Neil Peart wrote of this song in an essay published on Rush's website: "That title metaphor had been developed for my book, Roadshow, to describe the 'good' kind of faith as being armor, while the 'bad' kind of faith is a sword."
Larry from Ft. Pierce, FlRush is truly one of the greatest bands of all time. The rhythmic and, yet, ripping guitar licks, the unequaled sounds produced by one of the best drummers in the world and, ultimately, prose-like lyrics that never cease to make you look inward and contemplate YOUR views and opinions on some of life's more controversial motifs and/or mainstream beliefs = a powerhouse of musical philosophers.
"Snakes and Arrows" is one of my favorite Rush albums since "2112", "Caress of Steel" or "A Farewell to Kings".
Gabriel from Minneapolis, MnYeah, best song on Snakes. Our better natures seek elevation...love it.
Bret from Coos Bay, OrIn my opinion, the best song on Snakes And Arrows.
Pete from Delmar, NyThe premise of the song is quite simple...
The very things that we use to protect, defend and comfort ourselves can be the very same things with which we lash out and harm others.
All in all, an incredible song.
Marcus from Sarnia, OnThe initial drum beat that started the song was inspired by David Weckl's beggining drum pattern while he played Mercy, Mercy, Mercy for the "Burning For Buddy" studio recordings. Neil adopted this and used his "Sidewinder" China to get a quarter note pattern and used the off beat snare hits with some sixteenth-note double bass patterns to bring something to this song.
John from Ridgefield, CtI think Neil is using "armor" and "sword" to contrast the two types of defenses you can utilize to deal with emotional difficulties. "Armor" being a passive defense while the "Sword" being a more active defense. As you get older and more damaged your suit of "armor" (passivity) becomes a sharp and angry "sword" (aggressiveness).