"I lie awake, staring out at the bleakness of Megadon. City and sky become one, merging into a single plane, a vast sea of unbroken grey. The Twin Moons, just two pale orbs as they trace their way across the steely sky. I used to think I had a pretty good life here, just plugging into my machine for the day, then watching Templevision or reading a Temple Paper in the evening.

"My friend Jon always said it was nicer here than under the atmospheric domes of the Outer Planets. We have had peace since 2062, when the surviving planets were banded together under the Red Star of the Solar Federation. The less fortunate gave us a few new moons.
I believed what I was told. I thought it was a good life, I thought I was happy. Then I found something that changed it all..."

I. Overture

And the meek shall inherit the earth...

II. Temples of Syrinx

... "The massive grey walls of the Temples rise from the heart of every Federation city. I have always been awed by them, to think that every single facet of every life is regulated and directed from within! Our books, our music, our work and play are all looked after by the benevolent wisdom of the priests..."

We've taken care of everything
The words you hear, the songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes.
It's one for all and all for one
We work together, common sons
Never need to wonder how or why.

We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls.

Look around at this world we've made
Equality our stock in trade
Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
Oh, what a nice, contented world
Let the banners be unfurled
Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand.

We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls.

III. Discovery

... "Behind my beloved waterfall, in the little room that was hidden beneath the cave, I found it. I brushed away the dust of the years, and picked it up, holding it reverently in my hands. I had no idea what it might be, but it was beautiful" ...

... "I learned to lay my fingers across the wires, and to turn the keys to make them sound differently. As I struck the wires with my other hand, I produced my first harmonious sounds, and soon my own music! How different it could be from the music of the Temples! I can't wait to tell the priests about it! ..."

What can this strange device be?
When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
It's got wires that vibrate and give music
What can this thing be that I found?

See how it sings like a sad heart
And joyously screams out its pain
Sounds that build high like a mountain
Or notes that fall gently like rain.

I can't wait to share this new wonder
The people will all see its light
Let them all make their own music
The Priests praise my name on this night.

IV. Presentation

... "In the sudden silence as I finished playing, I looked up to a circle of grim, expressionless faces. Father Brown rose to his feet, and his somnolent voice echoed throughout the silent Temple Hall." ...

... "Instead of the grateful joy that I expected, they were words of quiet rejection! Instead of praise, sullen dismissal. I watched in shock and horror as Father Brown ground my precious instrument to splinters beneath his feet..."

I know it's most unusual
To come before you so
But I've found an ancient miracle
I thought that you should know
Listen to my music
And hear what it can do
There's something here as strong as life
I know that it will reach you.

Yes, we know, it's nothing new
It's just a waste of time
We have no need for ancient ways
The world is doing fine
Another toy will help destroy
The elder race of man
Forget about your silly whim
It doesn't fit the plan.

I can't believe you're saying
These things just can't be true
Our world could use this beauty
Just think what we might do.
Listen to my music
And hear what it can do
There's something here as strong as life
I know that it will reach you.

Don't annoy us further!
We have our work to do.
Just think about the average
What use have they for you?
Another toy will help destroy
The elder race of man
Forget about your silly whim
It doesn't fit the Plan!

V. Oracle: The Dream

... "I guess it was a dream, but even now it all seems so vivid to me. Clearly yet I see the beckoning hand of the oracle as he stood at the summit of the staircase" ...

... "I see still the incredible beauty of the sculptured cities and the pure spirit of man revealed in the lives and works of this world. I was overwhelmed by both wonder and understanding as I saw a completely different way to life, a way that had been crushed by the Federation long ago. I saw now how meaningless life had become with the loss of all these things ..."

I wandered home though the silent streets
And fell into a fitful sleep
Escape to realms beyond the night
Dream can't you show me the light?

I stand atop a spiral stair
An oracle confronts me there
He leads me on light years away
Through astral nights, galactic days
I see the works of gifted hands
That grace this strange and wondrous land
I see the hand of man arise
With hungry mind and open eyes

They left the planet long ago
The elder race still learn and grow
Their power grows with purpose strong
To claim the home where they belong
Home to tear the Temples down...
Home to change!

VI. Soliloquy

... "I have not left this cave for days now, it has become my last refuge in my total despair. I have only the music of the waterfall to comfort me now. I can no longer live under the control of the Federation, but there is no other place to go. My last hope is that with my death I may pass into the world of my dream, and know peace at last."

The sleep is still in my eyes
The dream is still in my head
I heave a sigh and sadly smile
And lie a while in bed
I wish that it might come to pass
Not fade like all my dreams...

