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Date: 14/08/12

Rush (with Aimee Mann) - "Time Stand Still" (1987)

I was in sixth form when I first discovered the Canadian band Rush, thanks to Steve 'Bill' Hancocks bringing his LPs in to play on the Common Room record player...

("LPs"?, "record player"?. That sentence may as well have been written in Anglo-Saxon, it seems so dated. Sheesh!)

At that time, I became familiar with their classic albums such as 2112, A Farewell To Kings and - latterly - Permanent Waves, with the glorious Jacob's Ladder.

I didn't hear much of them after that, until I got my first CD player in 1991. One of the albums I bought not long after was the 1990 compilation Chronicles. It was then I first heard what I'm about to point you to now.

I've mentioned before that one of my greatest character flaws is a heightened awareness of the passage of time, augmented by having a very retentive memory (except, increasingly nowadays, of the reason why I put my glasses in the fridge). This song sums up so much of that; the desire to get time to stop, to give time to revel in the now-ness of things, to take stock, or simply just to hold back that which we know to be inevitable.

What you are about to hear are some of Neil Peart's finest lyrics, which move me to tears each time. Especially that final chorus, which tends to come into my mind particularly at this time of year:

"Summer's going fast, the nights growing colder;
Children growing up, old friends growing older"

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(I know the video isn't much to look at, but that doesn't matter. There was an official video for this track, but not only was it too silly for words but I couldn't find a version on YouTube which wasn't hopelessly and annoyingly out of synch).