Closer To The Heart
by Rush

Album: A Farewell to Kings (1977)
Charted: 34 69
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  • This is about people who run governments, and how they should be responsible for initiating harmony among themselves, just as blue collar workers do:

    And men who hold high places
    Must be the ones to start to mold a new reality
    Closer to the heart

    The next part talks about a blacksmith and an artist and how they forge their creativity in their art. Then we hear about the role of philosophers and ploughmen in sowing a new mentality - a new way for people to view life. Finally, "You can be the captain, I will draw the chart, sailing into destiny, closer to the heart" - achieving your goal is like sailing; someone needs to guide you or be your role model, but you have to draw the charts to navigate toward your destiny. The goal is to be "Closer to the Heart." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Nathan J. Smith - Bensenville, IL
  • Since this was originally released, it as appeared on several other Rush albums, including all of their live albums.
  • This was not on the set list for their 2002 Vapor Trails tour until they played in South America (the last two shows). The decision was made to include it due to how popular it was with their fans there. Therefore, it was included on Rush In Rio.
  • Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson says this is the ultimate Rush song.
  • Lifeson (Guitar For The Practicing Musician, 1991): "There was a feeling that the song had changed a bit. It opens up into a bit more of a ham towards the end. It probably translates better live, visually, than it does on the record. But there is an energy to it, and it's a very positive song. It's been connected with the band for over 13 years." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington, for above 4
  • A Season 3 episode of Trailer Park Boys was titled "Closer to the Heart" after this song, which was also used in the episode. Rush got hooked on the show while watching it during their Vapor Trails tour; Alex Lifeson approached the director about contributing.
  • Throughout the guitar solo and the end of the song, you can hear the subtle rattle of a vibraslap, a unique percussion instrument that was used more prominently in Bowie's "Fame," Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion," and Hendrix's version of "All Along The Watchtower."

Comments: 55

  • Steve from Arcata CaSome of the progressions and melody remind me a lot of Cat Steven’s “Angelsea” from 1972. I’m guessing there haven’t been many listeners to both.
  • Ed from Utahits cool that so many young people like the music of my generation. It wasnt like that when I was young. Wish my parents generation have gave it a chance but I can understand. Its hard ffor me to get into most of the new music.
  • Anonymousmy teacher got me to do this for school and i cant find any similes in it :/
  • Rush4life from Utwhich verses were written by neil and which verses were written by Peter Talbot?
  • Jimmy from Belfast, United KingdomIt's not Geddy they kidnap, it's Alex Lifeson, there's a big difference- Liam, Campbell River, Canada

    I'll say there is...about 70kgs!! :)
  • Mike from Roanoke, VaArrrgh, I cannot get the fingering right for the beginning!!!! I guess that's what I get for playing thrash metal for so long - I'm stuck on power chords. As Yoda said, I must unlearn what I have learned.

    And Kenif from Reno - that musta been a great course.

    I've seen Rush 13 times since 1991, and they never, EVER let me down. It's SO awesome to see so many kids in the audience too. It will be a sad day for music when they retire.
  • Mark from Higganum, CtAs an 18 year old with plenty of Rush stickers on my car and tons of rush posters and tee shirts is fair to say most adults are surprised to learn that rush is my favorite band, some understand why i enjoy all of their songs while others go "eh i cant get into rush, that guy's voice is distraction" but none the less its songs like this that those who dont give rush a shot miss out on.
  • Mike from Kumamoto, JapanOf all of Rush's songs, this is the one that can bring me to tears. While most of their songs strike me on an intellectual level, this one really moves me. This song says to me that all of us, from the powerful, to the wise, to the joe averages, have the responsibility to make the world a better place in our own way, and that we each have the power to do so by taking the responsibility to listen our own humanity. And, better yet, in that spirit, let's take action right here and now, you and me, let's make a plan and carry it out together regardless of everyone else.
    What an empowering and powerful song.
  • Larry from Ft. Pierce, FlLet me properly close the last statement made in my previous comment: Rush is truly a tribute band...a tribute in the sense that they personify the rare quality in human nature to look back, apply what has been learned from looking back, and look ever forward in hopes that what we have learned can be used to shape a better future.

    "Tribute" bands can only ever hope to portray the real messages spoken of by original "poets"...and Rush will never have a tribute band that can do them that type of justice.
  • Larry from Ft. Pierce, FlOnce in a blue moon mainstream culture is presented with and witness to a living example of what it takes to "look outside of the box"--true genius--that can portray an insightful message that inspires one to look inward and really test your own concepts on what it really means to live the human experience.

