Beneath, Between & Behind: Background
“The song opens with a guitar riff like the break in Led Zeppelin’s ‘Heartbreaker.’ Contrary to some fans’ opinions, this is not a sexual song, but harkens to the ideas of travel, departure, immigration, and new beginnings.”—Robert Telleria, Merely Players
The influence of Ayn Rand is evident in lines referencing cracks in the foundation of the virgin land’s principles, which can be taken to mean that the American promise of individualism is facing erosion from encroachment by a paternalistic state: “Beneath the noble bird / Between the proudest words / Behind the beauty cracks appear / Once with heads held high / They sang out to the sky / Why do their shadows bow in fear? . . . The guns replace the plow, facades are tarnished now / The principles have been betrayed / The dream’s gone stale.”—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault
Chris McDonald in his essay “Enlightened Thoughts, Mystic Words” in Rush and Philosophy says the piece is about the failed promise of the United States. The country was built on rational, humanistic ideals, the kind of ideals that grew out of the Enlightenment, but with the encroachment of fundamentalist religion and other backward movements, the country is failing to live up to its early promise.
Geddy in an interview on VH1-Classic’s Hanging With says the lyrics were the first they co-wrote with Neil.
~ by rvkeeper on January 11, 2011.