The Pass: Background

The piece speaks to the friends of suicides.

“There was a lot I wanted to address in that song, and it’s probably one of the hardest ones I’ve ever written. I spent a lot of time on it, refining it, and, even more, doing research. I felt concerned about [teen suicide], but I didn’t want to take the classic position of, ‘Oh, life’s not so bad, you know. It’s worth living.’ So I really worked hard to find true stores, and among the people that I write to are people who are going to universities, to MIT, and collecting stories from them about people they had known and what they felt, and why the people had taken this desperate step, and trying rally hard fundamentally to understand something that to me is totally un-understandable. I wanted to de-mythologize it, take the nobility out of it. Let’s not pretend it’s a hero’s end. It’s not a triumph. It’s a tragedy. It’s a personal tragedy for them, but much more for the people left behind. I really started to get offended by the samurai kind of values that were attached to it, like here’s a warrior.” (Profiled!)—Neil in Merely Players

“‘The Pass’ is one of the best songs we’ve ever written. I just love that song. There’s just something about the atmosphere and the nature of the lyric. It’s some of Neil’s best writing, and I still think it holds true. I think it deals with a really difficult issue [teen suicide] in a positive way. That song has stayed with me. I love playing it. I love singing it, and I think it’s just one of those accomplishments, as a writer. You know, fans view us much differently than we do [ourselves]. They look at us as a band of players, to a large degree. But from the inside looking out, the victories that I look back on usually are when I had a breakthrough as a writer or when I was able to approach something from an arrangement point of view that was new for me. And that’s one of those songs.”—Geddy in Contents Under Pressure

More about “The Pass”

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~ by rvkeeper on January 11, 2011.

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