Song Lyric Sunday 12/24/17 – Danger

Helen’s prompt for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is the word danger. I decided to return to my favorite band for a song that was written based upon a short story Neil had read. It involves a dangerous car chase. Here is Red Barchetta from the band’s landmark album Moving Pictures.


From Wikipedia:

The song was inspired by the futuristic short story “A Nice Morning Drive”, written by Richard Foster and published in the November 1973 issue of Road and Track magazine. The story describes a similar future in which increasingly stringent safety regulations have forced cars to evolve into massive Modern Safety Vehicles (MSVs), capable of withstanding a 50-mile-per-hour impact without injury to the driver. Consequently, drivers of MSVs have become less safety-conscious and more aggressive, and “bouncing” (intentionally ramming) the older, smaller cars is a common sport among some.

Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart made several attempts to contact Foster during the recording of Moving Pictures, but Road and Track did not have an up-to-date address, and Rush were forced to settle for a brief “inspired by” note in the lyric sheet mentioning the story. In July 2007, Foster and Peart finally made contact with one another. Foster later posted on his website an account of their journey by motorcycle through the backwoods of West Virginia between stops on Rush’s 2007 Snakes & Arrows Tour.


Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
Lyrics: Neil Peart

My uncle has a country place, that no-one knows about
He says it used to be a farm, before the Motor Law
Sundays I elude the ‘Eyes’, and hop the Turbine Freight
To far outside the Wire, where my white-haired uncle waits

Jump to the ground
As the Turbo slows to cross the borderline
Run like the wind
As excitement shivers up and down my spine
Down in his barn
My uncle preserved for me an old machine –
For fifty-odd years
To keep it as new has been his dearest dream

I strip away the old debris, that hides a shining car
A brilliant red Barchetta, from a better, vanished time
Fire up the willing engine, responding with a roar!
Tires spitting gravel, I commit my weekly crime…

Wind in my hair –
Shifting and drifting –
Mechanical music
Adrenalin surge –

Well-weathered leather
Hot metal and oil
The scented country air
Sunlight on chrome
The blur of the landscape
Every nerve aware

Suddenly ahead of me, across the mountainside
A gleaming alloy air-car shoots towards me, two lanes wide
I spin around with shrieking tires, to run the deadly race
Go screaming through the valley as another joins the chase

Drive like the wind
Straining the limits of machine and man
Laughing out loud
With fear and hope, I’ve got a desperate plan
At the one-lane bridge
I leave the giants stranded
At the riverside
Race back to the farm
To dream with my uncle
At the fireside…

 

7 comments

  1. Run like the wind…Wind in my hair…Drive like the wind…

    She’s like the wind through my tree
    She rides the night next to me
    She leads me through moonlight
    Only to burn me with the sun
    She’s taken my heart
    But she doesn’t know what she’s done

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Red Barchetta has been one of my favorite songs from a very young age. But I’m glad you gave some background as to its genesis because, if Geddy’s intro on Exit…Stage Left were all we had, we’d simply be aware that, “This is a song about a car.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a feeling you would like this one. I had completely forgotten Geddy’s old intro for this song. Inhabiting an older body than you, I remember this coming out and being THE album for me and my friends for the summer after our senior year in high school. Many fragrant road trips were had listening to this one album.

      Liked by 1 person

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