Madrigal is named after a sixteenth-century vocal genre, a short love poem set to music.
The piece was written in its entirety at Rockfield Studios in Wales. On the Farewell to Kings album, it follows “Cinderella Man.” “On any previous Rush album, the next song would be a kick-out-the-jams rocker, but with ‘Madrigal’ the band spins another enchanting melody and does an all-out love song. The tune opens with two bittersweet lines from Neil, ‘When the dragons grow too mighty to slay with pen or sword.’ Geddy’s voice convincingly carries a tone of weariness that the whole band must have felt. They had had very little time off since the summer and they were far away from home.”—Bill Banasiewicz, Rush Visions
“Madrigal is the album’s true ballad and the only track from the record not played live.”—Martin Popoff, Contents Under Pressure
The piece, dedicated to their wives, expresses their weariness of being on the road.—Robert Telleria in Merely Players
This piece and others were targeted by Robert Christgau and other critics as ham-handed attempts by the band to sound highbrow.
~ by rvkeeper on January 11, 2011.