Heresy
by Rush

Album: Roll The Bones (1991)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the fall of communism in Germany, ending 40 years of dictatorial Communist rule. The song also address the fall of communism in Moscow (Russia) and details the waste of time that pasted before freedom was brought to these places, the joy of democracy and emotions of the times.
  • In the February 1994 issue of Modern Drummer, Neil Peart said he heard the drum pattern when he was in Togo: "I was laying on a rooftop one night and heard two drummers playing in the next valley, and the rhythm stuck in my head. When we started working on the song I realized that beat would complement it well."
  • Geddy Lee (from the RTB CD Launch radio broadcast): "It's that horrible and wonderful moment all mixed into one when somebody realizes that they've been, you know, had their freedom removed for so many years, and they finally get it back. It must be such a bittersweet moment. All those years.... all those lives that were lost and all the struggle, all the people that were fighting, all the years, and suddenly.... it's all over. And what do they do about all the people that did not survive, who were not lucky enough to be around when the wall fell down. It's an unanswerable question, but it's certainly one to think about."
  • Alex Lifeson (Guitar Player, November 1991): "Occasionally we do things that are slightly out just to give a particular character to the music. On "Heresy" I'm playing my acoustics in the chorus - especially the second chorus - to get a 12-string, Byrds kind of sound. We wanted to create the effect of a bunch of guys sitting around playing who aren't quite in tune. You can hear it in the acoustic - particularly the [Gibson] J-55, which has a Nashville tuning. Of course you're gonna get that kind of fluctuation anyway when you're playing high up the neck, because the strings are so light." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington, for all above

Comments: 2

  • John from Asheville, NcAnother forgotten fine piece of work from an only average album. This song...Ghost Of A Chance...two gems from Roll The Bones. "All those precious wasted year....who will pay?"...into the dual vocal second verse. My ear likey!
  • John from Overland Park, KsI grew up with the cold war... although I didn't get to see the "Duck and Cover" cartoon, we did go through "disaster drills" at school along with fire drills and tornado drills. My seventh-grade Life Science class had a section on first aid, as well as a description about what one might face with a nuclear attack (blast, heat, initial radiation, and "residual radiation" - a polite term for fallout). I learned how to find the capacity for a fallout shelter on the sign. As a result, the anger at the end of the song ("... All the crap we had to take / Bombs and basement fallout shelters / All a big mistake") was something I and others could share.
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