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There are those who think that life has nothing left to chance
A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance

A planet of play things
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive
'The stars aren't aligned
Or the gods are malign...'
Blame is better to give than receive

[Chorus:]
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose freewill

There are those who think
That they were dealt a losing hand
The cards were stacked against them
They weren't born in Lotusland

All preordained
A prisoner in chains
A victim of venomous fate
Kicked in the face
You can't pray for a place
In heaven's unearthly estate

[Chorus]

Each of us
A cell of awareness
Imperfect and incomplete
Genetic blends
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet

[Chorus]


Lyrics submitted by shed27, edited by drewzer15, Rush4Peace


Freewill song meanings
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68 Comments

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  • +4
    General Comment..."Fucking stupid song.

    ...We don't have free will.
    ...We're the conglomerates of genetics and upbringing; perceptual
    ...entities in an epistemologically ambiguous physical Universe."

    I'm guessing you didn't do very well on that week's vocabulary quiz. You pretty much said one thing, and then said the complete opposite.

    Anyway, good song.
    t4ron February 25, 2005   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationWith the possible exception of Brian Steeksma’s “Listen to Reason”, I find this to be the most clearly pro-atheists song I’ve ever heard:

    There are those who think that life is nothing left to chance,
    A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance.

    A planet of playthings,
    We dance on the strings
    Of powers we cannot conceive.
    "The stars aren't aligned
    Or the gods are malign"-
    Blame is better to give than receive.

    This first section clearly seems to be categorizing god beliefs as something other than freewill. It clearly characterizes religious beliefs as making us nothing but playthings in a deterministic world, while acknowledging that this may suit some better than freewill as it allows one to simply blame misfortune or failure on supernatural forces rather than taking responsibility – “Blame is better to give than receive.”

    You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
    If you choose not to decide, you still haven't made a choice. – I would insert a correction here – I am 99% certain that is says “HAVE made a choice” which makes more sense.
    You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
    I will choose a path that's clear-
    I will choose Free Will.

    Here in the chorus they clearly imply that religious belief is something apart from freewill.


    There are those who think that they were dealt a losing hand,
    The cards were stacked against them- they weren't born in lotus-land.
    Again the lines above and the next 3 speak to a belief in a theistic mindset that rejects responsibility for one’s own fate.

    All preordained-
    A prisoner in chains-
    A victim of venomous fate.
    Kicked in the face,
    You can't pray for a place
    In heaven's unearthly estate.

    The last part of this verse seems to almost ridicule the notion of intercessory prayer. Roughly paraphrased, the writer seems to be saying: ‘when life gets rough, it makes no sense to just pray for a better afterlife – you should take responsibility and try to make the most of the one life you know you have.

    Each of us-
    A cell of awareness-
    Imperfect and incomplete.
    Genetic blends
    With uncertain ends
    On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet.

    This last seems to be an assertion and acceptance again of the idea that we are simply evolved creatures who have developed a level of awareness and that we have one life to live, so let’s not waste it worrying about superstition.
    pdoylemion August 12, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Commentok I have read this thread been going on since 2006 here is my 2 cents worth...

