We Hold On: Background

The piece is the last on Snakes & Arrows and uses the device of a lover’s quarrel with the world to describe how we often want to make a clean break from our daily drudgery (“chafe against the repetition”) to do something entirely new but instead, because of responsibilities and commitments, we find the strength to hold on and do what’s right. The intensity of Alex’s guitar evokes the idea of jumping into your car and tearing away from the curb with a screech or kicking open the kitchen door with your foot and making a dash for freedom. But, of course, that’s exactly what we don’t do. We stay the course. But inside we feel that smoldering intensity.—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault

Neil in his essay The Game of Snakes & Arrows says he got the device of depicting a lover’s quarrel with the world from Robert Frost and it’s used on several other songs on the album, including “Spindrift.”

“If many of the other lyrics [depicting a lover’s quarrel] illuminate the struggles we all have to face, in love and in life, this one shows how we deal with it: We hold on.”

The line “measured out in coffee breaks” is from T.S. Eliot.

More about “We Hold On”

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~ by rvkeeper on January 12, 2011.

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