

Hey, hey, something’s different in my world today

They changed my traffic sign to a brighter yellow

I’m just a curbside prophet

Curbside prophet now

Curbside prophet now

Curbside

Come on, now

Curbside prophet

Waiting for my rocket to come

Songwriters: Christina Ruffalo / Jason Mraz / William Galewood

Curbside Prophet lyrics © Fintage House Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Goo-Eyed Music, 2002.

“White Noise”

I’ve relished it since I was a kid.

The National Sleep Foundation defines “white noise” as that which reduces the difference between background sounds and “peak” sounds.

Whatever you call it, I love it. As a kid it was the central air system fan in our house running in the early morning. Now it’s the heater coming on at my house during the night or early morning when it’s cold.

I like music quietly playing in the background. I like the sound of the ocean waves crashing over and over at the beach. I like the sound of rain.

Even now as I write this, I hear the highway traffic off in the distance. Sort of sounds like the ocean. 🙂

White Noise. I love it.

What brings you calm in an unexpected way?

Old Stories, Albums, Life

Was gonna rant on and on about early Dave Matthews lyrics. The first two albums I listened to way back when — “Under The Table and Dreaming”, and “Crash”…so much good music and words put together.

Fun, creative, inspired, it was all of that and more. I pulled out “Crash” for the drive home last night and it made all the difference. Instead of being simply stuck on the highway, I traveled back in time.

It felt great. And it was easy. I was open, and as the music played, the good poured out, flowing through my car, flowing through my head.

Inspiration everywhere.

Find it.

Feel it.

#halffullallgood

Lyrics Post: “Old Town Road”

My kids love this song. They all sing it in the car. My son wants to hear it while he takes a bath. Got to admit it’s pretty catchy.

And a 20 year old song writer who launched via the internet, and has Billy Ray Cyrus and Trent Reznor in his corner? Gotta be something to it.

“Old Town Road (Remix)”

(feat. Billy Ray Cyrus)

[Billy Ray Cyrus:]

“Oh, oh-oh

Oh

Yeah, I’m gonna take my horse to the old town road

I’m gonna ride ’til I can’t no more

I’m gonna take my horse to the old town road

I’m gonna ride ’til I can’t no more

(Kio, Kio)

[Lil Nas X:]

I got the horses in the back

Horse tack is attached

Hat is matte black

Got the boots that’s black to match

Ridin’ on a horse, ha

You can whip your Porsche

I been in the valley

You ain’t been up off that porch, now

Can’t nobody tell me nothin’

You can’t tell me nothin’

Can’t nobody tell me nothin’

You can’t tell me nothin’

Ridin’ on a tractor

Lean all in my bladder

Cheated on my baby

You can go and ask her

My life is a movie

Bull ridin’ and boobies

Cowboy hat from Gucci

Wrangler on my booty

Can’t nobody tell me nothin’

You can’t tell me nothin’

Can’t nobody tell me nothin’

You can’t tell me nothin’

Yeah, I’m gonna take my horse to the old town road

I’m gonna ride ’til I can’t no more

I’m gonna take my horse to the old town road

I’m gonna ride ’til I can’t no more

[Billy Ray Cyrus:]

Hat down, cross town, livin’ like a rock star

Spent a lot of money on my brand new guitar

Baby’s got a habit: diamond rings and Fendi sports bras

Ridin’ down Rodeo in my Maserati sports car

Got no stress, I’ve been through all that

I’m like a Marlboro Man so I kick on back

Wish I could roll on back to that old town road

I wanna ride ’til I can’t no more

[Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus:]

Yeah, I’m gonna take my horse to the old town road

I’m gonna ride ’til I can’t no more

I’m gonna take my horse to the old town road

I’m gonna ride ’til I can’t no more”

Writer(s): Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Kiowa Roukema, Montero Hill

And this bonus insight from AZLyrics.com:: “”Billy Ray Cyrus wrote on Twitter on the 5th of April 2019, “Congrats @lilnasx I’m always in your corner! #1 #OTR #OldTownRoadREMIX.”

For Cyrus, the old town road reminds of the Old Town Bridge in Argillite, Kentucky, where he played in childhood.”