"Carnies" as written by and Neil Peart Alex Lifeson....
Under the gaze of the angels
A spectacle like he's never seen
Spinning lights and faces
Demon music and gypsy queens

The glint of iron wheels
Bodies spin in a clockwork dance
The smell of flint and steel
A wheel of fate, a game of chance

How I prayed just to get away
To carry me anywhere
Sometimes the angels punish us
By answering our prayers
By answering our prayers

A face of naked evil
Turns the young boy's blood to ice
The deadly confrontation
Such a dangerous device

The glint of iron wheels
Bodies spin in a clockwork dance
The smell of flint and steel
A wheel of fate, a game of chance

Shout to warn the crowd
Accusations ringing loud
A ticking box, in the hand of the innocent
The angry crowd moves toward him with bad intent

How I prayed just to get away
To carry me anywhere
Sometimes the angels punish us
By answering our prayers
By answering our prayers

The glint of iron wheels
Bodies spin in a clockwork dance
The smell of flint and steel
A wheel of fate, a game of chance


Lyrics submitted by blood is thin

"Carnies" as written by Geddy Lee Alex Lifeson

Lyrics © OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT LP

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Carnies song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +2
    Lyric CorrectionThe song is missing these lyrics at the end:

    How I prayed just to get away
    To carry me anywhere
    Sometimes the angels punish us
    By answering our prayers
    By answering our prayers

    The glint of iron wheels
    Bodies spin in a clockwork dance
    The smell of flint and steel
    A wheel of fate, a game of chance
    tseekr379on June 26, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is quite simple in its' significance: The everlasting "good vs evil" theme. Here we have an innocent boy which represents the good, and the evil which is represented by the gypsy queen, demon music and face of naked evil. It is all enough to turn the boy's blood into ice - his biggest fear(s). Sometimes the angels punish us by answering our prayers means that sometimes, be careful what you wish for. When you ask for something, or desire something so bad, and you are are granted that desire, it may not always turn out to be what you expected.

    This happens with today's youth all the time, as they are the most susceptible in this "wheel of fate, game of chance" that is life. In the end, all we want to do when faced with these situations, is "pray to get away" and then we learn the difference between right and wrong, good and evil - and ultimately, what we should stay away from. Carnivals, demon music, gypsy queens represents the evilness in this world. Obviously the angel, prayer and demon theme that is prevailing in this album and also the last album, can be attributing to their changing belief, one that now holds faith in the forefront.

    Also, I may be wrong, but I believe the first line, Geddy sings: "Under the gaze of the eight elms, a spectacle like he's never seen."

    Another Rush song to quickly become a favorite. Bravo, for another amazing album.
    tseekr379on June 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's part of the story arc of the album, including a bombing attempt by The Anarchist (according to the liner notes), which is what the second verse is getting at. But: That aside, my first thought upon hearing this song for the first time and then still several times after -- the chorus, anyhow -- is that it makes a pretty poignant "sequel" to The Analog Kid, who dreamt of getting away, anywhere.
    mattbarron July 26, 2012   Link

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