"The Pass" as written by and Geddy Lee Weinrib Neil Peart....
Proud swagger out of the schoolyard
Waiting for the world's applause
Rebel without a conscience
Martyr without a cause

Static on your frequency
Electrical storm in your veins
Raging at unreachable glory
Straining at invisible chains

And now you're trembling on a rocky ledge
Staring down into a heartless sea
Can't face life on a razor's edge
Nothings what you thought it would be

All of us get lost in the darkness
Dreamers learn to steer by the stars
All of us do time in the gutter
Dreamers turn to look at the cars
Turn around and turn around and turn around
Turn around and walk the razor's edge
Don't turn your back
And slam the door on me

It's not as if this barricade
Blocks the only road
It's not as if you're all alone
In wanting to explode

Someone set a bad example
Made surrender seem all right
The act of a noble warrior
Who lost the will to fight

And now you're trembling on a rocky ledge
Staring down into a heartless sea
Done with life on a razor's edge
Nothings what you thought it would be

No hero in your tragedy
No daring in your escape
No salutes for your surrender
Nothing noble in your fate
Christ, what have you done?

Lyrics submitted by shed27, edited by Rush4Peace

"The Pass" as written by Gary Lee Weinrib Neil Elwood Peart

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., OLE MM, OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT LP, Peermusic Publishing

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The Pass song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis whole song is to do with teen suicide, but what I find from it too is that Neil is saying that life is really tough and there is alot of hurt and rejections in life thats what I get when he says "all of us get lost in the darkness" and "It's not as if this barricade blcoks the only road". Meaning that yeah life is tough and there will be a lot of tough incidents that you face, but life is worth living, don't give up on life because it is worth fighting for. This song helped me threw a breakup with my girlfriend after four years, I was really down in the dumps.
    rushfan2112on April 30, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTo me one of the interesting things about Rush is that when I listened to them in my early teens, I loved a number of songs.

    As I grew older I discovered that Peart wrote some profound lyrics that I could often relate to. I also discovered how diverse and complex Lee and Lifeson's arrangements were. I appreciated Rush even more, and I discovered a whole new set of great Rush songs, this being one of them.
    Gormoon June 16, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentincredible song. rush likes to announce this as one of their favorites in concert. it sounds like its about someone who, coming out of high school, thought the world would be handed to him, then realized it wouldnt and is now contemplating suicide, maybe jumping off a building or something, and the speaker is telling them to turn around and come back.
    beemer11on April 30, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPeart has said this song is about suicide, it is not just manipulation. He said that he put in a lot of research and was surprised to see it was often kids graduating from places like MIT who did this, not necessariliy total screwups or anything. The "someone set a bad example, made surrender seem alright" refers to warriors in some cultures who consider suicide a noble way to die. There are interviews with Peart floating around the web where he explains the song, and it is definately about suicide.
    GMan87on December 05, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPossibly the most amazing rock song ever written. This song is about the journey that is life that we all face, the choices that we make, and dealing with the results of those decisions. While the final dark ending for the main character is obvious (Christ, What Have You Done), the lyrics are yet full of optimism & hope for those who choose to struggle on in life, despite the problems & setbacks we all experience. The main character in the song seems to almost have been sacrificed so that the rest of us might be inspired to keep the flame burning.

    I get Effin goose bumps every time I hear it.

    It's just the new year, now. Over the past few days, radio stations in my area have been runnin the usual "Top 100 Rock Songs". I hear " Gimme 3 steps" I hear "Satisfaction" Not a whisper of The Pass. It kinda made me sad on New Years Day.....
    Cosmos67on January 02, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song has a powerfull positive message and has saved my life on more than one ocasion for me it speaks to myADHD ""static on my frequency electrical storm in my heart". and the feelings of anxious insecurity "standing on a rocky ledge stareing out at a heartless sea" a DEbt of gratitude to Rush and there insight (i am not a teen am in my late fourties livin on the land in a small town that noone can pronounce. i have a fabulous garden
    whatarushon February 13, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRush's best song in my view. This is not to be taken literally, it is about emotional decisions and how the choices you make turn out. A work of genius.
    theoceanbridgeon October 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdefinately suicide, kind of a wierd topic for neil peart to write about. but " someone set a bad example, made surrender seem alright" is pretty dead on.
    melkerson3on October 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is written about the epidemic of teenage suicide. As Neil peart says "It still brings a tear to my eye to play that song, I think that's one of our better crafted ones lyrically and musically".

    very strong both musically and lyrically, both upbeat and melancholic, further proof, if it were ever needed that Rush are the best band ever.
    Razormasticatoron July 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe foremost thing needed to be understood about this song is that it is /figurative/. It is not about suicide. It is, as was said above, about struggling with difficult emotional issues that arose due to poor judgement.

    I am almost certain that the speaker and the person being spoken to are in fact the same person. It is someone speaking to himself or herself.

    They are saying (to themselves), "Look. You started out with a poor idea of what the world was like, and made some bad decisions as a result. Now look where you are. And you just want to lie down and not do anything about it? This happens to everyone once-in-a-while; what seperates the successful from the unsuccessful is what you make of the situation. Will you tremble in fear and inaction when the time comes to act? Or will you apply your mind and improve the situation? Not to act is /ethical/ suicide. Don't turn your back on yourself.
    TheSuperSpudon July 20, 2005   Link

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