"Red Tide" as written by and Geddy Lee Weinrib Neil Peart....
Nature has some new plague
To run in our streets
History some new wrinkle
We are doomed to repeat

Fugitives at the bedroom door
Lovers pause to find an open store
Rain is burning on the forest floor
And the red tide kisses the shore

This is not a false alarm
This is not a test

Stay out of the sun
It only burns my skin
Sky full of poison
And the atmosphere's too thin

Bless the sun, the rain no more
River running like an open sore
Black wind falling to the ocean floor
And the red tide washes ashore

This is not a false alarm
This is not a test
Nowhere we can fly away
Nowhere we can rest
The party is disrupted by
An uninvited guest

Deadline approaches
For the weary land
It used to be something
But we let it run down in our hands

Too late for debate, too bad to ignore
Quiet rebellion leads to open war
Bring a sea-change to the factory floor
As the red tide covers the shore

Now is the time to turn the tide
Now is the time to fight
Let us not go gently
To the endless winter night

Now is the time to make the time
While hope is still in sight
Let us not go gently
To the endless winter night


Lyrics submitted by shed27

"Red Tide" as written by Geddy Lee Alex Lifeson

Lyrics © OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT LP

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Red Tide song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentSeems to be primarily about environmental destruction, but with a hint of sexual plague in the first verse. Note that the red tide gets worse in each verse, first 'kissing the shore', then 'washing ashore' and finally 'covers the shore'.

    KingJPWon May 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song was actually the song that got me into Rush in the first place. I'm a real science geek and I've taken a lot of classes on aquatic biology. "Red Tides" occur when phytoplankton (algae and other single-celled organisms) rapidly multiply in the water column and they can actually change the color of the water (to red, brown, purple, green, etc.). Some red tides (called harmful algal blooms) emit toxins that can cause fish-kills and can even make the water unsafe for swimming.

    Red Tides are thought to be caused by (among other things) excess pollution run-off, so for me, this song is clearly about the environmental pollution that humans cause (ie: "stay out of the sun, it only burns my skin" and "river running like an open sore"). I especially like the line "too late for debate, too bad to ignore" because it highlights that environmental problems affect us all; we all need clean air to breathe and suitable drinking water but sometimes we chose to ignore these issues.

    I also like how the song offers hope at the end with "Now's the time to turn the tide / Now's the time to fight."

    I love this song!!!
    Rushofhipposon June 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a commentary on AID's, as the first verse strongly indicates. The line "lovers pause to find an open store" tells us whats going on. Without a doubt the ebst track on Presto, both Muscially and lyricaly superior.
    Razormasticatoron July 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentY'all are correct.
    Sk8ron February 18, 2016   Link

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