"Between The Wheels" as written by and Geddy Lee Weinrib Neil Peart....
To live between a rock and a hard place
In between time
Cruising in prime time
Soaking up the cathode rays

To live between the wars in our time
Living in real time
Holding the good time
Holding on to yesterdays

You know how that rabbit feels
Going under your speeding wheels
Bright images flashing by
Like windshields towards a fly
Frozen in the fatal climb
But the wheels of time
Just pass you by
Wheels can take you around
Wheels can cut you down

We can go from boom to bust
From dreams to a bowl of dust
We can fall from rockets' red glare
Down to brother can you spare
Another war
Another wasteland
And another lost generation

It slips between your hands like water
This living in real time
A dizzying lifetime
Reeling by on celluloid

Struck between the eyes
By the big time world
Walking uneasy streets
Hiding beneath the sheets
Got to try and fill the void

You know how that rabbit feels
Going under your speeding wheels
Bright images flashing by
Like windshields towards a fly
Frozen in the fatal climb
But the wheels of time
Just pass you by
Wheels can take you around
Wheels can cut you down


Lyrics submitted by shed27

"Between the Wheels" as written by Gary Lee Weinrib Neil Elwood Peart

Lyrics © OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Between The Wheels song meanings
Add your thoughts

14 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentI say "Wheels can take you around, wheels can cut you down" so often during my everyday life. This is truly one of the best songs ever written. I am often shocked to hear that many so called Rush fans actually don't like this album. Regardless of the first seven songs, GUP should be considered one of their best solely for this song. The lyrics, the music, the vocals... it all just moves me in a way that's hard to explain. This is possibly my favourite song of all time.
    CygnusX3on August 16, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I left college after two years, my roommate gave me a copy of this song to remind me not to let the wheels of time pass me by.

    The opening lines of this song bring to mind a person who has either become a TV junkie, living life through fiction, or so afraid of what is happening in the real would (on TV), they cut themselves off from society.

    Life can go by so fast and seem overwhelming.
    "What is my purpose?" "What should I do?" Do something. Anything. Don't just sit there.

    The song seems to suggest everyone's imput is needed. As another Rush song says, "Get out there and rock, and roll the bones."
    Arbiteron April 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRemember that this album was released in 1984, and had as its them the fear of nuclear destruction (the phrase "Grace Under Pressure" is Hemingway).

    This song addresses the wastefulness of the Cold War. The "Reeling by on celluloid" reference is stating that people sometimes seek refugee in entertainment and mindless activities instead of facing their fears and responsibilities.
    Elquemataranason April 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI beleive this song reflects on the frail nature of our lives. How easily things can change if you can't keep up or time starts to pass you by. As they say, you can go from boom to bust (not that it has anything to do with the Great Deperssion)
    apoplolon September 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love how this song goes from very melancholy in the beginning to a more upbeat sound during the solo part and then back to that foreboding sound of the beginning
    ZiggyStarbuckon April 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about how quickly things can deteriorate if you don't keep up. I like how the song points out "Wheels can take you around / Wheels can cut you down" I like the idea that the same thing can either help or harm depending on the situation.
    Rushofhipposon June 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentInterresting to hear your comments.
    I must tell, I bought this record beacause my friend was playing drums in a swedish coverband playing Rush (only).
    I bought it lissened to it and put it away. For about a year. Didn't like it.
    When I then lissened to it again i got stuck. It was a strange feeling. Like the feeling a get from Edward Hoppers paintings. I dont like the "form" but a kind of like the "message", if there is a massage.
    Just "Grace under pressure" is telling what I feel.
    This song I like because it goes from one tempos to another. From darkness to a more constructice beet. From the bottom you try to get to the surface.
    Strange and beautiful.
    Olovon August 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDon't think that the drenching irony of bringing back this lost gem from the GUP album in 2005 (for the R30 Tour) and then for the Snakes & Arrows Tour was lost of a number of us paying attention here in the good ole US of A.

    The lyrics practically describe what America has been living through in the last decade or so.

    The juxtaposition of a pop culture awash in stupidity and meaningless affect while soldiers come home and drown in their own shattered psyches, alcohol & drugs and (for far too many) eventual suicide.

    We are two very separate and incongruous nations in that respect.

    Neil was looking at what happened to those who lived between the two World Wars (often called the "Lost Generation" - a phrase used by Hemingway who, as another commenter mentioned, was the source of the album title) and was beginning to see parallels to our own modern culture in the early 80s and now the 21st century.

    Considering the tone of his disappointment with what we've become (excellently expressed on Snakes & Arrows with Armor And Sword and The Way The Wind Blows) it didn't surprise me that the band played this two tours in a row probably at the suggestion of Peart.

    What scares me is we have enough ego-maniacs who believe in "American exceptionalism" who somehow think that the "boom" will never go "bust" so we're burning America out as a world power. I think we're past the point of....

    "Wheels can take you around
    Wheels can cut you down

    We can go from boom to bust
    From dreams to a bowl of dust"
    atlbobr69on February 21, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionMaybe even a book...
    fireinside87on June 02, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe best closer of any rush album even cygnus x-1
    radioheadsteron April 21, 2017   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