"Bastille Day" as written by and Alex Zivojinovich Alex Lifeson....
There's no bread, let them eat cake
There's no end to what they'll take
Flaunt the fruits of noble birth
Wash the salt into the earth

But they're marching to Bastille Day
La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
Free the dungeons of the innocent
The king will kneel, and let his kingdom rise

Bloodstained velvet, dirty lace
Naked fear on every face
See them bow their heads to die
As we would bow as they rode by

But they're marching to Bastille Day
La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
Sing, o choirs of cacophony
The king has kneeled, to let his kingdom rise

Lessons taught but never learned
All around us anger burns
Guide the future by the past
Long ago the mould was cast

For they marched up to Bastille Day
La guillotine claimed her bloody prize
Hear the echoes of the centuries
Power isn’t all that money buys


Lyrics submitted by Dragon

"Bastille Day" as written by Gary Lee Weinrib Alex Zivojinovich

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, OLE MM, Peermusic Publishing

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Bastille Day song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentAfter yesterday's horrific attack, Rush's lyrics seem prophetical.

    Lessons taught but never learned
    All around us anger burns
    Guide the future by the past
    Long ago the mould was cast
    jonqdobaon July 15, 2016   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's not about the holiday that French Canadians celebrate - you're thinking of Saint-Jean Baptiste day. It's about the French Revolution and the storming of the Bastille in 1789 France. The French nation rebelled against Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette, both of whom were executed by guillotine for treason. Very good Rush song.
    Keith Angus Pageon November 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthat's exactly what it means.. Rush was into history, and they decided to write a song about the French Revolution. nothing deep here, just a song about the event.
    mateuszplon June 25, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's a bit historically inaccurate. Let them eat cake is a myth of course. The storming of the Bastille was an act that started the French revolution, yes but the beheadings didn't take place for several years. There were only a few prisoners in the Bastille who were basically debtors or actual criminals. What the people were really after was the armory inside to protect themselves from the troops occupying Paris. Once they had taken over the prison the king's hand was forced since it was obvious he was broke and couldn't afford to pay an unwilling army. This act also gave the national assembly a legitimacy in which to draft a constitutional monarchy. We all know that this eventually ended in the Reign of Terror and the end of the king and queen. The king was somewhat of a stupid man who was given several chances to save himself and his monarchy, he kind of had it coming.
    craigg75on November 14, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is one of the most amazing songs Rush has written!
    wonder why it hasn't got any comments yet...
    would love to have the real meaning to it
    Maferon June 20, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is one of the most amazing songs Rush has written!
    wonder why it hasn't got any comments yet...
    would love to have the real meaning to it
    Maferon June 20, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentexactly mateuszpl
    you stupid titon October 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGlorious.
    Razormasticatoron January 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song
    ColonelClaypool_00on October 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAn early indication of the songwriting style that Peart would take in the future, but still containing that hard rock element that Rush had early in their career.
    floydfan87on January 10, 2006   Link

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