Just think of what my life might be
In a world like I have seen!
I don't think I can carry on
Carry on this cold and empty life

My spirits are low in the depths of despair
My lifeblood...
...spills over...

VII. The Grand Finale
Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
We have assumed control.
We have assumed control.
We have assumed control.

Lyrics submitted by jpf5000guy

2112 song meanings
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  • +7
    General Comment

    The greatest Rush song ever. One of my favorite songs.

    Skaman2on August 17, 2002   Link
  • +7
    General Comment

    With all reverence to the assessment by Flogging Molly, the fact is that the lyrics to 2112 were written by Neal Peart as a sort of creative response to the critical failure of their previous album, Caress of Steel. While it is now considered a terrific album, at the time, it was nicknamed the 'Down the Tubes Tour' since the band was reduced to playing small clubs instead of the arenas of the Fly-By-Night tour. Neil was actually expressing his discontent for the critics (as he indicated in the 1985 Steve Gett book "Success Under Pressure"). The story is a journey of rebellion. There is no truth to the blantant lie regardiny Geddy or his father. I'm suprised another artist would write such a thing. Jealousy perhaps. Geddy Lee, from suburban Toronto, is a known supporter of equality, not prejudice. That sentiment is in all their work. Of course, as a copmlete work, 2112 stands alone for it's maturity of writing, both lycically and musically. For 'a bunch of kids' (Geddy was about 20 when this album was produced), the music well developed. Neal's writing style was far from the under-developed, over-efforted sentiment of Caress of Steel. Truly, this is one of the finest of the great rock operas. Amazingly, their work has only gotten better through the yers. Nice job!

    Frank_Perkon April 29, 2004   Link
  • +6
    General Comment

    I understand that to song was based of the Ayn Rand story, "Anthem" with the theme being switched from a world w/o freedom to a world w/o music.

    MasterDuncan03on September 26, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    After listening to 2112 over and over for the past month or so, I have come to the conclusion that:

    1) Yes our protagonist ends his own life. And this comes just as the Elder Race of Man is returning from light years away to reclaim their home planet (presumably our planet earth in the year 2112).

    2) Despite the ending of our protagonist's life, this is an uplifting Grand Finale (as Neil Peart had once claimed he wanted for this story) as the Elder Race comes in with superior fire power and Assumes Control of All Planets of the Solar Federation.

    Awesome stuff!

    soundsgoodon September 24, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Let's start off this song review with a few preliminary comments.

    I believe that musicians and artists are the new prophet's of the new era. I have a game for "hearing their scriptures". I call it, "A child's game: The unspeakable sacred names of God". When you listen to music, pray along with the artist, and the you will, with practice, open yourself to the music, and the creative energy that inspired. it.

    It is important to note that the result of this game, begins to take you into the realms of time travel. It brings you into being with light beams that reveal the illusory nature of time.

    Charles Manson had discovered this, but where he went wrong, was in thinking that the powers he was tapping into, were his to use as he pleased. I am here to tell you, that because he chose to glorify himself as the creator, he ended up thinking he was Jesus or something. The same with all these other fools. As you begin to feel the powers unfolding while playing this game, just remember, they are not yours. They do not belong to you.

    If you read, "Idiot's guide to Einstein" and the very nature of light, it is said that in order to travel in time, a vehicle would have to 1) have an infinite mass, and 2) require infininte energy.

    That vehicle, is the human soul.

    The song:

    This song in some ways, is like a metaphor for what one can find in their heart. We all can find this "guitar" behind the waterfall of which resides our heart. This is why images of Jesus are often with a fiery heart.

    The story in the song is about the challenge we all face when we stumble across the heart's beauty and have an awakening. We try to share it with people, thinking, they will be so excited, because then when they have it too, they will be so filled like I have been.

    But what happens instead with your earnest desire?

    Another toy will help destroy The elder race of man Forget about your silly whim It doesn't fit the plan.

    The powers of greed and control can't allow for this, because it makes them HYPOCRITES! It would expose the darkness that those priests have put themselves in cahoots with for power! So of course they are going to tell this humble messenger:

    Don't annoy us further! We have our work to do. Just think about the average What use have they for you?

    AS the story unfolds, we learn the true nature of what it means to define your self worth, and what you see, based on what's inside of you. Not what's outside of you, in the world. People who seek the approval of others, by driving fancy cars, or fine clothes, or rolling their eyes, are weak people. They need the outside world to validate them. To someone who "wakes up" as the Hindu's put it, they have to learn to develop that confidence in themselves that says, "I choose to believe in what my heart tells me, of what I can be. Otherwise, I am just as the blind leading the blind."