    Rush has always been able to do these things without alienating its fans and, likewise, its critics: the lyrics the band writes and corresponding musical accompaniments often tell stories of the history of the human condition, what we have learned from our shared history and how we can apply what we have learned in the past to our immediate future to insure that we don't continue to make the same mistakes over and over. Rush is truly a tribute band.
  • Jude Anne from Utica, NyIf you did not read "Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road," by Neil Peart, read it. It is about the lost of Neil's daughter and wife and how Neil coped with it by riding his motorcycle all over North America. Reading this book, you do not only fee "I am so sorry, Neil." but his actual pain. This comes ony from a great authur and poet. Neil, many blessings you are great
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesWell said Lisa! I'm a 46-year-old, I was 10 when Rush released their first album (although I didn't discover them until they released "2112" in 1976 two years later) but since then I've been hooked! And I think its great that so many teens and 20-somethings don't just "run with the crowd" of today's mindless rap, hiphop, dance, R&B rtc., and can appreciate classic rock (and modern stuff as well). Nearly 42 years after Rush were originally formed they are still one of the all-time most popular rock acts in the world, with an ever-devoted fanbase, and the younger fans of today will see that their legacy lives on for 42 more years (and beyond). 42 years from now, modern rubbish like Kelly Rowlands, David Guetta and Akon will be consigned to the dustbin and long forgotten
  • John from Quad Cities, IlVideo is from a Canadian Benefit for Asian Tsunami relief (2005?). Ed Robertson from Barenaked Ladies and Mike Smith (AKA "Bubbles" from "Trailer Park Boys", a Canadian Sitcom) joined Rush on this cut.
  • James from Rhinebeck, NyI'm 13 and I can't say that todays bands suck. I'm a fan of alot of Indie music like Radiohead, of Montreal, Modest Mouse etc, but I love this old stuff. Rush is such an incredible band. I also love the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, and well you get the picture.

    Long live great music! :D
  • Lisa from Milwaukee, Wi, WiHow great is it that kids in their teens prefer great music from "before they were born".
    Follow your heart, you guys are individuals who think for yourselves.
    I'm 50, and we love the same music. This goes a long way in bridging the gap between young and old. I see it a lot, and I think it's amazing!
    Rock on, kids
  • Eric from Bend, OrI agree with those who have posted that there isn't much good music today. I was born in 1980 and listen to quite a bit of music and bands from before my time. Rush is one of my favorite bands, and this is one of my favorite songs of theirs.
  • Marc from Liverpool, United KingdomRush coming on, rush coming on, rush coming on, Aldridge is coming off, brave substitution there by the LFC manager
  • Kevin from New York, Ndon r30 disc 2 closer to the heart vid the two others guys are ed robertson of the bareenaked ladies (blck hair) and Bubbles of trailer park boys
  • Kevin from New York, Ndyo gary from australia UR wrong. Geddy lee's real name is Gary Lee Weinrib. He got the name geddy because of his moms Yettish accent. when his mom said gary it sounded like "Geddy"
  • Kevin from New York, Ndim a 13 year old fan and i say rush is the greatest band in the world i aint into that hip hop, rap ,emo, 2 me rap is really just people talking RAP aint music age .2 me all modern music suks WELL...except RUSH. CLOSER TO THE HEART is awesome geddys voice on this song gives me the chills RUSH FOREVER
  • Malicious Matt from Squatney, -I dig this song. For me, it represents my hope for the future. I'd like to see the world evolve to a world thats free of mental and cultural barriers, led by truth instead of ideologies. A spiritually evolved world where nobody cares about money and wealth because they dont need it, and their priorities are "closer to the heart"... Well, thats what I get from it anyway. The beauty of a good song is that you can interpret it your own way.
  • John from Asheville, NcIt's probably overplayed on the radio but it's no less brilliant because of it. Love the crystaline guitars and Geddy's delivery. One of the first great Rush radio-geared songs.
  • Matt from Grand Rapids, Mi"The blacksmith and the artist, reflect it in their art". Amazing tune.
  • Heather from Los Angeles, Cathe chimes in the song make it good.
  • Tony from Toledo, OhThis song makes me think of my Christian writing. My attempts to be free of hypocrisy and true to my true feelings and the Bible. But I am sure they are singing about the New Age and not a more sincere Christianity. But I really like this song when I hear it. I am one of those social outcast fellows.
  • Frank from Brampton, Ontario, CanadaAnother one of their classic tunes!! This is why I'm proud to be Canadian... we have many different talented musicians out there and Rush is by far one of them!!
  • David from Port Hawkesbury, CanadaAbsolutely incredible how powerful this song is for basically everyone whos heard it.
  • Aj from Kitchener, Canada"Closer to the heart" is to Rush as "Stairway to Heaven" is to Led Zeppelin.
  • Michael from San Diego, Ca"Whoa oh, you can be the Captain, and I will draw the chart! Sailing into destiny, Closer to the heart!" - Absolutely brillant!
  • Voodoocat from Zimbabwe, United StatesThis is my favorite Rush song along with "Free Will". And I agree, most recent music sucks (Green Day is a perfect example). 60'S AND 70'S FOREVER!!
  • Manuel from Puerto Rico, United StatesThe song says that people in high positions are the ones who should change the world, but it's usually the ones in low places, who are fed up conditions, who take action. If the high class/goverment did make noticeable change in the life of others, the tension would'nt be there and we would also obviously have better living conditions (those in "low places").
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesJenJen2112 - I think it's great that you and other younger people out there can appreciate the talent behind rock mainstays like Rush - it's fabulous to think that a whole new gneration of fans have been alerted to what was at the time a very exciting genre for rock music, one which Rush encapsulated perfectly on every album. Rush records are date-stamps of their time - long may the band continue!
  • Z from Washington, DcI thought Geddy Lee was a woman when I first heard this song
  • Karrie from Santa Cruz, CaDoes anyone know who the two men are who play with the trio on this song on their R30 DVD? We think one of them is Geddy's son. ?
  • Jenjen2112 from Aberdeen, OtherI am a girl of 15 yeh those kids are right most modern bands do suck... But we are lucky Rush and other amazing bands are still out there and we must make the most to see them... I have never seen them:( not fair i want to though when they return to the UK i am going hehe
  • Chris from Paradise, Ctim a young kid and i hate the crapy music that is produced today....its not even music its all done on a computer or somethin else....its not real...this a a great song from a great band...i saw them in concert and they were awsome..neil peart on the drums is awsome..alex lifeson is way way underrated i think hes one of the best in the world...and geddy lee WOW is that man talented he do 4 thousand different things at once and he seems to keep it all in time...GO RUSH!!!!!
    -Chris Galea-
  • Matt from Haddon Hieghts, Njgreat song with great vochals and drumming and im only young and i can still find the great music
  • Matt from Haddon Hieghts, Njim a young boy who is not caught up in the wacky age of hip hop and this song hasd to be considered the best and is a good staple to my title of music great drumming
  • Linus from Hamilton, On, CanadaThe episode of Trailer Park Boys in which they kindap Alex Lifeson is called 'Closer to the heart'.
  • Jesse from L.a., CaRush did not include this in their 30th Anniversary because, according to Neil Peart, they got sick of it.
  • Dawson from Draper, UtThis song rocks. I was recently introduced to Rush and I like them a lot. This is a great song and geddy sings it good too. :)
  • Clay from Augusta, GaThis is one great song, especially when you consider their ages around this time in their career. I've witnessed this song live several times, and when the crowd sings along it makes it extra special.

