The Pass

Background and Commentary

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

Lyrics

Proud swagger out of the school yard

Waiting for the world’s applause

Rebel without a conscience

Martyr without a cause

Static on your frequency

Electrical storm in your veins

Raging at unreachable glory

Straining at invisible chains

And now you’re trembling on a rocky ledge

Staring down into a heartless sea

Can’t face life on a razor’s edge

Nothing’s what you thought it would be

All of us get lost in the darkness

Dreamers learn to steer by the stars

All of us do time in the gutter

Dreamers turn to look at the cars


Turn around and turn around and turn around

Turn around and walk the razor’s edge

Don’t turn your back

And slam the door on me

It’s not as if this barricade

Blocks the only road

It’s not as if you’re all alone

In wanting to explode

Someone set a bad example

Made surrender seem all right

The act of a noble warrior

Who lost the will to fight

And now you’re trembling on a rocky ledge

Staring down into a heartless sea

Done with life on a razor’s edge

Nothing’s what you thought it would be

No hero in your tragedy

No daring in your escape

No salutes for your surrender

Nothing noble in your fate

Christ, what have you done?

Tablature

Excerpted from Ultimate Guitar.

Intro/Verse: (x2 for Intro/First Verse and facet for Second Verse)
e|—–6–|-(6)–|—–6–|-(6)————————————–|
B|o—-6–|-(6)-o|o—-6–|-(6)————————————-o|
G|—–7–|-(7)–|—–8–|-(8)————————————–|
D|—–8–|-(8)–|—–8–|-(8)————————————–|
A|o——-|—–o|o—(6)-|-(6)————————————-o|
E|——–|——|——–|——————————————|

e|—–6–|-(6)–|—–6–|-(6)-|—–6–|-(6)-1–1–1–1————|
B|o—-6–|-(6)-o|—–6–|-(6)-|—–6–|-(6)-1–1–1–1————|
G|—–7–|-(7)–|—–8–|-(8)-|—–8–|-(8)-2–2–2–3————|
D|—–8–|-(8)–|—–8–|-(8)-|—–8–|-(8)-3–3–3–3————|
A|o——-|—–o|—-(6)-|-(6)-|—-(6)-|-(6)-3–3–3–1————|
E|——–|——|——–|—–|——–|—–1–1–1—————|

Prechorus:
e|–1—————–|—————–1–1–1–1——————-|
B|–1—————–|—————–1–1–1–1——————-|
G|–3—–3——–3–|-(3)——-3—–2–2–2–3——————-|
D|–3——–3——–|—–1-h3——–3–3–3–3——————-|
A|–1–1——–1—–|————–1–3–3–3–1——————-|
E|——————–|—————–1–1–1———————-|

e|–1—————–|—————–1–1–1———————-|
B|–1—————–|—————–1–1–1———————-|
G|–3—–3——–3–|-(3)——-3—–2–2–2———————-|
D|–3——–3——–|—–1-h3——–3–3–3———————-|
A|–1–1——–1—–|————–1–3–3–3–3/——————|
E|——————–|—————–1–1–1–1/——————|

e|–6—————–|———–1–1–1–1/————————|
B|–6—————–|———–1–1–1–1/————————|
G|–8—–8——–8–|-(8)——-2–2–2–2/————————|
D|–8–8—–6——–|———–3–3–3–3/————————|
A|–6–6——–6—–|———–3–3–3–3/————————|
E|-(6)—————-|———–1–1–1–1/————————|

e|–6—————–|———————————————-|
B|–6—————–|———————————————-|
G|–8—–8——–8–|-(8)——————————————|
D|–8–8—–6——–|———————————————-|
A|–6–6——–6—–|———————————————-|
E|-(6)—————-|———————————————-|

Chorus:
e|————————–|—————————————-|
B|————————–|—————————————-|
G|——–0——–0——–|——–0—————0—————|
D|—–3——–3——–3–|———–0———5—–5————|
A|–5——–5——–5—–|—–3——–(5h)7———————|
E|————————–|–5————————————-|

e|————————–|————–1–1–1–1/—————|
B|————————–|————–1–1–1–1/—————|
G|——–0——–0——–|——–0—–2–2–2–2/—————|
D|—–3——–3——–3–|———–0–3–3–3–3/—————|
A|–5——–5——–5—–|—–3——–3–3–3–3/—————|
E|————————–|–5———–1–1–1–1/—————|

For complete tab, go to Ultimate Guitar.

Tutorials

“The Pass” guitar cover

“The Pass” bass cover

“The Pass” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 9, 2011.

 
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