Song of the Day #3,804: ‘Tom Sawyer’ – Rush

Continuing my look at some of the most celebrated albums from 1981, here’s the classic opening track of Rush’s eighth studio album, Moving Pictures.

I have to confess that I completely missed the boat on Rush. Though they released new material steadily from my infancy through my 20s, I never managed to own a Rush album or even become familiar with a Rush song. Today’s SOTD, ‘Tom Sawyer,’ is probably their best-known track, and I think I heard it for the first time this week.

I feel that had I discovered Rush in high school, back when I was geeking out to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, I probably would have become a lifelong fan. The songs I’ve heard have that same vibe — they demand a level of attention only a teenager can provide.

My only present-day association with Rush is a very entertaining one: the band’s inclusion in the 2009 film I Love You, Man, particularly this scene featuring Paul Rudd at his Paul Rudd-iest. Bonus points for the presence of the beautiful and hilarious Rashida Jones.

[Intro]
A modern-day warrior
Mean, mean stride
Today’s Tom Sawyer
Mean, mean pride

[Verse 1]
Though his mind is not for rent
Don’t put him down as arrogant
His reserve a quiet defense
Riding out the day’s events
The river

[Hook]
What you say about his company
Is what you say about society
Catch the mist
Catch the myth
Catch the mystery
Catch the drift

[Bridge]
The world is, the world is
Love and life are deep
Maybe as his skies are wide
Today’s Tom Sawyer, he gets high on you
And the space he invades, he gets by on you

[Instrumental]

[Verse 2]
No, his mind is not for rent
To any god or government
Always hopeful, yet discontent
He knows changes aren’t permanent
But change is

[Hook]
And what you say about his company
Is what you say about society
Catch the witness
Catch the wit
Catch the spirit
Catch the spit

[Refrain]
The world is, the world is
Love and life are deep
Maybe as his eyes are wide

[Outro]
Exit the warrior
Today’s Tom Sawyer
He gets high on you
And the energy you trade
He gets right on to
The friction of the day

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,804: ‘Tom Sawyer’ – Rush

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    In my teen years, Rush seemed to be one of those bands you either loved or hated. There was no in between, and I suspect the haters were a direct counter-reaction to the cult-like obsessed fans who worshiped at the Rush alter. I was on Team Hate, which was easy to do because I really don’t like Getty Lee’s voice and I found the songs I heard (or couldn’t avoid) including “Tom Sawyer” to be ponderous soulless crap.

    I will say, however, that my feelings of contempt were blunted a bit by the hilarious reference to them and use of their music in I Love You, Man.

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