Analog Kid
by Rush

Album: Signals (1982)
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  • According to Neil Peart in the book, Roadshow: Landscape With Drums, A Concert Tour By Motorcycle, the line, "The fawn-eyed girl with sun-browned legs" is written about a girl Neil met while camping in Canton, Ohio with his family during the summer of 1967. Neil fell in love with this girl; she was from Beach City and he wrote her letters all summer long. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA
  • This song may be inspired by an Edgar Lee Masters poem called Jonathan Houghton. From the poem:
    "And a boy lies in the grass
    Near the feet of the old man,
    And looks up at the sailing clouds,
    And longs, and longs, and longs
    For what, he knows not:"

    From the song: "The boy lies in the grass, unmoving
    Staring at the sky"
    "When I leave I don't know
    What I'm hoping to find"

    The poem ends with the now old boy returning to his old childhood home and finding it commercially developed and busy, and longing for the way it used to be. The song ends by hinting that the boy will someday desire what he's leaving behind. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    emerson - Butler, PA

Comments: 21

  • Edward P from Battle Creek, MiWith a degree in teaching and English and having practiced for 30 years, this song, Subdivisions and Emotion Detector capture the essence of adolescence with a keen insight and wisdom unlike any in music...ever.
  • Marianne C. from Wellsburg, WvI remember vividly the first time I listened to Analog Kid. I was 16, and laying on my bedroom floor. I wanted to be the fawn eyed girl who danced on the edge of someone’s dream. I had a notebook of poems and wrote a poem from the perspective of that girl who was missing the (Analog) kid.
    I was a snare drummer on my high school drum line. The guy who named himself the “leader” of the percussion section told us all we HAD to listen to and study Neil Peart. I never really liked that guy. He was mean and bossy. But I did as I was told…. And I could never thank him enough. Rush had “moved me” as a teen and still moves me incredibly today. I miss Neil. Everyday.
  • Kenneth Andrews from OhioThe song is so visual. How many of us saw ourselves in that kid?
  • Dom from Bristow, VaThe guitar solo is one of Alex Lifeson's best.
  • Mathieu from Saint-hyacinthe, QcIf you listen carefully to the song, there's no way that song was recorded using a Steinberger - I think Geddy chose the Rickenbacker 4001 to record this track to add a greater punch in the song. That's great because without a certain punch, this song would be less powerful...
  • Ray from Roseville, MiI once read that Neil admitted that the line "Too many hands on my time" is an allusion to Styx's "Too much time on my hands"
  • David from Deer Park, Txthere is so much you can say about this song. incredible imagery. incredible riffs by lifeson especially the opener and geddy is playin it too
  • Dougee from San Bernardino, CaWhen I first listened intensely to this album, I was 17 and we were on a road vacation to a Chicago suburb (Zion). The "you move me, you move me" chorus with its imagery of busy streets and dizzy heights still evokes feelings of going to downtown Chicago and gazing up at those incredible skyscrapers for the first time. It goes without saying that some of these songs transcend mere music and really become the soundtrack of our lives.
  • Rufus from Wheeling, WvAn underrated album. People complained about the guitars being lost under the synths, but I've always like it a lot. The Analog Kid and Losing It are my favorites.
  • Steve from Melville, NyAs an electrical engineer and musician, I agree with Emerson and Tom with a mixture of both ideas. These lyrics appear to be written as a poem and reinforce the technical theme of the album name, Signals. Analog signals are older technology, like radio waves. Digital signals is a newer technology that require a computer to interpret. The Analog Kid and Digital Man are complimentary songs, like bookends. I think Analog Kid refers to a more innocent time when Peart was a child in a less technical world. Our world was more analog based back then, so he was "The Analog kid." longing for those simpler days. Contrast this song with Digital Man, which is a prophetic look, from when it was written, to our current internet based, and often coldly complicated information society. Perhaps Peart's social comment with the two songs is how technology and science creates incredible wonders, but there's a cruel price to pay if there's no heart to guide it.
  • Bret from Coos Bay, OrAt first I hated this song. I hated it so much I wasn't even able to finish it. But the first time I heard Geddy sing "You move me, you move me" I loved it! That's all it took. This song rules my balls!
  • Weston from Atlanta, InProbably my favorite Rush song. "A hot and windy August afternoon has the trees in constant motion with a flash of of silver leaves as they're rockin' in the breeze." Talk about imagery.
  • John from Asheville, NcThis song has a great bounce to it...a really infectious verve. I'll often listen to this one twice in a row..!
  • Matt from Grand Rapids, MiThe imagry of this song is unbelievable. It's one of those songs that no-doubt sets Rush apart from any other band. Truly a masterpiece and one of my favorites from a long list from this band.

    The song Vital Signs from Moving Pictures also speaks of signals and polarity.
  • Tom from Highland, NyI just wanted to point out the just how deep these guys are. I've studied electrical engineering and one of my courses was called 'Signals and Systems'
    In it we learned that signals are essentially broken into two categories: continuous(analog) and discrete (digital)signals. The obvious reference are found in two of the songs with the same name. Even in "Chemistry" and "New World Man" the references of signal transmission and systems are used, and the fundamental theory that was taught in my coursework is definitely an underlying theme in these songs.
  • Eric from Beaverton, Oroops, in my last comment, I meant Netil Peart's drumming talent, of course.
  • Eric from Beaverton, OrThis song is a good example of Alex Lifeson's guitar talent and Geddy Lee's drumming talent. Not to mention Geddy on the synths and bass. :)
  • Mike from Indianapolis, InI love this song. I have a job now that does not allow me to spend much time at home and I am getting ready to change jobs.
    The words:
    Too many hands on my time
    Too many feelings
    Too many things on my mind
    And when I leave I don't know
    what I'm hoping to find
    And when I leave I don't know
    what I'm leaving behind

    This really hits home. I have listened to Rush for many years and I can always relate some Rush lyric to what is going on in my life. It is nice that you can feel someone else has thought about it.

  • Eric from Beaverton, Or"And when I leave I don't know what I'm going to find, / And when I leave, I don't know what I'm leaving behind." - These also sound like Neil is talking about how he felt about coming home from camping, not knowing if he'd ever see that girl again, and not knowing if they would have had a future.
  • John from Overland Park, Ks"And when I leave I don't know what I'm going to find, / And when I leave, I don't know what I'm leaving behind." To me, it sounded like the concerns of a young person getting ready to go out on his/her own. I loved it - and especially loved Alex Lifeson's guitar solo.
  • Ty from Marion, In"A vague sensation quickens
    In his young and restless heart
    And a bright and nameless vision
    Has him longing to depart"
    That's probably referencing him first seeing the girl. This song makes me feel like I do when I first see a girl I really like.
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