The news broke earlier today that Neil Peart, Rush’s drummer and lyricist, has died. He left us this past Tuesday, on January 7, after succumbing to brain cancer. He was sixty-seven years old.
In listening to Rush this evening to honor Mr. Peart, it struck me just how much their music is about life. It may be lost sometimes amidst the plethora of literary and philosophical references, a trait often incorrectly taken as enforcing distance from the world around us. It may be noticed after one takes in the virtuosic performances of the trio. Sometimes it seems bizarre to even think of given Rush’s tendency to set their music in worlds beyond our own and the appearances of fantastic traits even in their grounded works. But the sense that this music reflects life in its full potential is always, always there.
The music of Rush presents the world as a lush, beautiful place, and life as a thing of great inherent meaning. It is not without its struggles, and there are things which will seem bleak. But in the end, there will always be hope. Life will still be beautiful, and we are all capable of finding that beauty for ourselves in whatever form it presents itself.
The world is, the world is,Rush, “Tom Sawyer”
Love and life are deep,
Maybe as his eyes are wide.
Beyond the fact that he set a high bar for percussive brilliance and meaningful lyrics, Mr. Peart’s music has given the world a bit more of that beauty. For that he will never be forgotten.
Thank you for your work, Mr. Peart!
Rush’s official announcement has asked that those wishing to express their condolences put their words into action and donate to cancer research groups in Neil Peart’s name. This one, which Rush themselves donated generously to, seems as good as any.