Armor and Sword

Background and Commentary

The piece talks about how faith, which we look to for comfort, gets corrupted into something we wield against others. Although Neil doesn’t say this, “Armor and Sword” takes us back to “The Weapon,” which talks about the way priests and other agents of organized religion use our fears to bring us into their fold. In “Armor and Sword,” our fears have metastasized and we’ve become like the priests and use our faith not to give us comfort but to take away the comfort of others. As the piece says, “What should have been our armor / becomes a dark and angry sword.”—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault

Neil says in Roadshow that his original plan was to record without commentary the church signs he came across on his motorcycle ride across the United States, but after he saw a sign that says “Faith is a higher faculty of reason,” he decides to put in his two cents before the faith of yet more people hardens into swords. “At this point in recounting my American travels, I begin to think that even if the voice of reason is increasingly drowned out by the evangelical crowd, that is all the more reason to speak up. Spiritual yearnings are natural to many people and may give them solace or hope, but extremists of any kind are not content with faith as armor, they must forge it into a sword.”

Lyrics

The snakes and arrows a child is heir to
Are enough to leave a thousand cuts
We build our defenses, a place of safety
And leave the darker places unexplored

Sometimes the fortress is too strong
Or the love is too weak
What should have been our armor
Becomes a sharp and angry sword

Our better natures seek elevation
A refuge for the coming night
No one gets to their heaven without a fight

We hold beliefs as a consolation
A way to take us out of ourselves
Meditation or medication
A comfort, or a promised reward

Sometimes the spirit is too strong
Or the flesh is too weak
Sometimes the need is just too great
For the solace we seek
The suit of shining armor
Becomes a keen and bloody sword

A refuge for the coming night
A future of eternal light
No one gets to their heaven without a fight

Confused alarms of struggle and flight
Blood is drained of color
By the flashes of artillery light
No one gets to their heaven without a fight
The battle flags are flown
At the feet of a god unknown
No one gets to their heaven without a fight

Sometimes the damage is too great
Or the will is too weak
What should have been our armor
Becomes a sharp and burning sword

Tablature

By Synthesis

Excerpted from Ultimate Guitar.

Intro:

e|———————-5—–|———————-5—–|
B|-5-7-5-7-8-5-5–5-7-5-5-5-8-|-5-7-5-7-8-5-5–5-7-5-5-5-8-|
G|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5–5-5-5—5-5-|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5–5-5-5—5-5-|
D|—————————-|—————————-|
A|—————————-|—————————-|
E|—————————-|—————————-|

e|-5-7-5-7-8–5-7-5-10-10-10–|———————-5—–|
B|-6-6-6-6-6–6-6-6-10-10-10–|-5-7-5-7-8-5-5–5-7-5-5-5-8-|
G|—————————-|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5–5-5-5—5-5-|
D|—————————-|—————————-|
A|—————————-|—————————-|
E|—————————-|—————————-|

C Em

e|—————————-|—————————-|
B|-13~————————|-12~————————|
G|—————————-|—————————-|
D|—————————-|—————————-|
A|—————————-|—————————-|
E|—————————-|—————————-|

D

e|-14————————-|—————————-|
B|—-15~———————|—————————-|
G|—————————-|———–0—————-|
D|—————————-|——–0—–4————-|
A|—————————-|—–5———–5———-|
E|—————————-|–5————————-|

C Em

e|—————————-|—————————-|
B|-13~————————|-12~————————|
G|—————————-|—————————-|
D|—————————-|—————————-|
A|—————————-|—————————-|
E|—————————-|—————————-|

D C

e|-14————————-|—————————-|
B|—-15~———————|—————————-|
G|—————————-|—————————-|
D|—————————-|—————————-|
A|—————————-|—————————-|
E|—————————-|—————————-|

For complete tab, go to Ultimate Guitar.

Tutorials

“Armor and Sword” guitar cover

“Armor and Sword” bass cover

“Armor and Sword” drum cover

Back to Rush Vault

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~ by rvkeeper on February 20, 2011.

 
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