"Writing lyrics is a tremendously demanding form of discipline; it requires precision. I don't like lyrics that are just thrown together, that were obviously written as you went along, or the song was already written and the guy made up the lyrics in five minutes. I can tell. Craftsmanship speaks."
– Neil Peart of Rush, in Working Musicians by Bruce Pollock.
Rush is probably the best example of a love-'em-or-hate-'em band. The complicated musicianship, the endless solos and Geddy Lee's bizarre voice are gold for some and garbage for others. But where the band gets the most flack is for its lyrics. The weird Dungeons & Dragons tales of derring-do, sci-fi oddities and sing-along-to-the-bassline constancy had Neil Peart voted the second-worst lyricist of all time in the music magazine Blender.
Love them or hate them, Rush lyrics are pretty fun to read. So how much fun must they be to write? Find out by using our template to write your own Rush song. Play the game with friends by reading off the words you need and filling in the blanks (you might want to print it out). Takes about five minutes, and the craftsmanship should speak.
(Jibberish name) and the (weather) (animal)
(Different jibberish name) of (mythical place) , lit by (verb) ing torchlight
The (sinister place) is (verb) ing in the glare
Prince (jibberish name again) takes the (means of transportation) to the north light
The (noun) of (letter from a foreign alphabet) is (verb) ing in the (noun)
(Jibberish name again) , (job) of darkness
(noun) of evil, devil's (noun)
Across the (formidable barrier) , out of the lamplight
His nemesis is waiting at the (noun)
The (weather) (animal) , ermine glowing in the (adjective) night
Coal-black (body part) shimmering with hate
(Jibberish name again) and the (weather again) (animal again)
Square for (action) , let the fray begin
[bass solo, _(number greater than 5) minutes]
The battle's over and the dust is clearing
Disciples of the (weather again) (animal again) sound the knell
(Verb) ing echoes as the dawn is nearing
(Jibberish name again) , in defeat, retreats to (place, real or imagined)
(Weather again) (animal again) is victorious
The (noun) of the Overworld is (verb) ed again
Alright, now that you've finished that, sing along with Rush's original, "By-tor and the Snow Dog," and see how yours compares. If you've written something suitably epic, add it in the comment section.
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on Jul 31, 2012