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Tear Jerker / Rush

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This Canadian progressive rock band can write some incredibly moving songs.


  • "Red Sector A", in a sense. Despite being undiluted Nightmare Fuel, it's pretty sad if you know where the inspiration came from.
    • This interview explaining the lines "Are we the last ones left alive/Are we the only human beings to survive" just makes it more heartbreaking, since it basically summarises the actual reactions of Holocaust survivors, victims of governments' brutality against indigenous people, and so on. A sort of Fridge Tear Jerker, if you will.
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  • "The Pass" is from the point of a father who knows his child is going through difficult times and depression and he understands how his child feels, but can't get through to them, the line "Christ what have you done?" seems so real, like the child committed suicide, it's just so tear jerking.
  • "Afterimage" was written as a tribute to Robbie Whelan, a longtime friend and employee of the band who died in a car accident. At the end of the music video, look at Neil. He looks like he's close to tears.
  • "Losing It", a harrowing tale about growing old and realize you can no longer give the world the art to which you spent your life dedicating yourself.
    Some are born to move the world
    To live their fantasies
    But most of us just dream about
    The things we'd like to be
    Sadder still to watch it die
    Than never to have known it
    For you, the blind who once could see
    The bell tolls for thee...
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  • Neil's book "Ghost Rider" is extremely harrowing, describing in detail the night his daughter Selena died, and his wife Jackie's slow death from cancer. He feels so divorced from his old life the only thing he felt to do was ride. When a police officer asked if he used to be a musician, Neil replied "I used to be a lot of things."
    • The tricky part is the random points where grief hits him, like when he passes by an RV and sees a grandparent playing with their grandkids. He actually had to pull off to the side of the road and sob, realizing he'd never be a grandfather.
    • The saddest part may be the epilogue, where he mentions Jackie's sister, who was one of his biggest pillars of support during this time. She actually had a hard time with Neil finding love again and remarrying, and Neil somberly noted some hurdles were just too great from them to get over.
  • The final three tracks of Clockwork Angels ("BU2B2", "Wish Them Well", "The Garden") which bring a finality to the story showing the main character having endured trauma after trauma can believe in a way of life that can give while grieving, forgive without judging and measure a life on the kindness and love displayed to others which is a beautiful message, especially taking into account unfortunate events of Neil's own headlong flight.
    • BU2B sounds like your typical "god does not exist" song, but if you consider Neil Peart's tragedies he suffered, it becomes sob-worthy, not just lyrically but its heavy instrumentation too- both make a sad and heartbreaking song:
    All is for the best
    Believe in what we're told
    Blind men in the market
    Buying what we're sold
    Believe in what we're told
    Until our final breath
    While our loving Watchmaker loves us all to death
  • Really, the entirety of Vapor Trails alternates between tearjerkingly, awesomely optimistic (the line "Nothing can stop you now" in "Ghost Rider") and heartbreakingly sad. The refrain of "The Stars Look Down," an agnostic Rage Against the Heavens about Neil Peart's grief following his late-90s Trauma Conga Line, immediately comes to mind, especially considering the mournful high notes Geddy hits in "What is the meaning of this?" and "Was it something I said?":
    What is the meaning of this?
    And the stars look down
    What are you trying to do?
    And the stars look down
    Was it something I said?
    And the stars look down
    Something you'd like me to do?
    And the stars look down
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  • "2112". Imagine your life is controlled entirely by religion. What you do, where you go, who you marry… you get the point. So you find an artifact, a guitar, and teach yourself how to play it. You really like it, not entirely for the sound, but for the expression. You bring it before the leaders of your theocracy, and tell them that society could do great things. They blow you off. You keep pushing them, so they grind your beloved guitar to splinters beneath their feet. You have a dream that night about the people that populated your world before, the Elder Race, who are still searching for their home that was so viciously taken from them. When you wake, you cannot bear to live in your world anymore, not after seeing the wonders made by your ancestors. So you commit suicide.
  • The last night of R40. All of it. Special mention, however, goes to Shrinking Violet Neil Peart doing what he had never done in any other concert up to that point: leave the drumset, get up to the front of the stage, and take a bow for the audience. And this is a guy who would normally get off his drums, exit the stage, and leave on his motorcycle without taking any bows whatsoever. Talk about O.O.C. Is Serious Business, ladies and gents!
  • "Everyday Glory". Basically, life sucks, but the minor, day-to-day victories make it beautiful.
    • Similarly, "One Little Victory" is about beating depression, and how even getting out of bed can be a victory in a sense, basically encouraging the listener to keep going, look the devil that is depression right in the face and let him know that it's you that runs the show.

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