“J” – A to Z blogging challenge – Day 10

I’ll start with a reminder of why I’m doing all of this Rush material lately.

I am participating in the A-to-Z blogging challeng this month.  For anyone not familiar with the titular challenge, go to http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com to check it out.

As for why Rush?  I love reading, writing, movies, and music.  My favorite music is by the Canadian band: Rush.  In honor of their pending induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later this month, and owing to their early tendency to joking include in their albums’ liner notes such things as “Brought to you by the letter…”, I decided that they were a worthy target subject for this alphabetical challenge.  So I will be be briefly posting about a song by the band that begins with the letter of the day (all but 3 days, sorry, no songs for Q, U, or Z).  Sometimes it will be longer, sometimes shorter, and will briefly talk about what the song is about to me.  I am trying to stay away from the more well-known, radio-staple songs, and hit the lesser-known, but that I like, songs.

“Jacob’s Ladder” from 1980’s Permanent Waves

I decided to post the entirety of the lyrics to this song (the only one they have that begins with “J” BTW), since they’re so brief.  At 7 minutes 26 seconds, this mostly instrumental piece has long been on the Rush fans’ wish list for live performance, as it hasn’t been played live since early 1981.  Most people love the sheer musicality of this song—which is great, BTW—but I love the imagery and poetic nature of the lyrics.  The opening stanza comes in over a simple bass-line, punctuated by a couple harsh guitar punches, but the bulk of the song is an instrumental representation of this battle in the sky, until it finally ends, resulting in the last two verses.

The clouds prepare for battle
In the dark and brooding silence.
Bruised and sullen storm clouds
Have the light of day obscured.
Looming low and ominous
In twilight premature
Thunderheads are rumbling
In a distant overture…

All at once, the clouds are parted.
Light streams down in bright unbroken beams…

Follow men’s eyes as they look to the skies.
The shifting shafts of shining weave the fabric of their dreams…1

Magical.  And it’s a nice representation of a great storm, which I love.  It really would be incredible to hear it live.

1Rush.  “Jacob’s Ladder.” Lyr. Neil Peart.  Permanent Waves.  Mercury Records.  1980. CD


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