"BU2B" as written by and Geddy Lee Weinrib Neil Peart....
I was brought up to believe
Belief has failed me now
The bright glow of optimism
Abandoned me somehow

Oh, belief has failed me now
Life goes from bad to worse
No philosophy consoles me
In a clockwork universe

Oh, life goes from bad to worse
I still choose to live
Find a measure of love and laughter
And another measure to give

Oh, I still choose to live and give
Even while I grieve
Though the balance tilts against me
I was brought up to believe


Lyrics submitted by priest_of_syrinx

"BU2B2" as written by Geddy Lee Alex Lifeson

Lyrics © OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT LP

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BU2B song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentI've been a Rush fan for over 3 decades now. I really like the comments that ClosetRush made and will say I somewhat echo his sentiment except that I'm just a regular married guy with a kid, not at all a person of the cloth or anything, just a firm believer of God. And from my angle, no-one forces me to go to church or believe in God. In fact my wife doesn't go to church but is a firm believer in God. I would say I'm not a big fan of organized religion in general but I go to church to thank God for all I've been blessed with from time to time.

    The thing that I will say is that I can't judge Neil, I haven't walked in his shoes. I have no idea how I would react, feel or lash out if my son and wife were taken from me. I'm sure I would be devastated. Knowing how my life has gone though, I tend to include God more in my life when the chips are down.

    All this aside, I really like the album but I really hate being preached at. In fact when someone jams their faith down my throat it turns me off. Conversely, when someone tells me I'm an idiot for believing in God, it tends to turn me off just as much. I'm turned off by the lyrics on this album unfortunately. I love the bass line, the guitar work and the percussion is amazing again as always. I wish Pye Dubois (from Max Webster songs, Kim Mitchell and the writer of Tom Sawyer) would write the song lyrics for Rush though. I appreciate Neil's lyrics more when he's not trying to convince me God doesn't exist. We're all big boys and girls, let us decide on our own.

    One thing I will say, Neil knows the bible much better than I ever will. If you go to his website, constant bible references. To me, this doesn't make sense. I like to think of myself as open minded but if I didn't believe in God, I wouldn't spend a minute of my time reading the bible. For example, I don't believe in socialism, I've taken classes on it in college to understand it and it pretty much reinforced my initial take. So why would I cozy up to the Communist Manifesto and make references to it in my work everyday, my writings, my website, my blog, etc.?

    It's like one of those crappy TV evangelists that screams from the top of his lungs about God and the proper way to believe in God, how to interpret the bible, live your life according to God and then later he's in bed with a hooker or stealing money from the congregation, etc.

