"Second Nature" as written by and Geddy Lee Weinrib Neil Peart....
A memo to a higher office
Open letter to the powers that be
To a God, a King, a head of state
A captain of industry
To the movers and the shakers
Can't everybody see?

It ought to be second nature
I mean, the places where we live
Let's talk about this sensibly
We're not insensitive
I know progress has no patience
But something's got to give

I know you're different
You know I'm the same
We're both too busy
To be taking the blame

I'd like some changes
But you don't have the time
We can't go on thinking
It's a victimless crime

No one is blameless
But we're all without shame
We fight the fire
While we're feeding the flames

Folks have got to make choices
And choices got to have voices
Folks are basically decent
Conventional wisdom would say

Well, we read about
The exceptions
In the papers every day

It ought to be second nature
At least, that's what I feel
"Now I lay me down in Dreamland"
I know perfect's not for real
I thought we might get closer
But I'm ready to make a deal

Today is different
And tomorrow the same
It's hard to take the world
The way that it came

Too many rapids
Keep us sweeping along
Too many captains
Keep on steering us wrong

It's hard to take the heat
It's hard to lay blame
To fight the fire
While we're feeding the flames

Lyrics submitted by shed27

"Second Nature" as written by Gary Lee Weinrib Neil Elwood Peart


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  • +2
    General Commentthis song is NOT about politics. maybe it brings up politicians as an example, but the overall point is not that those higher powers are the ones that are at fault.

    Peart is saying that we, as people, don't know how to take responsibility and actually take action for our mistakes. We're all different, but we all have the same amount of responsibility for what's going wrong in our world. After all, this is where we live... we should probably appreciate our society as humans and make it as flawless as we can. we see the flaws and we acknowledge them, but we don't take actions ourselves. we let other people deal with it. we put things off and pretend things aren't happening. we blame others because it's the easy way out. we just keep riding the waves and think, "maybe soon these problems as a society will end," without actually doing anything. AND, while we think this way, we continue committing the problems and we stand up for change yet we don't actually change, ourselves!

    i feel like Neil was just venting with this song, kinda like i was just venting, myself. I love how he's able to put such a difficult subject into lyrics so clearly.
    AstrosJakeon December 12, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA beautiful and powerful ballad, with a very strong melody. Anyone can enjoy this track, it is without a doubt a masterpiece.
    Razormasticatoron July 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about people in power. The first verse in saying that he is writing a letter to the politicians -- the heads of state. I see it as a thing of the environment. Especially the line "We fight the fire -- while we're feeding the flames". I'm sure everyone wants a better world with out, say, pollution. Yet we keep polluting anyway.
    NUMBER 4on October 31, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe politicians need to start being real LEADERS. I beleive here in America, more people would recycle or take public transportation more often - IF the politicians would make such systems more widely available and convienient.

    Like Razor said: it's a powerful song. Near heartbreaking too.
    tigerx2374on May 25, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionGood comments above. I just wanted to say this is a great song and the words are outstanding. I love the part in the song where Geddy says "Folks have got to make choices--And choices got to have voices." Just another incredible song by Rush.
    force10rflon September 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI Think that it's about politics! i support this reason! folks got to make choices and choices got to have voices, folks are basically decent, conventional wisdom would say, well we read about the exceptions, in the papers everyday!
    Also, i know your different, you know im the same, were both too busy to be taking the blame, id like some changes, but you don't have the time, we can't go on thinking it's a victimless crime, no one is blameless, but were all without shame, we fight the fire, while we're feeding the flames!
    AndrewXXXon December 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPeople in power? Excuse me... "No one is blameless...yet we're all without shame." How do you infer that it's talking only about people in power? Yes, I know...that open letter, in the beginning is addressed primarily to people in power, but it goes on to say NO one is blameless.

    The theme of this song is similar to Closer to the Heart. It's an expression of a desire for us to work together to make the world better.

    Don't mean to be the voice of gloom and doom here...but it ain't gonna happen. I can think of ONE time in my lifetime that people got together to make a better world...and it lasted for all of 3 days. (Woodstock)

    AFTER that...the Manson family happened, the Kent State shootings happened, the leaders of the movement went to jail. Icons of the movement ODed. Altamont happened. The movement was detroyed from within AND from forces without.

    The problem with humans cooperating to make a better world...human nature fucks it up. It's nice to have a desire and aspirations and write beautiful songs (like Closer to the Heart and Second Nature) to express those aspirations...just don't get too disappointed when it never happenes.

    I still love this song, though. Geddy never sounded better as a singer, and the music fits in with those great vocals perfectly.
    Phx4stringeron October 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"We fight the fire
    While we're feeding the flames"
    Truth and accurate description of the modern world we leave in
    Geroticaon October 31, 2017   Link

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