Rush is a Band

A blog devoted to RUSH:
Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Thu, Nov 21, 2019

Top 50 conservative rock songs list redux

Mon, Jun 5, 2006@3:38PM | comments

[Encore! 50 more conservative rock songs]

A couple weeks ago I linked to a story from the New York Times which referenced this National Review article that chronicled a list of the top 50 conservative rock songs. The list generated quite a stir among readers here and across the blogosphere. So much so that the author, John J. Miller, decided to explain himself.

... There are of course many varieties of conservatism, a term which I define broadly in the fusionist custom of NR. The original article said: "The lyrics must convey a conservative idea or sentiment, such as skepticism of government or support for traditional values." A few lefties have pointed out that they're skeptical of government, too, especially with Republicans in power. Fair enough. I would modify this to say "skepticism of big government"—i.e., the welfare state, the nanny state, the left-wing state, etc. Also, claiming that a song is conservative certainly does not mean to suggest that the artist who wrote it or performed it is a conservative. For the most part, I interpreted the lyrics the way a New Critic would interpret a poem—i.e., by examining a text without reference to biography or historical context. I bent this rule in a few places, but only when it seemed appropriate. ...

He also presented another 50 songs that failed to make his cut but were in his 51-100 list. Rush appeared 4 more times on this list. Here are the 4 songs and what was said about them:

"Anthem", by Rush.
Inspired by Ayn Rand. "Begging hands and bleeding hearts will / Only cry out for more."

"Freewill," by Rush.
"I will choose free will."

"Heresy," by Rush.
An bitter epitaph for Communism, at the end of the Cold War: "All around that dull grey world / From Moscow to Berlin / People storm the barricades / Walls go tumbling in / The counter-revolution / People smiling through their tears / Who can give them back their lives / And all those wasted years?"

"Something for Nothing," by Rush.
Another libertarian rocker: "You don't get something for nothing / You don't get freedom for free."

So there's some more fodder for political discussion. ;)