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Friday, September 18, 2009


J.R.R. Tolkien and Ayn Rand make for odd literary bedfellows, but Rush's 1975 album Fly by Night features songs based on the writings of both authors (for the Rand reference, see our previous post about Anthem). The title of the song Rivendell refers to the home of the Elves in Tolkien's fantasy world of Middle Earth. Rivendell features in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, most notably as the site of the Council of Elrond in The Fellowship of the Ring. The song captures the sense of peace and serenity that visitors to Rivendell always feel, and travelers long to return to: Elven songs and endless nights/Sweet wine and soft relaxing lights/Time will never touch you/Here in this enchanted place. It is also identified as A place you can escape the world/Where the Dark Lord cannot go--a reference to Tolkien's übervillain, Sauron. Tolkien's writings are also said to have influenced another Rush song, The Necromancer, though the references are less direct.

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