I. Prelude

When our weary world was young
The struggle of the ancients first began
The gods of love and reason
Sought alone to rule the fate of man

They battled through the ages
But still neither force would yield
The people were divided
Every soul a battlefield ...

II. Apollo: Bringer of Wisdom

’I bring truth and understanding
I bring wit, and wisdom fair
Precious gifts beyond compare
We can build a world of wonder
I can make you all aware’

’I will find you food and shelter
Show you fire to keep you warm
Through the endless winter storm
You can live in grace and comfort
In the world that you transform’

The people were delighted
Coming forth to claim their prize
They ran to build their cities
And converse among the wise

But one day the streets fell silent
Yet they knew not what was wrong
The urge to build these fine things
Seemed not to be so strong

The wise men were consulted
And the bridge of death was crossed
In quest of dionysus
To find out what they had lost ...

III. Dionysus: Bringer of Love

’I bring love to give you solace
In the darkness of the night
In the heart’s eternal light
You need only trust your feelings
Only love can steer you right’

’I bring laughter, I bring music
I bring joy and I bring tears
I will soothe your primal fears
Throw off those chains of reason
And your prison disappears’

The cities were abandoned
And the forests echoed song
They danced and lived as brothers
They knew love could not be wrong

Food and wine they had aplenty
And they slept beneath the stars
The people were contented
And the gods watched from afar

But the winter fell upon them
And it caught them unprepared
Bringing wolves and cold starvation
And the hearts of men despaired ...

IV. Armageddon: The Battle of Heart and Mind

The universe divided
As the heart and mind collided
With the people left unguided
For so many troubled years
In a cloud of doubts and fears
Their world was torn asunder
Into hollow hemispheres

Some fought themselves, some fought each other
Most just followed one another
Lost and aimless like their brothers
For their hearts were so unclear
And the truth could not appear
Their spirits were divided
Into blinded hemispheres

Some who did not figh
Brought tales of old to light
My ’Rocinante’ sailed by night
On her final flight

To the heart of Cygnus’ fearsome force
We set our course
Spiralled through that timeless space
To this immortal place

V. Cygnus: Bringer of Balance

I have memory and awareness
But I have no shape or form
As a disembodied spirit
I am dead and yet unborn
I have passed into olympus
As was told in tales of old
To the city of immortals
Marble white and purest gold

I see the gods in battle rage on high
Thunderbolts across the sky
I cannot move, I cannot hide
I feel a silent scream begin inside

Then all at once the chaos ceased
A stillness fell, a sudden peace
The warriors felt my silent cry
And stayed their struggle, mystified

Apollo was atonished
Dionysus thought me mad
But they heard my story further
And they wondered, and were sad

Looking down from olympus
On a world of doubt and fear
Its surface splintered
Into sorry hemispheres

They sat a while in silence
Then they turned at last to me
’We will call you Cygnus,
The God of Balance you shall be’

VI. The Sphere: A Kind of Dream
We can walk our road together
If our goals are all the same
We can run alone and free
If we pursue a different aim

Let the truth of love be lighted
Let the love of truth shine clear
Armed with sense and liberty
With the heart and mind united
In a single perfect sphere

Lyrics submitted by Brat Moj, edited by Rush4Peace

Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentAh man, this song is so awesome, it's better than "2112."

    Anyway, I think it's using a mythological setting to show that we can't always rely on our mind, and thinking and logic and reason, and we can't always rely on our heart, or intuition. We need to find the middle ground, "with the heart and mind united in a single perfect sphere."
    Random7on May 20, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIncredible Song...no need to say better or worse than 2112...they are both epic songs...thank the rock gods we have a band who made both songs...as well as two more epics..xanadu, natural science
    magicalrushon October 24, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentTaken more literally this is about the idea that neither the heart or the mind should have complete control of us. It something that, really everyone can understand and agree with. But if you look at it beyond the words, it can be seen as being that there's a middle ground in every polarizing issue/feeling/etc... And finding and staying in the middle ground if often the right way to go. Extremes are rarely right
    DasBear017on January 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah, it's another concept alluded to by Ayn Rand, one of the only good ones. Most of her rantings are just nuts.

    Peart even took the characters from a Rand book.
    Brat Mojon July 23, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love both books of Cygnus X-1, but I'm a bit confused as to how Cygnus manages to end to fighting between Apollo and Dionysus. What is "his story," how he passed through the black hole? How would this unite heart and mind?
    nemton December 17, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always thought that this song is based off of The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Neitzche, it features a similar plot(not about black holes)
    jimmyupton October 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBesides some of these other great comments. This song may also include the three band members and how they interact. Neil is the mind (Wisdom), Alex the Body (Love), and Geddy the Heart (Balance). All are equal parts and this theme is repeated again over time see Presto with Paper, Rock, and Sissors. The number 3 and the balance theme are seen over and over with this awesome band.
    kinglerxst2112on December 22, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA tribute to balance in all things.
    Most beautiful song I am aware of.
    Rush4Peaceon March 23, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBeen listening to this song for 34 years and didn't have a clue what it was about till I experienced my own spiritual awakening, the battle between heart and mind I now understand very much! Its gone from a classic rock track to a very emotional one for me, is it simply about Spiritual Awakening? I think so.
    deightson July 16, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEver since 1987 when I was just a young buck, Hemispheres was always a song that tickled my senses... Truly intriguing. The notorious battle between heart and mind. Every human beings challenge!! Better yet, performed by the most brilliant band in the universe!! How could 17 mins get any better!!!!????
    The Snowdawgon May 17, 2017   Link

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