Songfacts®: You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.
The song is divided into 6 parts:
I. In the Valley
II. Didacts and Narpets
III. No One At the Bridge
V. Bacchus Plateau
VI. The Fountain
Some lyric explanation:
"Ambergris" is a waxy substance from the intestines of the sperm whale, highly valued for making perfume with.
"Didacts and Narpets" possibly an anagram for "Addicts and Parents."
"Panacea" is a supposed cure for everything.
"Bacchus" was the Roman god of wine. The Greek equivalent is Dionysus.
In the October 1991 news release from the Rush Backstage Club, Neil Peart said: "Okay, I may have answered this before, but if not, the shouted words in that song represent an argument between Our Hero and the Didacts and Narpets - teachers and parents. I honestly can't remember what the actual words were, but they took up opposite positions like: "Work! Live! Earn! Give!" and like that." (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington, for all above)
A didact would be a teacher, sharing a root with the word didactic, which is "inclined to teach" or "teaching moral lessons." It would fit with Narpets being Parents, though, seeing as how the major shaping influences in the life of a young person are the teachers and parents, with the two often being one and the same. (thanks, Steve - Farmington, NY)
Gary Louris of The Jayhawks
The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.
Kerry Livgren of Kansas
In this talk from the '80s, the Kansas frontman talks turning to God and writing "Dust In The Wind."
The 2011 Artist of the Year at the Dove Awards isn't your typical gospel diva, and she thinks that's a good thing.
His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.