Cold Fire

Background and Commentary

“‘Cold Fire’ is quite simply an under-heralded Rush classic, with its gorgeous verse melody exploding into one of the most insistent Rush choruses in years.”—Martin Popoff, Contents Under Pressure

“‘Cold Fire’ is one of my most satisfying songs, musically and lyrically. You love a song for small things. I had been inspired, I think, by a Paul Simon song, where I wanted to couch song lyrics in conversation—he said, she said, and all that. Simon has a song, maybe on Rhythm of the Saints, where it’s in conversation. And I thought, yeah, what a cool idea. I’d like to try something like that. And ‘Cold Fire’ achieved that. It’s a very grown-up relationship song. And relationship songs are never easy to do, convincingly anyway, as opposed to love songs. Relationship songs are by definition much more clinical, but this was one, I thought, that managed to be a grown-up one, with the mystified guy and the smart girl. I like the subtext of that. The guy is kind of dumb, and she’s really smart and cynical.”—Neil in Contents Under Pressure

“We rewrote that song quite a bit. And thankfully, I think Peter Collins’ presence really pulled that song together. He came in and he pointed out certain strengths in the previous versions of the songs that we had, and he really helped us reorganize that song. It wasn’t until he got there, I think, that we finally locked in on a feel for those verses that enabled Alex to play those great steel guitar-like lines that he’s playing, and enabled me to open up harmonically. I was having trouble with the verses, you know, it’s a tough song, when you’re dealing with this issue of male/female relationships, which is such a foreign subject for us to deal with, in a song. You want to make sure it doesn’t sound trite or hackneyed or you’re not just doing yet another song about relationships? It took us a while to get the right mood, and I was really happy with the mood we ended up with in the verses, and I think, oddly enough, as much as it was a nightmare, that song for me, when I hear the record now, I think the verses are one of the strongest parts of the album.” (Radio Special)—Geddy in Songfacts


It was long after midnight
When we got to unconditional love
She said, “Sure, my heart is boundless
But don’t push my limits too far”
I said, “If love was so transcendent
I don’t understand these boundaries”
She said, ”Just don’t disappoint me
You know how complex women are”

I’ll be around
If you don’t let me down too far
I’ll be around
If you don’t let me down

It was just before sunrise
When we started on traditional roles
She said, “Sure, I’ll be your partner
But don’t make too many demands”
I said, “If love has these conditions
I don’t understand those songs you love”
She said, “This is not a love song
This isn’t fantasyland”

Don’t go too far
A phosphorescent wave on a tropical sea is a cold fire
Don’t cross the line
The pattern of moonlight on the bedroom floor is a cold fire
Don’t let me down
The flame at the heart of a pawnbroker’s diamond is a cold fire
Don’t break the spell
The look in your eyes as you head for the door is a cold fire

I’ll be around
If you don’t push me down too far
I’ll be around
If you don’t push me down

Love is blind if you are gentle
Love can turn to a long, cold burn


By Tony Zimmermann

From Fretplay.

This is an extremely brief version.

8 16th’s

Verses based on Fsus2 and Am(V)

Chorus based on Fsus2, G, and Am7

From Fretplay.


“Cold Fire” guitar cover

“Cold Fire” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 13, 2011.

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