One Little Victory

Background and Commentary

“‘One Little Victory’ was kind of a triumphant song for us, in the lyrics and the message that the song is about. There was something about that song that seemed just so darned appropriate for opening the record, and also being the first release for us in such a long time. That song started as a collection of jams that Alex had done late at night, just a collection of guitar riffs all linked together in a really kind of a typically Alex nonsensical way. I came in the next day after he’d done these things, and just kind of scratched my head but really liked a lot of it. At the same time, there were some lyrics there that Neil had written, which were one of the few lyrics that immediately I just loved, I didn’t want to touch a word, it was all great. And so I played with it for a couple of days, started using the digital equipment to manipulate the riffs and add my bass to it, and start writing some vocal melodies. And before I know it I had a song, or what seemed like a song. And then I ran it by Mr. Lerxst here, and he seemed to really dig it. So that kind of became a song and it didn’t change much after that.” (Rockline, 2002)—Geddy in

“We fiddled with the order of the songs on Vapor Trails right up until the last minute. However, we never doubted which song would open the album, for “One Little Victory” made such an uncompromising announcement: “They’re ba-a-a-ack!”—Neil in the Vapor Trails tour book.

“I’d been working on that tune and came up with that double bass part. I thought it worked perfectly for the end of the song. But Geddy said, ‘That’s a great part. You ought to open the song with it. That would just kill.’ Frankly, I wouldn’t have done it that way. I don’t think I would have been so assertive. But Geddy suggested it and I said, ‘Okay, I’ll try it.'” (Modern Drummer, 2002—Neil in Songfacts

“Both the original version and an instrumental edit were included in the in-game soundtrack of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.”—Songfacts


A certain measure of innocence
Willing to appear naive
A certain degree of imagination
A measure of make-believe

A certain degree of surrender
To the forces of light and heat
A shot of satisfaction
In a willingness to risk defeat

Celebrate the moment
As it turns into one more
Another chance at victory
Another chance to score

The measure of the moment
In a difference of degree
Just one little victory
A spirit breaking free
One little victory
The greatest act can be
One little victory

A certain measure of righteousness
A certain amount of force
A certain degree of determination
Daring on a different course

A certain amount of resistance
To the forces of the light and love
A certain measure of tolerance
A willingness to rise above


By Richard Soto (

Excerpted from Ultimate Guitar.

Notes: There are multiple guitars tracked on almost every part. Every two measures in the intro basically adds another layer and they vary slightly throughout the song.

The openning Riff sounds like Lifeson is using some shifting effect set to kill.

There is a one note difference every two measures.

The clean quasi-arrpegiated section (Rhy.1A&B) has Lifeson using a very clean
but compressed sound along with slight phaser and ambient delay. (More notes.)

Riff-A1 . .

Riff-A2 .

Riff-A3 . .

Riff-A4 .

Rhy.1A i m i p m i i m r i i r i |

Rhy.1B i m i p r m i i i r m i |

m i i m i H H H |

Rhy.2 Play 5x

For complete tab, go to Ultimate Guitar.


“One Little Victory” guitar cover

“One Little Victory” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 15, 2011.

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