Beneath, Between & Behind
Background and Commentary
“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
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.
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
Geddy in an interview on VH1-Classic’s Hanging With says the lyrics were the first they co-wrote with Neil.
Ten score years ago, defeat the kingly foe
A wondrous dream came into being
Tame the trackless waste, no virgin land left chaste
All shining eyes, but never seeing
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?
Watch the cities rise
Another ship arrives
Earth’s melting pot and ever growing
Fantastic dreams come true
Inventing something new
The greatest minds, and never knowing
The guns replace the plow, facades are tarnished now
The principles have been betrayed
The dream’s gone stale, but still, let hope prevail
History’s debt won’t be repaid
By Kenneth Dale Harris IV (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Excerpted from Ultimate Guitar.
Introduction | Main Riff
(partial) solo 2X
For complete tab, go to Ultimate Guitar.
“Beneath, Between & Behind” bass cover
“Beneath, Between & Behind” drum cover
~ by rvkeeper on January 30, 2011.