Rush – Freewill

This is not a silly love song. The awkward 1980 lyrics don’t read like poetry, but discuss the philosophical concept of free will: Is one able to make a choice independent of any barriers and constraints?

Progressive rockers Rush want us to choose to make choices. That is, we can accept our lot in life even if it’s not going so well… or we can do something about it. Here, Rush may be paying lip service to very real political, social and economic barriers that can prevent people from taking steps to reach their goals. Philosophy, too, might politely argue free will does not exist (Google “hard determinism”).

But while Rush prefer long songs and concept albums, still they don’t get fully into the debate here. They freely chose not to?


2 thoughts on “Rush – Freewill

  1. There’s an interesting discrepancy between the lyrics Geddy Lee sings and the lyrics included in the original album: “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice” was originally written as “If you still choose not to decide, you cannot have made a choice.” Obviously what he sings fits better into the meter of the song, so that may explain why the lyrics were changed, but the sentiment seems to be completely different. Not sure I’ve ever read an explanation from them about this.

    • Thanks for shedding further light on this song. Rush is a guilty pleasure for me, and it was great that they were finally inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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