Circumstances
by Rush

Album: Hemispheres (1978)

Songfacts®:

  • Neil Peart wrote this about his time in Europe before returning to Canada and eventually joining Rush. He traveled to London to go to where he thought the hot music scene was at the time. While in London, since he wasn't getting anywhere with his drumming, he ended up working at a tourist gift shop just to get by. He returned to Canada about a year and a half later. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington and Chuck - Downingtown, PA

Comments: 15

  • Kirk from Santa CruzLove the last chord Alex plays with that repeating echo!
  • Kirk from Santa CruzThis did get "some" airplay in California. I first heard it heard it on the school bus, back to back, with The Trees. I bought tickets for that tour shortly after for the album Hemispheres. Probably my favorite Prog track ever, despite the lack of a guitar solo from Alex.
  • Rufus from Wheeling, WvOkay, maybe this is my least favorite Rush album, though Circumstances and La Villa Strangiato save it.
  • Billy from Brick, NjI Believe "Plus ca change
    Plus c'est la meme chose" translates to: "The more that things change
    The more they stay the same."

  • Bob from Nipomo, CaWhat does the french passage mean?
  • Olivier from Alma, QcI like the french passage...Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...
  • John from Asheville, NcI love the prog at work here....and Geddy's vocal delivery. Very good song. Was glad to hear this live last tour. Really strong album....strong song.
  • Mike from Columbus, OhP.S. I went to see a cousin in the early 80's and she hadn't heard of Rush. I thought she was out of her mind. She liked rock but I guess they weren't in playlist rotation in Savannah, GA. back then.
  • Mike from Columbus, OhThis song gets good airplay on our "classic" radio station in columbus. Most people I know that like RUSH are fairly educated, it seems. It's hard to compare any other band to the one and only Rush! They are mega-inspirational to me.
  • Brad from Chicago, IlIf he didn't sing in French...it would've gotten airplay in America.
  • Wil from Milwaukee, WiI agree...one of my favorite Rush songs. I think it is a better tune than The Trees, which is played often.
  • Paul from Spring, TxI agree with Peter, I never understood why I never heard this on the radio. I guess I just don't understand what makes a song "worthy of radio time"
  • Peter from Newark, NyI always thought that this song was hit material, or at least should have gotten some airplay.
  • Mike from Philadelphia, PaI love the lyrics. This is a powerful song.
  • Jesse from L.a., CaThe simple keyboard part Ged plays in the middle of this song is sooo cool!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the Song

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Francesca Battistelli

Francesca BattistelliSongwriter Interviews

The 2011 Artist of the Year at the Dove Awards isn't your typical gospel diva, and she thinks that's a good thing.

Stan Ridgway

Stan RidgwaySongwriter Interviews

Go beyond the Wall of Voodoo with this cinematic songwriter.

Classic Metal

Classic MetalFact or Fiction

Ozzy, Guns N' Roses, Judas Priest and even Michael Bolton show up in this Classic Metal quiz.

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A Timeline

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A TimelineSong Writing

Untangling the events that led to the "Stairway To Heaven" lawsuit.

Janet Jackson

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.