"Bravado" as written by and Alex Lifeson Geddy Lee Weinrib....
If we burn our wings
Flying too close to the sun
If the moment of glory
Is over before it's begun
If the dream is won --
Though everything is lost
We will pay the price,
But we will not count the cost

When the dust has cleared
And victory denied
A summit too lofty
River a little too wide
If we keep our pride
Though paradise is lost
We will pay the price,
But we will not count the cost

And if the music stops
There's only the sound of the rain
All the hope and glory,
All the sacrifice in vain
And if love remains
Though everything is lost
We will pay the price,
But we will not count the cost


Lyrics submitted by shed27

Bravado song meanings
Add your thoughts

14 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentThe meaning of this song is not too hard to figure out but the line that stands out to me is:

    "And when the music stops, there's only the sound of the rain"

    Neil Peart does such a beautiful job of creating metaphores that define the topic while also giving the listener a haunting visual to accompany it and this is a great example.

    In any act of bravery or perseverence that is cut short , the "music" or struggle and anticiaption of success gives way to the dark saturating cloud of dissapointment.

    "we will pay the price, but we will not count the costs"

    There is always a price to pay in failure, but bravery does not recognize failure and to keep stock of those failures is ultimately a hinderance, thus we should not count those losses in order to allow us to psychologically push forward and ultimately achieve.

    Beautiful song-One of my favorites from Rush.
    Kingtacoon November 08, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"We will pay the price, but we will not count the cost"

    There is a profound difference between trying one's best and failing at something vs accepting defeat. Many of the greatest achievements of the world came after a series of failures wherein the people behind those achievements refused to give up and kept at it until they persevered. I agree with so many above -- a beautiful song well crafted and performed by skilled and caring artists....
    rvidilon December 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom it's homage to Icarus and Daedalus and through, the message is clear, even if we fail, we must percevere. We will pay the price, no matter what it might be. It is a great lesson in life.
    Frank_Perkon May 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGeddy Lee- "That line to me says really says so much about the people, really that move the world, you know, the people that go out there and do what has to be done. And they're not worrying about what it's going to cost them personally down the road, they're doing what has to be done, and they're prepared to pay the price for it without worrying about.... the payment that comes later."
    YYZ_2112on January 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRush's most beautiful song. No matter what bullshit life throws at ya, if love is still there, yer good to go.
    spokexxon February 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRush's most beautiful song indeed.

    Pure awesome.
    BMaloneyon July 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about a warrior...er fighter. \m/ It's about people who just do what they need to do and not worry about the future.
    Lateralus518on April 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's not about doing what you like without looking on consequences, being warrior, preserving or something. Author says that there are some things in life which are worth paying any price: love, pride and dreams.
    jarogon July 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOf all of rush's songs, I think this's probably my favorite. Same with the roll the bones album. Every song on it was good, and touching in their own way.

    The wings burning from flying to close to the sun is definate tribute to the myth of icarus, no denying that one.

    The rest... well the rest just states just how badly the failure was. In the end, we all stumble and fall, and the farther up yeu are, the farther there is to fall. To attempt greatness is to put it all on the line. How many fallen would-be heroes are listed as nothing more than a statistic? Sure we hear about the "hero" who saved someone from a burning building... and how often do we hear about "3 died in a fire" when two people ran in to try to save someone and they were all lost?

    There's always a price to pay, and sometimes it's steeper than we're willing to pay. Risk vs reward, people measure it differently. We need to though for the species as a whole to survive... if one person's in a burning building and 10 stand outside... if all 10 ran in there to help, chances are yeu'd just end up with 11 dead people instead of 1. Self preservation's a pretty high goal because of that. But at the same time, sending 1 person in to help out... the risk is double or nothing; acceptable odds in some cases.

    The sacrifices made can be worth it though, sure the dream may not come true, perhaps we'll crash and burn in the attempt, but we have to at least try. If we can't push the risks out of our minds, we can never become more than we are. Then again, to quote Despair.com... "Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea".

    Without risk, there is no gain, but the gain isn't a guarantee. It's a fitting tribute song though to those who took the risks for greatness, and lost the bet. The difference between courage and foolishness is knowing the risks. The difference between greatness and a statistic is a roll of the dice. Of course, with my luck, I know which way the dice are going to roll so probably better to play it safe in my case, but I'm all for those who are willing to take the chance. Someone has to after all...
    Katsunion June 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe best definition of "heartbreak" I have ever read was " Heartbreak is when a dream dies."

    When that Olympian has a career-ending injury before winning a medal. When a marriage fails. When a child's life is cut-short before her parents get to see her grown up and succeed. When a person pours their heart into a business that fails due to circumstances beyond his control.

    All these are dreams that die. The heartbreak is real, but the effort is worth the trying.
    tigerx2374on May 21, 2013   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain