Second Nature
by Rush

Album: Hold Your Fire (1987)
Play Video


  • In the January 1994 Rush Backstage Club newsletter, drummer and lyricist Neil Peart explained the line, "Now I lay me down in dreamland." It is based on an 18th century children's bedtime prayer. Says Peart, "More a paraphrase than a quote, really, but it comes from a prayer which was stitched into a sampler above my grandmother's bed. It began like this: 'Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.'"
  • Neil From 1988: "Second Nature" is conciliatory in its message: If we can't reach perfection in this world then let's at least settle for some degree of improvement. "Sometimes we have to accept something less than total victory," notes Peart. "It's like the difference between compromise and balance. The politician who campaigns for clean air but doesn't want to close down the stinking factory in his area because thousands of people will lose their jobs. My viewpoint is that I'll take as much as I can without hurting other people." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington, for above 2

Comments: 3

  • Mr Mobius from The UniversePatrick from Bedford TX should dive head first into a wood chipper.
  • Patrick from Bedford, Tx...I meant Second Nature, not Prime Mover. So, a weak-ass 80s pop song aggrandizing a high school sophomore's s--tty opinions? I am not nearly high enough for this. Time to remedy that, then onto Prime Mover!
  • John from Asheville, NcI like this song a lot from Hold Your Fire. The lyrics always have a renewed things can always be better. I love that the song is a plea for common sense. Really nice (though benign) musical melody behind it. Definitely lyrically and melody driven.
see more comments

Editor's Picks


PrinceFact or Fiction

Prince is shrouded in mystery, making him an excellent candidate for Fact or Fiction. Is he really a Scientologist? Does he own an exotic animal?

JJ Burnel of The Stranglers

JJ Burnel of The StranglersSongwriter Interviews

JJ talks about The Stranglers' signature sound - keyboard and bass - which isn't your typical strain of punk rock.


AdeleFact or Fiction

Despite her reticent personality, Adele's life and music are filled with intrigue. See if you can spot the true tales.

Strange Magnetics

Strange MagneticsSong Writing

How Bing Crosby, Les Paul, a US Army Signal Corps Officer, and the Nazis helped shape rock and Roll.

The Real Nick Drake

The Real Nick DrakeSong Writing

The head of Drake's estate shares his insights on the late folk singer's life and music.

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.