    Feel free to disagree, I'm open minded (I think) and opinions vary. Caravan is my favorite song on the album though, just can't get enough of it, and BU2B (musically) is fantastic as well, lyrics are just too much for my taste though.
    TopJimmyon July 16, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionWith this song placed at the beginning of the single release, and lyrical similarity to caravan, with this one setting up an ideology and caravan a bit of a narrative, along with the sleeve calling the two songs the "first two parts of clockwork angels", a song that is, according to wikipedia, going to be an epic multi-part, piece, I wouldn't be surprised with this being the first part of a narrative.
    koolkittieson November 02, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentGreat conversation...
    I have a confession! Despite the fact that I am the senior pastor of a firmly, “Fundamentalist” Christian denomination, I confess to you that I am a big time closet Rush fan! Yes, I STILL listen to Rush after all these years, (in secret of course). I can’t help it, Rush rocks man!!! But I'm sure most Christians would not understand and may even call it sinful, or at the very least, spiritually immature. Perhaps they’re right, but I find a lot of truth in the lyrics that Neil writes, I always have. I have even quoted from Rush in my sermon illustrations, and I feel that I have the liberty to rock out with my favorite band from my youth from time to time. I just do it in the closet so that I won't stumble a weaker brother or sister in the faith.
    Having said that, I have to admit that it has becoming increasingly more difficult to justify that liberty as of late! Songs like BU2B, Faithless, Totem Pole, and Armor and Sword seriously push the envelope for me. But rather than turn me off to stop listening, they just grieve me and make me sad for Neil. Because they are still truthful in the sense that they are the true but bitter feelings and tortured thoughts of a man that has suffered great loss and the love of his wife and child. That’s brutal! He can't find the answers to give him the inner peace about that loss and you see that coming through in his song writing. I feel for Neil and all that he has gone through and is most likely still going through. He is obviously searching for truth and unhappy about not being able to find it in what he was, "Brought up to believe", but most of us can relate to that. But I can also see in his lyrics that he is definitely reading the Bible (Hey, “Armor and Sword” comes right out of Ephesians Ch. 6), and other religious writings, searching for meaning in this life, as we all are.
    He, along with Geddy and Alex, may very well be, if we want to label them as such, “atheists”. They are without a doubt, secular humanists at the very least. However, they along with everyone else riding this planet through space, headlong into eternity don’t have all the answers either and we are all seeking for truth whether we admit it or not. Sometimes it’s just easier to accept seemingly logical concepts such as evolution or atheism, so that you don’t have to deal with the obvious conclusions that you would otherwise come to… “The Watchmaker” Such concepts are found in Clockwork Angels. Peart writes in the song, The Garden… “The Watchmaker keeps to his schemes”, “The Watchmaker has time up his sleeve”. I see bitter anger toward God because of his loss in these lyrics, not atheism.
    Remember back to Power Windows when he wrote:
    “We sometimes catch a window, A glimpse of what's beyond. Was it just imagination, stringing us along? More things than are dreamed about, unseen and unexplained. We suspend our disbelief and we are entertained. Mystic rhythms, Capture my thoughts, Carry them away, Nature seems to spin, a supernatural way.”
    Now obviously, that is very metaphysical and new age lingo, but it shows clearly that in the past, Neil was thinking of the natural world in terms of spiritual implications. Something that, “any rational person” should do. If you find a watch in the forest, your rational response is that a watchmaker made the watch. If you find a universe filled with metabolic machines and complex life forms, you should rationally conclude that it didn’t arise by chance because of an explosion of nothing that created everything. Look, I realize that it is hard to reconcile the bible and the teachings of Jesus with the way his followers act sometimes, but that doesn't get you off the hook for believing the truth that is found in His words and His creation, that testify with super decibels of His existence.
    Ok, I’m done, now you can let me have it…
    ClosetRushon July 09, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionI also must add... (sorry for the addition...) a quote from one of the first songs Neil wrote with the band- Anthem.

    "Well I know they've always told you selfishness was wrong-
    yet it was for me, not you, I came to write this song."

    Sometimes, art it a complete expression from within. It's not always meant to preach or to explain upon another, but as a streak of blood created from your own proverbial slit wrist- unapologetically authentic and true, without censorship or rose colored lenses.
    geddycornon October 16, 2012   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningAlthough the meaning is very clear, I would like to take this opportunity to be the first to comment on this amazing song.
    rushpwnsxon June 06, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah the song meaning is pretty obvious that it's practically a denunciation of religion or various ideologies, that we accept without reason, simply because we're told them again and again, and they've been drilled into our heads since birth. Rush is an amazing band, I just saw them live in Denver, Colorado, two days ago, they played this and immediately followed-up with Freewill. Amazing!
    CloudyStrifeon August 19, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is a fantastic song...as for the comments about faithless...you people need to read the lyrics more carefully...It is an incredibly amazingly beautiful song with lyrics that are absolutely incredible
    magicalrushon July 11, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAgree with you Trisatr. Im an old timer Rush fan. Saw them first back in the late 70s. Lost count but ive seen them 30 times on many many a tour. Indeed Neil is getting more anti-religious......and you cant blame him for talking about this struggle after he lost his wife and daughter in the span of a year. What you see in Neils lyrics is a guy trying to make sense of the unexplainable and he is latching onto whatever truth he can find. Tragedy leads some towards God and some away. Im just getting tired of him dwelling on it in his lyrics.

    This new album is the best from Rush in a long time, but lyrically Peart was at his lyrical best when he focused on philosophy. This spiritual focus of his lyrics are just too damn preachy and turn me off. The poetry is pretty good but you can hear it that he is trying to convince the listener to his POV. No longer does Peart just opine and wax poetic on a subject from a philosophical POV, as a brief window into his mind, now he tries to PUSH his POV out and just comes across as forced and contrite. I hate it when people put their spirituality out there and claim it to be superior. Nobody knows jack squat about the metaphysical, so to all artists, dont feed me the line that you have all the answers cause you dont.

    Didnt mean that to be such a rant, I appreciate anything Neil has to say over the drivel that is the usual fare these days.


