According to bass player Geddy Lee, the music was written simultaneously with the lyrics and they fit together like a glove without any forethought.
Geddy used a 5-string bass on this track. He talked about it 1988: "You can get that sound out of most basses I think, but a Rickenbacker has a particular kind of top end, and bottom end as well. It has a particular kind of classic twang to it. I found that I wanted to get a little more subtlety in the sound, and I couldn't quite get it out of the Rick. I wanted to change the top end a little bit, get a little different shaped bottom end. Then I moved to a Steinberger, which really gave me a totally different sound. The top end didn't range as high and twangy, and the bottom end was quite a different shade. I liked it a lot, and used it onstage, and on the Grace Under Pressure album. But on Power Windows I got introduced to the Wal bass, made by a small company in England. Our producer, Peter Collins, had one and suggested I try it out. I used that bass on Hold Your Fire, and I'm very pleased with the results and its flexibility. I use a 4-string most of the time, but on "Lock And Key" it was a 5-string they made with an extra low "B". I find that low string really means more today, because we're living in the world of synthesizers that go lower than basses ever went before."
Suggestion credit: Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington, for above 2
Patrick from Bedford, TxRead the lyrics and didn't have high hopes. Pressed play and heard s--tty keyboards. Damn. My dudes, I respect keyboards, but use one that doesn't sound like mine, that I bought from Target, for less than fifty dollars.
Mathieu from Saint-hyacinthe, QcThe movie contained in the music video and in the beginning of the "Show of Hands" show is The Last Mile, a 1932 movie. Also, he plays on a 4-string bass in the show, he replace the lower notes by the note an octave higher, e.g. when he's supposed to play a E#2, he plays a E#3.
Alessandro from Danbury, Oni like your song a lot but i don't know what it's about.
John from Asheville, NcI like this song quite well. Not a favorite from Hold Your Fire, but I like it. Interesting lyric.
Brett from Regina, CanadaAt the live show he uses a 4 string wal also.
Chuck from Houston, TxLets look at song title and the album title, they go hand and hand. "Keep it under lock and key" and "Hold your fire" - thats a good claboration, in my opinion.
Jordan from Port Hope, CanadaThis song is basically saying that we could all be killers. We could all have a killer instinct. But we control it -- we keep it under lock and key.
Stephan from Moedling, AustriaVery interesting that in the video Geddy uses his 4string Wal
Edward from Deptford, NjThis is one of Rush's most moving songs. The video is great. How true are the lyrics to this song, "we carry a sensative cargo, below the water line". Every one has a side to hide.