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"Bastille Day" is a song by the Canadian rock band Rush, and is the opening track from their third album, Caress of Steel.[7] Like most Rush songs, the music was written by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, and the lyrics by Neil Peart. The song uses the storming of the Bastille, which began the French Revolution, as an allegory for revolutionary fervor needed in the struggle against tyrannical government. It is therefore in the same vein as other libertarian-themed songs from the early stages of Rush's career, including "Anthem", "Closer to the Heart", "Freewill", "Something for Nothing", and "A Farewell to Kings", when the band — Neil Peart and Geddy Lee in particular — was influenced by the Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand.[8]

"Bastille Day"
Song by Rush
from the album Caress of Steel
Released1975 (1975)
StudioToronto Sound, Toronto
Songwriter(s)Composer: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson
Lyricist: Neil Peart

Live versions of the song appear on the albums All the World's a Stage and Different Stages. The last time it was performed live was in 1981, but an instrumental section was played during the R30 Tour as part of the "R30 Overture," which opened concerts on that tour.

Progressive metal band Dream Theater, originally known as "Majesty," took their original name from founding drummer Mike Portnoy's description of the ending of "Bastille Day" as "majestic."[9]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Bowman, Durrell (2014). Experiencing Rush: A Listener's Companion. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 13. ISBN 9781442231313.
  2. ^ Popoff, Martin (2013). Rush: The Illustrated History. Voyageur Press. p. 26. ISBN 9780760343647.
  3. ^ Wagner, Jeff (2010). Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal. Bazillion Points Books. p. 23. ISBN 9780979616334.
  4. ^ Begrand, Adrien (10 June 2014). "Caress Of Steel (1975)". Stereogum. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  5. ^ Holm-Hudson, Kevin (2013). Progressive Rock Reconsidered. Routledge. p. 190. ISBN 9781135710224. First published in 2002.
  6. ^ Harris, Craig. "Dream Theater | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 April 2019. The Grammy-nominated Long Island-based quintet Dream Theater are, in the 21st century, the standard bearers of progressive metal. While the subgenre's origins can be traced to Rush's song 'Bastille Day' in 1975...
  7. ^ "Caress of Steel: Released September 1975". Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  8. ^ Sciabarra, Chris Matthew (2002). "Rand, Rush, and Rock Volume 4, Number 1): 161-85". The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Dream Theater: 20 Majestic Years". Retrieved 12 July 2012.