    -Clay, Augusta, Ga.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScGreat song! Rush is very under-rated!
  • Sam from Boise, IdBefore this song is played on the Rush in Rio CD and DVD, Geddy introduces it as Kosher to the Heart. At least that is what I hear. I'm probably wrong.
  • Kenif from Reno, NvI found this poem printed in one of my college literature texts. Instantly made me think that 'hey, maybe this class won't be so bad after all'.
  • Dee from Indianapolis, InAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH......"Closer to the Heart" by Rush. This has to be a truly quinessential Rush song, along with the obvious "Tom Sawyer". I was introduced to Rush when I was in 8th grade back in the early 80's. One of my best friends had a copy of Exit Stage Left on recorded tape that I listened to over and over until I knew every song by heart. This is still one of my all time favorites and I enjoy every song, but when you hear the crowd in the background singing the opening verse to "Closer to the Heart" it can bring chills. This band is by far one of the most under rated of all time, but I guess it takes a special individual to grasp their music and lyrics.
  • Paul from Rothesay, Nb, CanadaRush recently performed this song with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked ladies and Bubbles for
    Tsunami Relief.
  • Keith from Shamokin, Paone of my very favorites by rush
  • Liam from Campbell River, CanadaIt's not Geddy they kidnap, it's Alex Lifeson, there's a big difference
  • Shana from Pembroke, CanadaThis song is on an amazing Canadian show: Trailer Park Boys where the characters kidnap Geddy and one of the more colourful characters, Bubbles, does a deut with him...this song, Closer to the Heart. Awesome Awesome Awesome
  • Taylor from Riceville , TnThis song is a great song and has a great meaning to it
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesThis was the first of Rush five Top 40 hits in the UK - it peaked at a far-flung No.36, but it was to prove an international turning point in the band's fortunes
  • Eric from Lake Forest, CaThis song is always a highlight of live shows, as the audience sings along.
  • Mike from Mountlake Terrace, WashingtonGeddy Lee was boren "Gary Lee Weinrib" on July 29, 1953. His grandmother (with the heavy yiddish accents) would call him "Gaaaddy" so he liked and used the variation of "Geddy" as his "nick-name". Since Geddy was a fairy uncommon name he only used his middle name with it. Hence Geddy Lee. Legally he is still Gary Lee Weinrib.
  • Gary from Hamilton, Australiageddy lee real name is gary leochavic, geddy come from his grandmothers inablity to pronounce gary,
see more comments

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