"Armor and Sword" as written by and Geddy Lee ; Weinrib Alex Lifeson....
The snakes and arrows a child is heir to
Are enough to leave a thousand cuts
We build our defenses, a place of safety
And leave the darker places unexplored

Sometimes the fortress is too strong
Or the love is too weak
What should have been our armor
Becomes a sharp and angry sword

Our better natures seek elevation
A refuge for the coming night
No one gets to their heaven without a fight
No one

We hold beliefs as a consolation
A way to take us out of ourselves
Meditation or medication
A comfort or a promised reward

Sometimes the spirit is too strong
Or the flesh is too weak
Sometimes the need is just too great
For the solace we seek
The suit of shining armor
Becomes a keen and bloody sword
No one gets to their heaven without a fight

A refuge for the coming night
A future of eternal light
No one gets to their heaven without a fight
No one

Confused alarms of struggle and flight
Blood is drained of color
By the flashes of artillery light
No one gets to their heaven without a fight
The battle flags are flown
At the feet of a god unknown
No one gets to their heaven...
No one gets to their heaven without a fight

Sometimes the damage is too great
Or the will is too weak
What should have been our armor
Becomes a sharp and burning sword
No one gets to their heaven without a fight
Oh, a refuge for the coming night
A future of eternal light
No one gets to their heaven without a fight
No one

No one gets to their heaven without a fight

Lyrics submitted by stephanierush07

"Armor and Sword" as written by Geddy Lee Weinrib Alex Zivojinovich


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Armor and Sword song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationThe first two lines may refer to the "death of a thousand cuts", which was a Chinese torture method also known as "Ling-chi". The point was to prolong suffering and keep the victim on the edge of death for as long as possible without going over.

    "Death of a thousand cuts" may also refer to the gradual or incremental destruction of something. I think this is probably what Peart was referring to when he wrote that line. When a child is born into this world, he is guaranteed to endure a lifetime of "snakes and arrows" which will inflict on him the "death of a thousand cuts". It may not be a single major thing that kills us, but if not then it will be due to countless other things which wear us down and eventually destroy our bodies (such as the aging process, for example).

    At least that's how I'm seeing it...
    Teabeardon January 31, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is awesome
    Freedomis40ozon May 01, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentgreat song, think it means as you go on in life, you see things differently and react different, where maybe you defended certain view points (war, abortion,religion etc) that was armor and now maybe your views have changed and you "attack" the same things you used to defend. the internal struggle between right and wrong
    MathiasCronqviston September 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhat we use for defense can also be used to attack.
    rushpwnsxon April 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTHIS IS WHAT IT MEANS. Armor, Sword, Snakes, and arrows REPRESENT conflict, the poisons of envy and vengeance, laying down of arms, and possibly transformation. Imagine this. close your eyes and remember the picture on the cover of the snakes and arrows album. It is a meditating humanoid figure. now remember the title of the song. now remember what the meditating humanoid is doing on the cover. It appears that the humanoid figure is either stabbing snakes with poison arrows or laying down armor and sword. There is also a healing theme at play.

    The line "the snakes and arrows A CHILD IS HEIR TO are enough to leave a thousand cuts" This could also refer to the bag of family karma that a child is heir to. the phrase "Death by a thousand cuts" means that sometimes when certain situations unfold in a way that is so incremental that is it not even perceived. It's kind of like the phrase... "if you put a frog in hot water he will jump out but..." which by the way is another image of poison.
    jimmmmmGon April 03, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song summarises the themes of 'Snakes & Arrows'. It is a song about the two different "sides" of religion: the armour, which gives strength; and the sword.

    The first two lines are brilliant: "The snakes and arrows a child is heir to are enough to leave a thousand cuts." No child is born with a set of beliefs or customs: he inherits them from his parents, for good or ill.

    The religious theme is continued, quite strongly, in "The Way The Wind Blows".
    mausoon April 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is absolutely epic.

    I think it's about how religion is a rather convenient comfort blanket for blocking out the bad things in the world (the arrows), but on the flipside, religion is frequently the cause of many of the world's ills (the arrows).

    After a while, we get too complacent and refuse to be tricked anymore that the world is a great place and turn our comfort blanket into a powerful sword to force the world to be a better place.
    BMaloneyon May 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'd say this is my favourite song on S&A! Awesome acoustic guitar, and electric guitar! Great lyrically, too!
    NUMBER 4on May 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm going to see them perform at their last venue on the S&A tour. I am so beyond excited and this is the song I want to hear the most live. I'll most likely be wearing my black Rush hoodie! Look for the girl with curly dark hair!

    P.S.- I posted these lyrics from the booklet inside the CD, but sometimes there is still controversy..
    stephanierush07on June 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhile it can be about religion, did anyone see the little animations behind the band at S&A?? It was of a white blood cell and... i think it was a red blood cell fighting. It's about auto-immune disorders. People can get auto-immune diseases from their parents.
    HugeRushFanon January 21, 2009   Link

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