Rush Reboot – Nobody’s Hero (1993)

This is a song that really struck me when I heard it and understood where Neil was coming from when he wrote it. I find it more truthful, today, in how we as a society pursue and elevate…sad but truthful. I give you Nobody’s Hero from the album Counterparts.

From Wikipedia:

Nobody’s Hero” is a song by Canadian progressive rock band Rush, released as the third single from their 1993 album Counterparts.[1] The first stanza deals with the AIDS-related death of a homosexual man named Ellis, a friend of Neil Peart when Peart lived in London. After the chorus, the second stanza speaks of a girl who was murdered in Peart’s hometown, Port Dalhousie. The girl is rumoured(sic) to have been Kristen French, one of Paul Bernardo‘s victims.[2]

It inspired the title for the paper Nobody’s Hero: On Equal Protection, Homosexuality, and National Security published in The George Washington Law Review.[3]


Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
Lyrics: Neil Peart

I knew he was different, in his sexuality
I went to his parties, as a straight minority
It never seemed a threat to my masculinity
He only introduced me to a wider reality

As the years went by, we drifted apart
When I heard that he was gone
I felt a shadow cross my heart
But he’s nobody’s —

Hero — saves a drowning child
Cures a wasting disease
Hero — lands the crippled airplane
Solves great mysteries

Hero — not the handsome actor
Who plays a hero’s role
Hero — not the glamor girl
Who’d love to sell her soul
If anybody’s buying
NOBODY’S HERO

I didn’t know the girl, but I knew her family
All their lives were shattered
in a nightmare of brutality
They try to carry on, try to bear the agony
Try to hold some faith
in the goodness of humanity

As the years went by, we drifted apart
When I heard that she was gone
I felt a shadow cross my heart
But she’s nobody’s —

Hero — the voice of reason
Against the howling mob
Hero — the pride of purpose
In the unrewarding job

Hero — not the champion player
Who plays the perfect game
Not the glamor boy
Who loves to sell his name
Everybody’s buying
NOBODY’S HERO

As the years went by, we drifted apart
When I heard that you were gone
I felt a shadow cross my heart

Hero

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