"Test for Echo" as written by and Paul Philip Woods Neil Peart....
Here we go, vertigo
Video vertigo
Test for echo
Here we go, in slo-mo
Video vertigo
Test for echo

Some kind of trouble on the sensory screen
Camera curves over caved-in cop cars
Bleacher-creatures, would-be desperados
Clutch at plausible deniability
Don't touch that dial,
We're in denial
Until the showcase trial on TV

Some kind of pictures on the sense o'clock news
Miles of yellow tape, silhouetted chalk lines
Tough-talking hood boys in pro-team logo knock-offs
Conform to uniforms of some corporate entity
Don't change that station
It's Gangster Nation
Now crime's in syndication on TV

Here we go, vertigo
Video vertigo
Test for echo
Here we go, in slo-mo
Video vertigo
Test for echo

Some kind of drama live on satellite
Hidden camera coverage from the crime scene to the courtroom
Nail-biting hood boys in borrowed ties and jackets
Clutching at the straws of respectability
Can't do the time?
Don't do the crime
And wind up in the perp. walk on TV


Lyrics submitted by NeoTwilight

"Test for Echo" as written by Gary Lee Weinrib Alex Zivojinovich

Lyrics © OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT LP

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Test for Echo song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is a reaction to the spectacle that serious crimes have become in society. Because of modern technology, people get to watch real-life horrors unfold as if they were watching a ballgame, and they are treated as such.

    I may be wrong, but I felt this was especially a reaction to America's obsession over the OJ Simpson trial. Am I way off? ;-)
    coryoonon March 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it is something like what you said. I definetly see a connection with TV news and sensationalism possibly bringing about more crime as it desensitizes society to more crime hence "test for echo."
    yrogerg1on August 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentactually, coryoon you're directly on. you couldnt be more on. thats EXACTLY what the song means. the last line isnt very neil peart style, and not quite great, the 'cant do the time dont do the crime' i dont particularly like. but its very true how pathetic it is that crime, murders, all that have become like entetrainment. its sad and patehtic.
    passionate_musicon February 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song. I like it. What it reminds me of is ... Law and Order. We're entertained by crime ... that seems wrong somehow. But I do think it's mainly about news and maybe the OJ Simpson trial - I was four years old, too young to remember.

    It makes me laugh when Geddy says, "Gangster." It sounds like he's saying "gangsta," and I'm like ... Geddy, you're fifty. You can't say gangsta. hahaha.
    everyday_gloryon July 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCall me "desensitised" to the TV world, but what does the term "TEST FOR ECHO" actually mean?
    NUMBER 4on May 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf you're reading this then I don't need to say that rush lyrics are loaded with imagery, puns and double entendre.

    Test for echo is a term used in professional recording to, well, make sure there's no echo that will be recorded. Move obvious, echoes occur in empty, vacant places. ie: Air head

    I agree with coryoon's comments, but I think the song also calls attention to how we are increasingly letting the media, or more specifically 'opinion journalism' fill our heads with items fitting their agendas.

    I agree with what coryoon says above aboutspectacle that serious crimes have become in society
    Tormatoon July 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOK, call me crazy, but I always thought that it was "good boys" instead of "hood boys" and Geddy was just saying ti weird like he does with Tam Sawyer (Tom Saw-yee). I also thought it was six o'clock news, but you know, I'm not the world's greatest Rush authority.

    Anyways, I agree with Everyday Glory- Geddy sounds hilarious saying "gansta."

    This was one of the first Rush songs I ever actually listened to- my dad had always played the CDs in the car but I never really paid attention until I was 12. Then I listened to the lyrics and I fell in love with them immediatley. Anyways, I absolutley love this song and Geddy and Alex and Neil and I hope you all have an awesome day.
    smartykat37on November 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think I agree with the general consensus. The song is talking about how we have turned crime and illicit activity into no more than a form of entertainment. Think about it, we have NCIS, Law and Order, Breaking Bad, even House of Cards. Some more white-collar crime than others, but none the less they are crimes that have been written out with some names and turned into entertainment. The term Vertigo, meaning "a sensation of whirling and loss of balance, associated particularly with looking down from a great height, or caused by disease affecting the inner ear or the vestibular nerve; giddiness" could be talking about society's level of sensitivity to horrific imagery. I mean, come on, I never really watched NCIS until recently when I stopped on it flipping channels and was unaware that I would be seeing a family beaten to death with a baseball bat and left bleeding on the floor as their 5 year-old daughter walks through the room. Can someone please tell me how exactly that is entertaining? Where are we headed next in entertainment?
    bmcf1lmon June 16, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think I agree with the general consensus. The song is talking about how we have turned crime and illicit activity into no more than a form of entertainment. Think about it, we have NCIS, Law and Order, Breaking Bad, even House of Cards. Some more white-collar crime than others, but none the less they are crimes that have been written out with some names and turned into entertainment. The term Vertigo, meaning "a sensation of whirling and loss of balance, associated particularly with looking down from a great height, or caused by disease affecting the inner ear or the vestibular nerve; giddiness" could be talking about society's level of sensitivity to horrific imagery. I mean, come on, I never really watched NCIS until recently when I stopped on it flipping channels and was unaware that I would be seeing a family beaten to death with a baseball bat and left bleeding on the floor as their 5 year-old daughter walks through the room. Can someone please tell me how exactly that is entertaining? Where are we headed next in entertainment?
    bmcf1lmon June 16, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think I agree with the general consensus. The song is talking about how we have turned crime and illicit activity into no more than a form of entertainment. Think about it, we have NCIS, Law and Order, Breaking Bad, even House of Cards. Some more white-collar crime than others, but none the less they are crimes that have been written out with some names and turned into entertainment. The term Vertigo, meaning "a sensation of whirling and loss of balance, associated particularly with looking down from a great height, or caused by disease affecting the inner ear or the vestibular nerve; giddiness" could be talking about society's level of sensitivity to horrific imagery. I mean, come on, I never really watched NCIS until recently when I stopped on it flipping channels and was unaware that I would be seeing a family beaten to death with a baseball bat and left bleeding on the floor as their 5 year-old daughter walks through the room. Can someone please tell me how exactly that is entertaining? Where are we headed next in entertainment?
    bmcf1lmon June 16, 2014   Link

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