A Farewell to Kings
by Rush

Album: A Farewell to Kings (1977)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This is the title track of Rush's album A Farewell to Kings. With lyrics written by their drummer, Neil Peart, the song is about dealing with hypocrisy and finding your own way by looking within yourself. There is a fair amount of Middle Ages imagery here (castles, knights), which show us how this challenge has been going on for ages.
  • The song ends with the lyrics, "Closer To The Heart," which is the title to the third track on the album.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 10

  • Dirt from CanadaI had a friend many years ago, a very well learned scholarly lady and polyscI honours graduate.

    I cant go to her with this question, as she has passed away an untimely death :(

    I have always loved Rush, even after I became more aware of Ayn Rand philosophy. She had epic taste in music, and her protest had not to do with whether the music was good or not.

    My friend lost love for Rush on 2 items that were huge for her, the Ayn Rand promotion ( do they promote that philosophy or merely write on it ? ), and a farewell to kings

    Please realize its been a few decades since I last spoke to her, so I may misrepresent her with a fogged recall.

    About AFTK, there was apparently something about that LP that was plagarized from an authour whom they failed to credit. As I remember it was the title track AFTK . Im feeling certain they gave credit for Xanadu to Coleridge?

    I was shocked a writer of such epic proportions would even need to plagarize anything.

    Can someone please enlighten me on this fogged memory of a conversation many years ago?

  • Jamie from Riverside, CaThis song and album is amazing.
  • Drake from Huntington Beach, CaLike Pink Floyd's Animals, this shows similarities of crocked governments from back then to now. Don't let them put you down, look up and know that their rule will end, but unfortunately we know that the hypocrite leaders will keep on coming like clones. Just know that the true king is coming soon and will set things right. +(Christian Cross)
  • Barry from Austin, TxI try not to place too much credence in song meanings persay...in some instances, like "farewell" there are strong leanings towards speaking out against croaked governments...I just love to sit back in my easy chair (I'm 54 ) and crank it up! There is nothing like a good bombastic Rush anthem to perk up my spirit!
  • John from New York, NyThanks to Wade and Josh we have the exact meaning Rush was going for in this song. Perhaps someone who is in authority on this web site can modify the opening comments.
  • Josh from Columbia, MdI don't think this song is a tribute in any way shape or form. I think it's a criticism of our elected leaders who tend to think of themselves as royalty, "the scheming demons dressed in kingly guise." But the song does not let us, the multitudes, off the hook. We allow the scheming demons to act as they do by keeping our "eyes cast down on the path of least resistance." We buy into the empty promises our elected officials throw at us, which they use to gain more power for themselves. Ultimately though, the people have the power to change this, and the song challenges us to "find the minds to lead us closer to the heart."
  • Crizzle from Rincon, GaI agree with wade.
  • Crizzle from Rincon, GaThe first time i heard this song i turned the volume up high in the soft intro. The loud part coming in scared the CRAP out of me. Love the guitar solo.
  • Clay from Gonzales, TxI loved this song!
    I loved the guitar intro.
  • Wade from Vancouver, BcCorrect me if I'm wrong, but I think song is more a criticism of the way we're doing things today than "tribute to what the kings of the middle ages built up over the course of their rule".
see more comments

Keith Reid of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

As Procol Harum's lyricist, Keith wrote the words to "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." We delve into that song and find out how you can form a band when you don't sing or play an instrument.

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

The Girl in That SongFact or Fiction

Billie Jean, Delilah, Sara, Laura and Sharona - do you know who the girls in the songs really are?

Michael Glabicki of Rusted RootSongwriter Interviews

Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.

Rick AstleySongwriter Interviews

Rick Astley on "Never Gonna Give You Up," "Cry For Help," and his remarkable resurgence that gave him another #1 UK album.

Janis IanSongwriter Interviews

One of the first successful female singer-songwriters, Janis had her first hit in 1967 at age 15.