Different Strings
by Rush

Album: Permanent Waves (1980)
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  • Lyrics
  • This song's lyrics were written solely by Geddy Lee. It's the last Rush song in which Neil Peart does not have lyric credit. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Matthew Daubert - Mequon, WI
  • The song reminds us to choose our words carefully. Do not ruin what we have. Be kind, as we all see life just a bit differently, yet we're all the same. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Emily - Jtown, PA
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Comments: 6

  • Steve from St. Paul, MnI see this song as possibly being about two(or more) types of relationships:

    1. A long-term relationship in which two people truly love each other, but their differences have made it very difficult and inharmonious, yet for the distance created by it, their bond and love for each other remains. It's hard to tell if they are still together, but the line:
    "but there are times
    for you and me when all such things agree,"
    seems like an indication that they WANT to remain together & get along in the face of the "differences."

    "different eyes see different things
    different hearts beat on different strings."
    The above line about differences reminds me of when the emotional security within a relationship is shaken by realizing that as years have gone by, they have changed and where they maybe both once agreed about virtually everything now have strong differences of opinion about individually important issues and their once simple relationship became very complicated.
    "What happened to our innocence, did it go out of style
    along with our naivete
    no longer a child"...

    Yet, on a positive note, "but there are times for you and me when all such things agree."

    2. I could be alone in this, but I have a very close friend that I've known since 3rd grade. We grew up together, listened to Rush albums in his room for years, played in bands together, etc. Best buds, right? Well, since we've gotten married and are raising kids, we have our differences, and we very rarely talk but there's a bond there still that in spite of that, when we call each other up once or twice a year it's as though we've been together all along. And if I put that song on in his presence, we'd just look at each other, smile & nod, having a mutual understanding of how our friendship (totally hetero) is reflected in the song - "nothing to explain, it's a part of us, to be found within a song."

    Point being, this song could apply to relationships that are non-gender specific and platonic in nature.
  • Entre Nous from Austin , TxI think this song is right after Entre Nous. I think these two songs are one. Entre Nous ( Coup de Foudre) Iit is about two women unfulfilled in their marriages. Look at wikipedia. Set in WW2 France. I believe its about these two.
  • Dougee from San Bernardino, CaI think the song is telling us that, although partners in a long-term relationship ("we both know why we've come along") have differences that could lead to divorce/breakup ("Who's come to slay the dragon?"), they can be used in a constructive manner to mend the relationship and make it stronger over time, if the partners really want to make it work ("Peel away the mystery / here's a clue to some real motivation.") Finally, we are told that, even in difficult relationships, there are times of bliss ("when all such things agree.") Like all masterpieces of prose, the lyrics can be interpreted in many ways - this is but one way to see it.
  • John from Asheville, NcI like this song. Very melodic. "All there really is....the two of us." Love the way that line is sung.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesActually, 1992's "Ehere's My Thing" was the last Rush release not to feature Neil Peart in the songwriting credits, although that was an instrumental
  • Steve from Pasadena, DcGreat song to listen to with a new girlfriend.
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