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Lunatic Fringe by Red Rider

Album: As Far As SiamReleased: 1981
  • Red Rider was led by guitarist Tom Cochrane, who had a solo hit in 1991 with "Life Is A Highway." He wrote this song after reading about Raoul Wallenberg, who worked to free Hungarian Jews during World War II. The song speaks against the oppression of Jews in America, which Cochrane felt was far less overt but still disturbing. Cochrane even mentions the "Final Solution" in the lyrics, which refers to Hitler's wish that all Jews be eliminated. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Raymond - Winnipeg, Canada
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Comments: 20

BTW, it's surprising he could write a thoughtful intelligent protest song like this then follow it up immediately with a piece of cold war propaganda crap like 'Cowboys in Hong Kong.'Kdryan - Fort Wayne, In
Cochrane has said many times he was writing about the rise of antisemitism and neo-Nazis in Europe at the time. It has nothing to do with John Lennon. If you read the liner notes, the lyrics at the end of the song are slightly different and there is a dedication to Wallenberg.

Does anyone know what the instrument used in the solo is? It looks like a guitar mounted on a keyboard.
Kdryan - Fort Wayne, In
Reminds me of "All You Zombies", HUH ??Joe - Grants Pass, Or
How U play slide on Hero really good; is there some cheat somewhere ??Joe - Grants Pass, Or
good music for a montage or so....has anyone else played this perfectly on Guitar Hero? Me? Just me? Huh....one is the lonelist number, i guess....

(p.s. I went to grooveshark.com and listened to that thing @ 0:24 and i heard it.....creeped me out a little bit....)
Michael - Deridder, La
This may have been obvious to others but I just noticed what was before to me an inaudible voice under the intro keyboards and guitar 0:24 saying "We'll see you on the other side." with an echo effect.Josh - Champaign, Il
Bentnail, the "bent" part I agree with, as in "cuckoo," although that may be giving you too much credit: sometimes people are plain evil, and not crazy at all.Mac - Evanston, Il
Cochrane himself says the song is about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, his readings about Raoul Wallenberg (the Swedish diplomat responsible for saving a large number of Hungarian Jews during the Nazi occupation, and who disappeared after the war in a Soviet prison camp), and his feelings about resurgent anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. He wrote it before Lennon was murdered, but felt increased motivation to release it after Lennon's death. "Chris in Tulsa"- yes, all those death camps where Christians have been imprisoned, gassed and murdered by Jewish guards. Give me a frickin' break.Mac - Evanston, Il
This time with a reference: Tom Cochrane did indeed write this song over concerns about rising anti-semitism in the 70s. Such Tom verified in the 22 page booklet in the three disc set of greatest hits, Trapeze (2002). Reference: http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Artists/C/Cochrane_Tom/2002/12/06/744008.html. (If you look at the cover of The Symphony Sessions, the arrangement of the guitar and drapes are strikingly reminiscent of a Menorah.) Sorry, Bentnail and James, but your musings about banks and witches are simply wrong. James, covens of Wiccans have been openly active in USA for over 50 years.Keith - Papillion, Ne
you want to get goosebumps? I heard that Tom wrote this song the night John Lennon was murdered. Mark David Chapman, now there's a lunaticRick - Alamo, Tx
It would be nice if all of you authorities would support your "knowledge" with sources. Otherwise, this site is a useless source of information. At any rate, the Nazi/Holocaust theory seems most plausible, based on the most obvious direct reference, "final solution". Also, "we can hear your footsteps" might refer to the infamous goosestep of the Nazi troops. As well, "And you hold your meetings" could be a reference to Ku Klux Klan rallies, white supremacy groups, etc.Brian - Fremont, Ca
The song, released in 1981, was widely thought by radio listeners to be a new Pink Floyd song. The song bears many similarities to Pink Floyd's sound during the 1979-era when THE WALL was released (the movie version would be released in 1982), from the Gilmour-like guitar riff to sound effects such as the sound of the ambulance.Jude - Baltimore, Md
Sorry to disagree, but "Lunatic Fringe" is without a doubt a song that speaks out against secret societies (hence the all-seeing eye in the video).

Listen to the lyrics:

Lunatic fringe, I know you're out there. You're in hiding, and you hold your meetings. We can hear you coming. We know what you're after. We're wise to you this time. We won't let you kill the laughter.

We know you've got to blame someone, for your own confusion. But we're on guard this time. Against your final solution.

NOTE: In other words, we know what you elite bankers are up to...we are not stupid...we realize that you are trying to establish your wicked global government, economy, and religion...BUT..."in these new dark ages, there will still be light."

We will not go down without a fight: "Can you feel the resistance? Can you feel the thunder?"

other words
Bentnail - Calgary, Ab
I love this song. I only figured out last night who sings it by calling one of our local radio stations.Aram - Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina
The song Lunatic fringe is actually about a a witches cult that resides in chapel hill northb carolina. The name of the witches cult is the lunatic fringe and they have been around since the 1800's. They are very secretive group that ,at times, causes minor mischief and slight problems for the resident of the U.N.C. campus. The lunatic fringe has been reported as being the closest thing to a real group of witches known in the u.s.a..James - Chapel Hill, Nc
When Cochrane wrote Lunatic Fringe he was dating a Jewish girl and was disturbed by the resurgence of anti-semitism in Europe and "the lunacy of revisionist historians." His manager at the time warned him that there was no place in "this disposable pop world" for such lyrics.

Aren't we glad he didn't listen?
Mick - Las Vegas, Nv
This song gives me goosbumps everytime i hear it. When i wrestled in high school, we constantly heard this song at meets and practices and it fit perfect for kicking some ass.Pat - Chicago, Il
Tom Cochrane and Red Rider are the opening act for Bruce Springstein presently touring Canda.Ray - Montreal, Qc
I've always liked this song.It's sounds like a revenge song.The song gives me goosebumps espically after 9-11.This song takes on a whole new meaning!Annabelle - Chicago, Il
Just interested in song lyrics, meaning, and band history. Thanks!Brad - Spencer, Ia
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