The Enemy Within
by Rush

Album: Grace Under Pressure (1984)

Songfacts®:

  • Neil Peart (Jim Ladd "Innerview", 1984): "It's part one of a trilogy but it's the last one to appear. The last three albums have each contained a part of that trilogy, and I started thinking about them all at the same time, but they appear in the order in which they were easiest to grasp. In other words, "Witch Hunt" was the first one, dealt with that mentality of mob rule, and what happens to a bunch of people when they come together and they're afraid, and they go out and do something really stupid and really horrible. That was easy to grasp, and you see plenty of examples of that in real life as well as in fiction and in films of course, too. So that was easy to deal with. The second one was "The Weapon," and it was dealing with how people use your fears against you, as a weapon, and that took a little longer to come to grips with, but eventually I got my thinking straightened out and the images that I wanted to use, and collected them all up, and it came out. And then finally, "The Enemy Within" was more difficult, because I wanted to look at how it affects me, but it was more than about me. I don't like to be introspective as a rule. I think I'm gonna set that down as my first rule, as "never be introspective!" But, uh, I wanted to, at the same time I wanted to write about myself in a universal kind of way, I want to find things in myself that I think apply." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington

Comments: 6

  • Eric from Portland, OrReply to Wil from Milwaukee
    OMFG! I absolutely remember that snippet of the song from Solid Gold. I had just spent an hour searching the internet for a clip of it when I came across your comment here.
  • Philip from Spokane, WaAnd the FEAR series was released in reverse order, with the exception of Freeze. I guess Neil planned to end it here. I can only assume, but I doubt that Peart had it in his mind to conclude the fear series with a song about fight or flight 18 years later

    The fear series are probably all in my top ten favorite Rush songs, but for some reason to me, The Enemy Within doesn't have the feeling that Witch Hunt and The Weapon do
  • Louis from Glendale, AzThis fear basically describes paranoia believing someone is following you, out to get you, etc. But, it's just you fearing something that isn't there. Which, that leads to The Weapon in ways because, when you fear something, it can be used against you as a weapon.
  • Wil from Milwaukee, WiA snippet of this song was featured very briefly (about 10 seconds or so) on an '80's pop music show called "Solid Gold" during a dance routine...believe it or not!!!! :) :) :)
  • Yolanda Morphinite from Bountiful , UtI absolutely love this song and this band with all my heart. Without them, my life would be nothing.
  • James from Los Angeles, CaThis is part I of FEAR (The Weapon i part II, Witch Hunt is part III and Freeze is part IV).
see more comments

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