The Larger Bowl
by Rush

Album: Snakes & Arrows (2007)
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  • This song, as represented during their 2007 tour, talks about the divide between the rich and the poor. Namely, how those born into wealth have more opportunities than those born into poverty. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chris - Spencerport, NY
  • Chapter 5 of Neil Peart's travelogue publication entitled The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa (1996) is titled "The Larger Bowl" and it refers to the title of a song from a dream he had at the Happy Hotel in Cameroon in 1988 while on a cycling tour with 4 others. Neil suffered dysentery and had a "weird dream" about an armored helicopter carrying him from Toronto into the back of a truck, which drove him to Halifax through a tunnel under the Atlantic Ocean. He was there to do an interview, but instead he found himself in a clothing store doing a phone interview with a guy named Fletcher. A song was playing in the store, a ballad called "A Larger Bowl" - The song was about loneliness and the misfortunes in life. He could not recall ever hearing of this song before. "But I like the title" he said.

    Neil also refers to, in this book, the baskets woman carry on their heads in West Africa, they are carrying the bulk of the loads "The Larger bowls." Still another reference he used in The Masked Rider is in regards to an incorrigible young boy (Le Petite Patron) who snatched candy away from one child and then tormented another child until he relented to share his. Neil thought that it was obvious who had "The Larger Bowl here."
  • The song is in the form of a pantoum, which is a fairly obscure poetry structure.
  • The lyrics speak of the differences of peoples fortunes and fate. This is a resounding reference in The Masked Rider book, where Neil recognized the clear difference between poverty and despair versus poverty and a simply life in West Africa. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA, for above 3
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Comments: 1

  • Todd from Poynette, WiDuring the concert they have a video playing. One part in this video shows two buildings side by side off in the distance. As they get closer you can see that one is a lavish mansion and the other is a prison. The symbolism in here shows that depending on your circumstances in life and your upbringing, which building you might be in.
    Obviously these are both extreme ends of the spectrum. There is plenty of grey area in between.
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