The Necromancer
by Rush

Album: Caress Of Steel (1976)
  • As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travelers, men of Willow Dale, emerge from the forest shadow. Fording the River Dawn, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of the Necromancer. Even now the intensity of his dread power can be felt, weakening the body and saddening the heart. Ultimately they will become empty, mindless spectres, stripped of will and soul. Only their thirst for freedom gives them hunger for vengeance

    Silence shrouds the forest
    As the birds announce the dawn
    Three trav'llers ford the river
    And southward journey on
    The road is lined with peril
    The air is charged with fear
    The shadow of his nearness
    Weighs like iron tears

    Shreds of black cloud loom in overcast skies. The Necromancer keeps watch with his magic prism eyes. He views all his lands and is already aware of the three helpless invaders trapped in his lair

    Brooding in the tower
    Watching o'er his land
    Holding ev'ry creature
    Helplessly they stand
    Gaze into his prisms
    Knowing they are near
    Lead them to the dungeons
    Spectres numb with fear
    They bow defeated

    Enter the Champion. Prince By-Tor appears to battle for freedom from chains of long years. The spell has been broken...the Dark Lands are bright, the Wraith of the Necromancer soars away in the night

    Stealthily attacking
    By-Tor slays his foe
    The men are free to run now
    From labyrinths below
    The Wraith of Necromancer
    Shadows through the sky
    Another land to darken
    With evil prism eye

Comments: 13

  • Steven from Houston, TxEddie, Syosset, NY Nailed it! The Necromancer IS the music industry. Evil and pervasive. Nothing but crap being recorded now. Pretty faces and empty music. RUSH was, is and always will be brilliant. Which is why the machine that is the Hall of Fame (shame) took so long to induct them. RUSH played their music on their terms in their time. God bless them. They deserve everyone's ultimate respect, even if you aren't a fan.
  • Giantess_dee from Leicester, United KingdomTolkien was probably the inspiration for this song, but it's stretching a point to say it's "based on Lord of the Rings". For one thing, Sauron is only referred to as "The Necromancer" once in the whole of LOTR (though that name is used for him throughout The Hobbit). For another, Sauron was never aware of Frodo and Sam's approach until after they had reached Mt. Doom.
  • Claude from Kingston, MaWillowdale is Geddy Lee's hometown.
  • Allison from A Little Ol' Town In, MiThis song definatly showcases Geddy's voice and Alex's guitar!

    Probably one of Rush's best unknown songs of all time

  • Wavy from Tucson , Az"BROODING IN THE TOWER WATCHING OVER HIS LAND"--Geddy just NAILS that.
  • Jeff from Chicago, IlNot every fantasy song is based on the Lord of the Rings.

    "The Necromancer" is just about the members of Rush (THREE travelers, from Willowdale, where the band originated from) fighting an evil wizard. Nothing more.

    It's badass, but it's not a literary reference.
  • Kent Lyle from Cincinnati, OhThe second movement seems to borrow at least some riffage from Yes's "Heart of the Sunrise" (which itself borrows from King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man").
  • Kent Lyle from Cincinnati, OhConflicting reports claim that either Peart or Terry Brown performed the spoken word sections. They probably like to blame each other for it.
  • Eddie from Syosset, NyIn this song the three travelers could symbolise the three members of Rush going into the music industry which could be the layer of the Necromancer. The Necromancer could also be a human part of the industry and By-Tor could by a lot of things but i think that it is symbolic of Rush's music saving them from the music buissiness steeling their souls or changing their music like a Necromancer.
  • Peter from Newark, NyI also found it interesting that By Tor is the villain in By Tor and Snowdog, but he is the saviour of sorts in the Necromancer.
  • David from Port Hawkesbury, CanadaI don't understand why Caress of steel wasn't that succesful of an album, I'd buy it...If I could keep my money long enough...With this and The Fountain of Lamneth, I think I will buy it.
    Great song. One of my Rush favourites.
  • Paul from Rothesay, Nb, CanadaFor those of you who still have the vynyl version of the "Caress of Steel" album, play the Storyteller's parts of "The Necromancer" at .45
    speed. It's Geddy Lee.
  • Charlie from Thomaston, Dci love rush there one of the greatest band sof all time. a agree that moving pictures was a great album, but i have to say that the necromancer is my favorite song-sorry tom sawyer
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