    And for the poster who said Peart is not an athiest.....yes he is, and so are Ged and Al.
    flacrwdogon July 06, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have to start out by saying I think one of the most beautiful things about music (in fact, art in general) is that it can be interpreted in many ways. There may be one specific theme the song the lyricist or band tends to reach out with, but it can always be admired from another angle.
    That being said...
    I'm a devoted Rush fan and an insatiable fan of Neil Peart. I can never get enough of his writings, his ideas and ramblings... His style is remarkable. He can tune in his listener or reader exactly how he intends and it's incredible. I've read all of his books and of course, like many, know of his tragedies.
    Neil has always intertwined a wonderful dose of skepticism about religion and the like and he did so far before coming back after his hiatus to produce Vapor Trail.
    As an atheist, I am very attuned to religious references. I must say, although Neil has directly referenced 'atheism' in his blog, he's never outright said he's an atheist. (And as an atheist, you don't have a dislike or hatred for god, you simply don't believe.) He may very well not be an atheist. Perhaps he doesn't prefer the term, or maybe he doesn't want to define himself with title. Maybe he doesn't know. In any shape or form, this song is not directly against religion.
    In a much larger sense, it's about indoctrination and challenging things you've been told and have accepted without your own careful, rational thought. It no doubt can be viewed through a religious lens, which of course I do. In that case, you would arrive at a viewpoint that sheds light on the false pretenses lended to our youth by way of theism.
    For a theist struggling with acceptance of the lyrics, in fevor to connect (like I always am with lyrics), try to think of it purely as challenging what you believe without outright acceptance of the ways of others. This does not have to be religion. This can simply be anything someone has told you was true that you have come to revisit.

    I've seen them quite a few times over the last few years and cannot wait to see them again this weekend. This song I hold close to my heart. Too bad they aren't ripping it up with BU2B on this tour.

    Love and respect,
    A Geddycorn
    geddycornon October 16, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionBU2B and the song Clockwork Angels has really really broken my fan-ship of Rush. I have been to EVERY local concert of Rush since Signals 1983 Tour. I've seen them in concert, I think, 36 times.

    When I played Clockwork Angels and read along with the lyrics I was gasping at what I heard....

    I couldn't believe hearing:
    " All is for the best
    Believe in what we're told
    Blind man in the market
    Buying what we're sold
    Believe in what we're told
    Until our final breath
    While our loving Watchmaker
    Loves us all to death"

    After researching this further on the internet, I come to find out Neil Peart is heavily influenced by an atheist (name escapes me) who wrote books that the only form of God is "Time". You live your, life, you love, you die...and zap. thats it. you dont exist and anymore. No heaven, no hell. That there is no God of the Bible.

    My soul just HURT after researching this as I'm a true believer in God of the Bible.

    Like Neil, I have suffered great pain and suffering in my life. To the point, where I had daily panic attacks. Such panic and anxiety that it led me to lose my job and become a hermit in my own house full of depression.

    I understand Neil's pain of losing his daughter in an auto-crash and his wife to cancer within months of each other in the late 1990s. But Neil ran in one direction away from God.

    I personally have run the other way TOWARDS God.....and God is rebuilding me from the inside out. God is changing my life in so many ways.

    I'm very disappointed reading into the lyrics in songs like BU2B.... and the title song, Clockwork Angels.....where Neil pretty much makes fun of people who raise their hands to the skies to praise and be thankful to God for all their blessings:

    You promise every treasure, to the foolish and the wise
    Goddesses of mystery, spirits in disguise
    Every pleasure, we bow and close our eyes
    Clockwork angels, promise every prize

    Clockwork angels, spread their arms and sing
    Synchronized and graceful, they move like living things
    Goddesses of Light, of Sea and Sky and Land
    Clockwork angels, the people raise their hands
    As if to fly

    .....in these lyrics I interupt the meaning that those who believe and raise their hands to the skies in belief of God and his Angels are FOOLS.

    I was also very very disappointed when Geddy Lee was asked a question about God and his answer was, "the only time I've ever prayed was on the tennis court."

    All very disappointing gentleman of Rush. I will pray for each of you to find the TRUE answers in your lives.

    As for my 37th concert of Rush, who is schedule to appear at Riverbend July 2nd, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio...... my concert streak ends right here and now.....as I have to make a stand for what I believe in: the God of the Bible.

    Wishing all of you reading this to seek out your own answers to yoru own life. For me, it's God.
    jimcorneteon March 18, 2013   Link

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