Tai' Shan
by Rush

Album: Hold Your Fire (1987)
Play Video


  • Tai' Shan is the name of a actual holy mountain in China. The emperor Huang Ti had so much power that he was able to summon all the spirits of the world to him on top of Tai' Shan to proclaim his power. Legend has it that if you climb to the top of this mountain and "raise your hands to heaven," you will live to be at least 100 years old. Neil Peart wrote these lyrics while sitting at the top of the mountain. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington
  • An interesting instrument used in the song per Neil Peart in Roadshow: "A self-made recording of a plastic water bottle struck by a toothbrush." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Matthew Daubert - Mequon, WI

Comments: 17

  • Fjstoner from KyI like this song because of the time signature for the china cymbal. It's also great to smoke weed and chill with. Still, nothing really compares to Moving Pix and 2112... nothing. Ok, maybe Boston's first two albums... but on a different plane
  • Jim from Carol Stream, IlI wish they guys in the band would give this tune more credit. There's no way this is my favorite tune from them, but the musicianship on this one alone is fantastic. But what do I know?
  • G from DenverI love it. Its a great song. I don't gaf what the members of the band think. The listeners are what counts. It's been one of my favorites since it came out when I was in middle school. I can't say why they don't like it, but they're wrong and I'd happily tell them that.
  • Lori from Buffalo NyMy favorite Rush song, I absolutely love this song and the story it tells
  • Patrick from Bedford, TxWhat kind of orientalist bulls--t is this? I'm so baked I just ate a bouillon cube, and even I realize this song is a bad idea. It's completely cool to incorporate diverse influences, but utilize taste my dudes.
  • Steven from Houston, TxCan't say Tai Shan is one of my favorites but it is a nice, ethereal song. Force Ten has always been a fav. Huge RUSH fan and love Iron Maiden as well. But then I'm a drummer so guess I'm screwed musically as I like it all. I can't be pigeonholed.
  • Mario from Algonquin, IlIn an interview, when asked about their least favorite song, Alex stated "Tai Shan' from 'Hold Your Fire' comes to mind. It was one of the worst things we ever did, not that I listen to that song. But should I listen to that song I almost get violently ill." Geddy has also stated in interviews that this is one of his least favorite.
  • Doug from Woodbridge, VaI like Tai Shan, but the first 8 songs on HYF are truly amazing and score high in my Rush Rankings.
  • Pryce from Litchfield, NhForce Ten is dynamic but this song is more atmospheric. Both very good.
  • Daryl from Saskatoon, CanadaGeddy doesn't hold this song in high regard, either: "You're supposed to be crappy when you make your first three or four records. But even in our middle period, we did this song called 'Tai Shan,' using a poem Neil wrote about climbing a mountain in China, and when I listen to that it's like, Bzzt. Error. We should have known better." (Interview with Blender magazine, March 17, 2009. http://www.blender.com/blender-blog/76720/dear-superstar-geddy-lee.html)
  • Brendan from Easton, CtAmazing. I HAD to get Hold Your Fire after hearing it. BTW, one can like this and still enjoy metal, the two aren't mutually exclusive.
  • Aaron from Seattle, WaEverytime I have a bad day I put in my Hold Your Fire CD and skip to this track. It makes me forget about the day.
  • Rain from Clinton, MdTai Shan was also the name given to a very popular male panda born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in 2005. He was born to much fanfare and media frenzy, as the DC zoo had been trying to produce a baby panda for years and years. His parents were "loaned" to the zoo from China, on the promise that an offspring would be produced from the pair. Due to the agreement, the pandas will have to be eventually returned to China, sadly.
  • John from Asheville, NcI love Tai Shan. Talk about generally underappreciated in the Rush circles. This song, while not "typical" Rush, if such a thing even exists, is masterfully atmospheric...creating a mood and location just from the instrumentation alone, let alone the lyrics. In the right setting I can see this imagery in front of me...and that's what a good song does, take you there. I don't get the lack of love....at all.
  • Louis from Glendale, AzFirst off, saying Force Ten is lame is a complete understatement. Tai Shan and force ten are probably the most interesting songs on the album. You have to live IN THAT TIME to understand the songs of today, and saying that force ten was horrible proves that your music taste is toward metal or cut-your-wrist.
  • Frank from Redmond, OrI wouldn't say Force Ten was "lame". Tai' Shan is one of my favorites from Hold Your Fire, but, well, you just had to be there at the time. Nothing on that album sounded like anything you'd here on the radio, including Force Ten. It's one of my favorite Rush albums, and I have 'em all.
  • Peter from Newark, NyThis was always my favorite song from 'Hold Your Fire' I've always wondered why 'Force Ten', probably the lamest song was the single. With choices like that, no wonder Rush has so few hits.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Ed Roland of Collective Soul

Ed Roland of Collective SoulSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Shine," "December," "The World I Know" and other Collective Soul hits.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside Story

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

Rob Halford of Judas Priest

Rob Halford of Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford dives into some of his Judas Priest lyrics, talking about his most personal songs and the message behind "You've Got Another Thing Comin'."

Danny Kortchmar

Danny KortchmarSongwriter Interviews

Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James, Tapestry, and Running On Empty. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."

Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root

Michael Glabicki of Rusted RootSongwriter Interviews

Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.

Cheerleaders In Music Videos

Cheerleaders In Music VideosSong Writing

It started with a bouncy MTV classic. Nirvana and MCR made them scary, then Gwen, Avril and Madonna put on the pom poms.