    The rest of the song is of course a narrative about the discoverer and how he suffers from coming into this realization. I myself have suffered it for many years after early childhood experiences of what is known as "theosis" in formal archaic religous structures.

    But our singer, he regains his faith, he remembers that he cannot deny:

    I stand atop a spiral stair An oracle confronts me there He leads me on light years away Through astral nights, galactic days

    It is important to note that what our discoverer is essentially talking about here, is what the ancients called "prophecy", or seeing through time to the end of things.

    Albert Einstein said essentially, that Energy = Matter in his famous equation E=MC^2

    Think about it. When you add the amplitudes of two harmonic frequencies, at certain intervals, the resultant amplitude is GREATER than the sum of their parts. When your soul and music reach this point, do you not feel it? Do you not feel it resonating within your chest, or "a burning bosom". You are beginning to understand time travel.

    The bible says that God is looking for people who will follow him, WHEREVER HE goes. Take a look around, when musician's are performing, are people arguing about "who is the true church"? Are people turning to each other and saying "I'm RIGHT, my understanding is better than yours!" No, they are feeling the music and it's saving graces. They are understanding and saying YES! This artist understand's what I go through everyday! Think about it.

    Why couldn't GOD choose music to be his new scriptures, and it's singers to be his new prophets? This is why the child's game is so important - you have to learn to discern, good energy, bad energy and all the grades in between, because when you conciously focus on what's going on within your chest, you begin to open up what the Hindu's called "the third eye". This is really what time travel looks like when it begins to start manifesting conciously. Be careful about what happens after this process, because this process of opening the third eye, leaves behind what I think of as..."a residue". Do not try to recreate your experience by will alone. You will become a manson or a hitler.

    Now, here's where it gets really trippy:

    They left the planet long ago The elder race still learn and grow Their power grows with purpose strong To claim the home where they belong Home to tear the Temples down... Home to change!

    Supposedly, the end of the Mayan calendar is Dec 21, 2012.

    Interestingly, I saw on the history channel a couple of nights ago that these mayans were amazing time keepers. Many believe that they were an "advanced civiliation". Anyways, the t.v. program stated that the mayan calendar accurately predicted the arrival of Cortez and the spanish inquisition, and get this, TO THE DAY! So there's some sort of interesting validity there.

    Now, check this out...

    Some astronomer's have discovered or postulated that there is a tiny black hole underneath the bermuda triangle. Also, there is what's known as a "white hole" underneath some other triangle near Japan.

    On Dec. 21, 2012 100 years before 2112, it is a KNOWN SCIENTIFIC FACT, that the SUN, the EARTH, and the center of our galaxy will be imperfect alignment.

    Would someone please come forward, and tell me what implications does this have for energy?

    Some scientists say that when this happened before (like 80,000 years ago or something) that the earth's magnetic rotational axes, shifted. The result was great earth disturbances (earthquakes, tidal waves, shit like that). The alternative theory is that this will not happen.


    It is said by some Bible scholar's that there was a race of man-angel's who were punished for having sex with the daughters of men, and were cursed to walk the earth as giants. Someone told me, this refers to "bigfoot, the abominable snowman, etc."

    WHAT IF, the energy alignment brought these creatures into some sort of...reawakening, such that the end days of the bible would be realized?

    But I hear, there's a way out for you and I. GET OUT OF NEGATIVITY AND STRIFE!

    Read the book "The Secret" and also James Redfield's "The Celestine Prophecy"

    If you understand and follow these principles, maybe we can vibrate off the plain of krono's, so to speak.

    Jacob Michael Phillips

    jmoponfireon May 22, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    I recently read "Anthem" by Ayn Rand (available free on Kindle). Its clear that Neil was strongly influenced by the novel when he wrote this rock opera. There are passages of 2112 that look like they were lifted right out of the book.

    dpeters157on March 20, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    In regards to Frank Perk's post -

    First, it's "Neil" not "Neal".

    Second, regarding the lyrics being a response to the failure of Caress of Steel, while this may be true, Neil explicity gives credit to Ayn Rand for inspiring him in the liner notes of the 2112 album.

    Third, I'm pretty sure "FloggingMolly" was joking when he posted that...but even if he wasn't, any idiot can tell that it isn't true.

    RUSHMANon November 22, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Nice thought except the USSR had not fallen when the song was written

    johnnya2on December 16, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i'm a new rush fan...this is by far my favorite rush song...led zeppelin and rush...ahhh so good.

    msc_lvr87on June 22, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    how could anyone not like 2112...i've only seen Overture and Temples of Syrinx live and thats enough to make you piss yourself...i hope they play it full length on their next tour

    shed27on June 23, 2003   Link

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