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I can learn to resist
Anything but temptation
I can learn to co-exist
With anything but pain

I can learn to compromise
Anything but my desires
I can learn to get along
With all the things I can’t explain

I can learn to resist
Anything but frustration
I can learn to persist
With anything but aiming low

I can learn to close my eyes
To anything but injustice
I can learn to get along
With all the things I don’t know

You can surrender
Without a prayer
But never really pray
Pray without surrender

You can fight
Without ever winning
But never ever win
Without a fight




Lyrics submitted by Frank_Perk

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  • 0
    General CommentI like the line "you can surrender without a prayer but never really pray, pray without surrender." Similiar to The Pass. You can give up or you can fight on. In this case, even turning your situation over to a higher power.
    yrogerg1on August 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI gave this song more thought and I think it is about being human. We are subject to things like desires and temptations and our feelings. We are controlled by our egos which make us feel that these things are important.
    yrogerg1on August 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationVery powerful song, with strong meaning behind it.

    The obvious quote that's best though from it...

    "You can surrender without a prayer
    But never really pray, pray without surrender

    You can fight, fight without ever winning
    But never ever win, win without a fight "

    Noticed part of that was cut off in the presented lyrics but whotever.

    Point is something which's been stated in several of Rush's songs before. The first half basically stating that yeu can give up when there's no hope, or yeu can make yeur own hope, prayer being a common method of doing so. To truly find the inner strength needed for that hope though requires humility, that or something reaaaaally nasty to happen. Either way, yeu can't have hope without earning it in one way or another. Which leads into the second part...

    "You don't get something for nothing; you can't have freedom for free" yeu don't win without putting in effort; a fight doesn't neccesarily mean COMBAT, but it does mean yeu are going to have to struggle to make it, whotever it may be. Be it a job, a task, a war, or love, wherever it is yeu go, anything worth having is worth fighting for. And yeu can't just expect to have it all handed to yeu on a silver platter (personally I prefer platinum, silver's too cheap for my tastes ^.~ ), it has to be earned.


    The remainder of the song is basically just stating that there's alot of things that tug and pull at us, temptations abound, our vices, our desires, things we want and can't have, things we shouldn't want but know we do anyway. Yeu can train yeurself to block some of these things out, others, by human nature, are not feasably possible. If yeu see an atrocity occur before yeu, can yeu stand by and watch it happen? Some can, but we shouldn't. Can yeu compromise on yeur hopes and dreams, willing to settle for less if it's less trouble? Once again, yeu CAN, but really, SHOULD yeu?

    Some of these things can be suffered by some individuals, others can't neccesarily cope with the same things. Stating that they can 'resist anything but temptation' implies a human weakness, yet "I can learn to close my eyes to anything but injustice" shows great strength as well. We're a mix of strengths and weaknesses, often tied togeather inextricably. One's strength is another's weakness. To rely on others can be yeur greatest strength, and it can be yeur greatest weakness, as is often shown in movies and such, though... those tend to be weighted in certain ways to the social norm at the time. Different cultures have different values on them as well, which people have difficulties grasping since the concept of 'good' and 'evil' can be so forgien at times when hidden behind different masks.

    But we are the sum of our parts; we have our flaws and our strengths, make of them as yeu will. Try to cover yeur flaws, or try to counterbalance them with enhancing yeur strengths, everyone has their own individual way to face their own self.

    And as far as I'm concerned, this song shows a single perspective, and it doesn't claim it's right or wrong, but it does state that, in the end, yeu are left with having to have faith, hope, and be willing to fight for whot yeu want, regardless of yeur personal character.
    Katsunion August 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song... its really good live too
    musiclvr36on June 09, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentrush really likes to pay homages to oscar wilde in the line "I can learn to resist anyhthing but temptation" and in "the pass". both brilliant songs that should be heard by more people. rush is more than just tom sawyer they really have some beautiful songs like this one
    cochise215on July 14, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is one of the best songs ever made.such a cool feel to the song with honest lyrics and beautiful musicianship.just awesome!!!!!!!!!!seen these guys in Auburn WA. a few years back and they played it stripped down and it was simply (Awesome).
    dooglepopon May 08, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHey guys...

    I think yrogerg1 hit it with the second analysis- I think this is a song that's just about being human, which is to say, being weak. What do we resist BUT temptation, in one form or another (or, frustration, which can just be expressed as the temptation to give up)? When we talk about closing our eyes, to something or "looking the other way," we are always talking about trying to ignore some injustice, aren't we? You wouldn't say, "I can close my eyes to you eating breakfast"- aside from missing the point that would just be strange to the ear. "I can learn to compromise anything but my desires"- but, of course, what else but your desires (in some form) could you be giving up if this is a real compromise? What we end up with is the sentence structure "I can learn to (do something) except in (every reasonable situation of actually doing that thing)."

    I think this is a song about a human being (any human being) trying (and failing) to live up to his own standards/hopes/expectations, whether or not those standards are actually realistic is, of course, another question. It's universal; as we are all in this boat, we are all subject to human weakness. "Surrender" is antithetical to "fighting," so it is implied that prayer (for the speaker) precludes "winning," in some sense. Again, the standards to which we human beings hold ourselves are probably unrealistic, as our reach exceeds our grasp, and as our desire always exceeds (or at least precedes) our ability to fulfill it. This is a beautiful song- it expresses the fundamental weakness inherent in us all while validating our (possibly futile, possibly not) attempts to overcome that weakness... And it does it all with such delicate, graceful, transcendent sound, as if it were all meant to be.
    StormMaguson August 30, 2011   Link
  • -1
    General Commentinspired by the grrrrrrreat leader of scottland...


    lovely song.
    acrosstheuniverseon March 27, 2005   Link

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