"Heresy" as written by and Geddy Lee Weinrib Neil Peart....
All around that dull gray world
From Moscow to Berlin
People storm the barricades
Walls go tumbling in

The counter-revolution
People smiling through their tears
Who can give them back their lives
And all those wasted years?
All those precious wasted years
Who will pay?

All around that dull gray world
Of ideology
People storm the marketplace
And buy up fantasy

The counter-revolution
At the counter of a store
People buy the things they want
And borrow for a little more
All those wasted years
All those precious wasted years
Who will pay?

Do we have to be forgiving at last?
What else can we do?
Do we have to say goodbye to the past?
Yes, I guess we do

All around this great big world
All the crap we had to take
Bombs and basement fallout shelters
All our lives at stake

The bloody revolution
All the warheads in its wake
All the fear and suffering
All a big mistake
All those wasted years
All those precious wasted years
Who will pay?

Lyrics submitted by shed27

"Heresy" as written by Gary Lee Weinrib Neil Elwood Peart


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Heresy song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThe first verse appears to be written about the fall of communism in russia (Roll the Bones was released in 1991). The second verse to be a critiscism of North American consumerism. The third verse seems to deal with the cold war. I think the entire song deals with the impact that political conflicts between nations have on civillians
    bigmac2002on September 17, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song is about the fall of Communism is Eastern Europe. There's nothing about "North American consumerism." Rush has released many songs about the ills of Communism.
    nemton May 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm with NEMT on this one. The song is about the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. There is an anger in this song saying "OK - so Communism has ended. What about the years of heartbreak, fear, suffering and damage? What are we gonna do about that?
    lerxstgkon June 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of the many songs in which Neil shows his opposition to communism and the Cold War. He's glad that communism has fallen, but what are we supposed to do now? All those people opressed under a authortarian government for so many years.

    Well, there is nothing we can really do. Time to dismantle our bomb shelters and get back to living normally.
    Clark3934on May 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about just war in general. The people involved in the war, either fighting or hiding or whatnot cannot live a normal life. They have to be fleeing, or fighting, or what have you. Well, wars can go on for years.

    "All those wasted years"

    And then, who will pay for those wasted years? Who's to blame? We can try to buy back the time, but that won't do too much good. We could blame the other country, but that might just lead to another war. So, do we just have to forgive and forget this ever happened?

    "Yes I guess we do."
    NUMBER 4on March 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIMHO, a few people here are forgetting about the second verse of this tune. No doubt, the lyrics in the first verse are about the fall of Communism, but the whole song is about the end of the Cold War, and asks where we go from here now that it's over. There's also some anger about all the fear that was ginned up, as well as the amount of nuclear weapons that currently exist as a result.
    lukescotton September 28, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPeary wrote about these lyrics in the tour guide book from the RTB tour. It was my first Rush concert and I still have that tour book, though not in front of me atm, so I'm paraphrasing what he said.

    The fall of Communism made a lot of people happy, but it made Neil Peart MAD. Not because he approved of Communism, but because for years the people living in those countries had wear ugly suits, drive nasty cars, and drink bug spray to get high.... and it was all a mistake?! We were all so proud of ourselves for being on the "winning" side of the Cold War, but he felt that our victory dance was like telling those people living in those Eastern Bloc countries that didn't do anything wrong that the 50+ years of suffering they endured was all for nothing. That's a very heavy price to pay for some mad man's misguided ideology. And that waste of life and time and resources is the ultimate Heresy, which he refers to in the title.

    There IS a reference to consumerism, in that people could buy the things they want and "borrow for a little more." Not American consumerism per se, but the kind of free wheeling consumerism common to Western nations, while it has its problems, is still preferable to having nothing to buy at all, and so it became all that we could do for them in the end, to export our brand of consumerism so they can, finally, buy things we take for granted like toilet paper, napkins, aspirin, make-up, and for once they had a choice.

    So he was saying it was good for the people that he Wall fell, but also that we shouldn't overlook the terrible, awful cost to those people of our "winning" the Cold War.
    MetalHeadSJon August 25, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGood lyrics, as usual, but musically the song sounds like it would've felt more at home on the "Hold Your Fire" album (actually, I always thought the only great tunes on this album's second side - musically - were "Ghost of a Chance" and "Neurotica").
    WorkingMan62on September 19, 2018   Link
  • -1
    General CommentTalking about all those precious years, I would say that this music is not only about those war wasting years, while the they are still happening...

    -Culture war
    -Power war
    -Consuption war
    -Drugs war
    -Speed war
    -Soccer war
    -Appearance war
    -Selfish war

    Do we have to be forgiven at last? No!
    dust79on February 19, 2012   Link

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