Out of the Cradle: Background
In the Vapor Trails tour book, Neil attributes the title and one of the key lines of “Out of the Cradle” to Walt Whitman’s 1859 poem about his birth as a poet, “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking.” In the poem, the key word is death, because the poet cannot be born until the poet’s self dies. In the song, the key word appears to be love, because that’s the force that has the power to renew life endlessly: “Surge of energy, spark of inspiration / the breath of love is electricity . . . here we come out of the cradle / endlessly rocking.”—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault
The song was one of the first written for the album, and during that creative process, the piece “underwent some serious surgery as time passed, and that was the kind of relaxed approach we were taking, allowing us to reexamine songs with the luxury of perspective, and repair or replace any parts that didn’t survive that test of time. Sometimes a developing song seemed to lose momentum, or our faith (the critical force), and was abandoned, but that had always been our version of “natural selection.”—Neil in Vapor Trails tour book
The piece comes last on the album, a signal to at least one music writer that the band was ready to shift back into work mode. “Rush fans hoping to see more of the band may take comfort from the album’s final song. “Out of the Cradle,” ends on a hopeful note with triumphant lyrics inspired by Walt Whitman, “Here we come out of the cradle / Endlessly rocking.”—Geneen Pipher, CNN
~ by rvkeeper on January 12, 2011.