Background and Commentary

“Originally conceived as ‘Duality,’ the song looks at the male and female counterpart in everyone (anima and animus), a concept Carl Jung introduced in modern psychology. Jung’s term ‘ancient queen’ is one of many describing groups of traits in males. Aristotle first used the term in his De Anima (The Soul). Neil offers a testimonial of praise for Tom Robbins’ book Skinny Legs and All, which is about this very subject of reversed sexual roles.”—Robert Telleria, Merely Players

Neil in his book Roadshow says the line “Daughter of a demon-lover” derives from the line “woman wailing for her demon-lover” in Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan,” which formed the basis of Rush’s 1977 song “Xanadu.” He never made the connection between the poem and his use of the line in “Animate” until 2006, though, when he was writing his book. “The Coleridge connection hadn’t occurred to me before,” he says.—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault

“‘Animate’ is not about two individuals but about one man addressing his anima, his feminine side, as defined by Jung. Within that duality, what ‘a man must learn to gently dominate’ is himself, his own ‘submissive trait,’ while also learning to ‘gently dominate’ the animus—the male thing—and the hormone driven things like aggression and ambition. We dominate by not submitting, whether to brute instinct, violent rage, or ruthless greed.” (Wilderness of Mirrors)—Neil in , Merely Players

“‘Animate’ has a warm bass and arcane, mesmerizing melody that takes the listener on a straight-line journey into one of Rush’s classic tracks. ‘I love “Animate,” says Geddy unequivocally. ‘I think it’s one of the great songs we’ve done. There’s something about the bestiality of that song, the insistence of it.'”—Martin Popoff, Contents Under Pressure

“I used a basic R&B rhythm that I played back in my early days, coupled with that hypnotic effect that a lot of the British bands of the turn of the ’90s had, bands like Curve and Lush. The middle section of the tune is the result of the impact African music has had on me, although it wasn’t a specific African rhythm.” (Modern Drummer, 1994)—Neil in Merely Players


Polarize me
Sensitize me
Criticize me
Civilize me
Compensate me
Animate me
Complicate me
Elevate me

Goddess in my garden
Sister in my soul
Angel in my armor
Actress in my role

Daughter of a demon lover
Empress of the hidden face
Priestess of the pagan mother
Ancient queen of inner space

Spirit in my psyche
Double in my role
Alter in my image
Struggle for control

Mistress of the dark unconscious
Mermaid of the lunar sea
Daughter of the great enchantress
Sister to the boy inside of me

My counterpart, my foolish heart
A man must learn to rule his tender part
A warming trend, a gentle friend
A man must build a fortress to defend
A secret face, a touch of grace
A man must learn to give a little space
A peaceful state, a submissive trait
A man must learn to gently dominate

Polarize me
Sensitize me
Criticize me
Civilize me
Compensate me
Animate me
Complicate me
Elevate me


By Rowen Poole (

Excerpted from Fretplay.

Riff #1 1a
r r r
E —————————————————————————-
B ———1————-1————-1————-1————-1———-
G —–2-0—2——-2-0—2—-0–2-0—2—-0–2-0—2——-2-0—2——–
D –0————-0———————————————————–
A ———————————————————-1—————–
E —————————————————————————-
r r r
E —————————————–
B ———1————-1————-1—
G —–2-0—2——-2-0—2——-2-0—2-
D ——————————0———-
A –3————-3————————
E —————————————–

Riff #2 Riff #3

E ——————————|———————————
B ——————————|———————————
G ——————————|———————————
D ————————5-5^7-|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-
A –0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-5-7——-|———————————
E ——————————|———————————

Riff #4

E ———————————-
B ———————————-
G ———————————-
D –0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0—0—0-0-
A ————————3—3—–
E ———————————-

Riff #5

Em G
E –0———————|–7————————————————
B –0———————|–8————————————————
G –0———————|–7————————————————
D –2———————|–0————————————————
A –2———————|–x————————————————
E –0———————|–x————————————————

For complete tab, go to Fretplay.


“Animate” guitar cover

“Animate” bass cover (starts at 00:30)

“Animate” drum cover

Back to Rush Vault

~ by rvkeeper on February 13, 2011.

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