The night is black, without a moon
The air is thick and still
The vigilantes gather on
The lonely torchlit hill

Features distorted in the flickering light
Faces are twisted and grotesque
Silent and stern in the sweltering night
The mob moves like demons possessed
Quiet in conscience, calm in their right
Confident their ways are best

The righteous rise
With burning eyes
Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies
To beat and burn and kill

They say there are strangers who threaten us
Our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness to danger us
In our theaters and bookstore shelves
That those who know what's best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves

Quick to judge
Quick to anger
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice
And fear walk hand in hand

Lyrics submitted by shed27, edited by TheGreatSkeeve, rcurtis0517

Witch Hunt Lyrics as written by Gary Lee Weinrib Neil Elwood Peart


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Witch Hunt (Part 3 of Fear) song meanings
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  • +5
    General Comment

    ive always been a casual rush fan growing up in the 80s..always liked the classics, subdivision, limelight tom sawyer, etc...i saw rush live for the first time on snakes and arrows and liked it but was a long show...well i saw them 3 weeks ago at jones beach and i have become obsessed...i have not listened to anything but rush since...i have listened downloaded and learned many of the songs and i must say that "Witch Hunt" has come to be my absolute favorite...i feel sad i did not follow this band more when i had the chance to see them live in the mustve been fantastic...the lyrics to this song and its darkening music is incomparable...

    magicalrushon August 23, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    The concept of Witch Hunt is how manipulators can use fear to "possess" the "ignorant" masses to their liking, much like the Salem townspeople during the Witch Hunts. Instrumentally, the song fades in at the beginning, but ends on a strong climactic crescendo thus signaling the end of the trilogy, even though this song was recorded first in the sequence.

    At the beginning of this part, the "mob sounds" were in fact the band layering sounds they made while drinking outside the studio in the snowy winter. It was recorded the night John Lennon died on December 8, 1980.

    Geddyon November 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    the "black hat" just adds to the feeling that this song is trying to deliver. That of mob mentality with ugly results. And thats where it succeeds. And the ugliness in their voices / faces just reflect that of their actions. It is after all about witch hunt, they burned people then. Now this is the tale - an extreme one, its not to be taken literally for todays situation, if thats what you were after. If not, think of it as a tale. A tale must have its dramatizion.

    Durang0on October 07, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    When I first heard the song I wasn't really fond of it. Then it grew on me quickly. It's such an underrated and overlooked song. Very meaning ful, as well. Its about how people let a fear of something new drive them to commit horrendus acts in the pursuit of preserving the way of life they know, the one they think is best.

    DasBear017on September 05, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Lyric Correction

    Hi, folks! Great song!!!

    I believe there's an error. It's not "They say there is strangeness to danger us". It is

    "They say there is strangeness too dangerous"

    waymarceloon February 24, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    all about how people are blindly scared of what they don't know. heavy, slow, and pounding, much darker than other Rush songs.

    part 3 of the Fear saga

    masterofpuppets80on May 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I'm surprised no one else commented on this..and in such a long time. I think the meaning is pretty's always been true, but I think now it's really something that should be thought about, at least in America. People need to wake up..

    Subdivisionson January 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The Fear songs just keep getting better...part 4 (freeze) isn't listed on SM yet, though.

    nemton August 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Obviously the premise for this is the Salem Witch Trials, but the conclusion is warning people about judging situations they don't understand and jumping to conclusions before they understand.

    floydfan87on January 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I really like the way the lyrics describe happenings in the little details "Features distorted in the flickering light, Faces are twisted and grotesque."

    The intro tells as much as the lyrics, and musically it works really well. it kinda alternates between dark and disordered then .. clear, smooth, clean

    Durang0on March 16, 2006   Link

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