    unless you have founded the Rush Church of the World...or truly think you have to understand the lyrics to this song to consider yourselves true RUSH fans...I will say this I am a guitarist and I love Rush the drumming, the guitar work, the bass melodies... ummm I "CHOOSE" to love the song because it appeals to me, in other words it gets my rocks off does it bother me that maybe I was predestined to like this song? Nah, know good music when I hear it...I bet there is thousands of people in this world that would disagree and you know what? I'm ok with that. That is what makes us different, unique... If I want to grab a pistol and blow my brains out I have that choice it's called freewill. Freewill doesn't prove anything GOD no GOD it's the ability for over 6 billion people to have that freewill that makes this world what it is. Imagine if we were all the same...same hair, same eyes, same gender arrrrgggghh... just appreciate it for what it is 3 talented musicians that can fucking play... ROCK - ROLL!!!
    willywonka1972on October 12, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYou still HAVE made a choice.
    ChybreGreenon February 10, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"I for one am thankful, for the US constitution and the declaration of independence which allows me freewill!" The US constitution is leading two things. Jack and shit, and Jack left town.
    digitalmanon August 08, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel that the lyrics to “Freewill” are very empowering, and that the main message of the song is that your life is what you make of it. The song starts out with:
    There are those who think that life has nothing left to chance
    A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance
    I think that these first couple of lines is basically saying that there are some people who think that the path of their life is already planed and can’t be changed.
    A planet of play things
    We dance on the strings
    Of powers we cannot perceive
    These next few lines continue with the idea that some people have, about how this planet of life is directed by fate, destiny, or a higher power of some sort that’s too complicated for anyone to understand.
    ‘The stars aren’t aligned
    Or the gods are malign…’
    These two lines bring in the main concept that everyone has the freewill to make their own decisions, and that no one’s life is set in stone.
    Blame is better to give than receive
    This last line of this verse is saying that it’s easier to blame fate for the mistakes you have made, or the things you feel that you can’t do.
    The next five lines are the chorus. After interpreting them once I will refer to them as [CHORUS] the next time that they come up in the song.
    You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
    This is saying that you can choose to believe that some higher power is directing your life.
    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
    So, if you choose to not make decisions for yourself you still have made a choice to not have control of your life.
    You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
    This line is sort of saying that you can choose to not make decisions because you’re too afraid of the outcome. Or you can choose to make decisions that make other people happy. Either way you are not making your own decisions and you don’t have control or your life.
    I will choose a path that’s clear
    I will choose freewill
    I feel that the last two lines of the chorus are saying that freewill isn’t as complicated as everyone makes it out to be. It’s simple you make your own decisions to do what you want when you want, and take responsibility for the outcome.
    There are those who think
    That they were dealt a losing hand
    The cards were stacked against them
    They weren’t born in Lotusland
    The second verse is saying that there are people who think that they were setup for failure since they were born. They think that the world is against them because they weren’t born into a situation of high status.
    All preordained
    A prisoner in chains
    A victim of venomous fate
    The first three lines of the third verse are saying that some people have already decided to accept the fictional idea of not being able to change their life or who they are.
    Kicked in the face
    You can’t pray for a place
    In heaven’s unearthly estate
    I think that these three lines are some of the most important in the song but I feel that they often get misinterpreted. They are basically saying that even if you fail at every little attempt to make your life better you can’t give up, you have to keep trying. You can’t just hope for a better life expecting it to suddenly get better overnight. You have to make you life better, by taking some action and changing the things you don’t like.
    [CHORUS]
    Each of us
    A cell of awareness
    Imperfect and incomplete
    I feel that these lines are saying that everyone is aware of the fact that no one is perfect therefore no one has a perfect life. No matter how great your life may be you always feel like you’re missing something.
    Genetic blends
    With uncertain ends
    These two lines are saying that everyone is unique, and because of that the course of anyone’s life cannot be planed.
    On a fortune hunt that’s far too fleet
    I think that this line is saying that we are all trying to make out lives the best that we can, but it never seems good enough. So, we end up wasting our entire lives trying to make life perfect which is imposable.
    [CHORUS]
    I feel that this song is very insightful. Especially because I just figured out recently (before hearing this song) that I need to take control of my life and do what’s right for me. I have also just come to terms with the fact that life is never perfect, but as long as you make the best of what you have. If you try to make it better, then your life will be enjoyable. So, I feel that I can really relate to the song “Freewill”. I guess that might be the reason I like it so much.
    RLeann333on November 03, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti belive what there trying to say is that is you chose to belive in a God or the god if you will, that you sacrifice free will, and hes saying that if he had to chose he would choose free will
    heringtongaton July 06, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is awesome! just has a philosophic feel about it
    Psychokurtyon May 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow, you messed up the lyrics horribly.
    tsucolon June 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnot really actually, you just messed up "have" with "havn't". And "concieve" with "percieve". great bass solo in the middle of the song btw, Amazing man that Geddy.
    tsucolon June 24, 2004   Link

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