Last night I saw Rush in concert. More to come on that, but they played a song from their 1981 album, “Moving Pictures,” called Witch Hunt. Witch Hunt is one of my favorite songs and has not appeared live in many years. Last night I had a chance to re-listen to Neil Peart’s lyrics that I’ve had memorized for so long I stopped hearing their meaning. Read them now and see how appropriate they are in 2007 America.
The night is black, without a moon.
The air is thick and still.
The vigilantes gather on the lonely torchlit hill.
Features distorted in the flickering light, faces are twisted and grotesque.
Silent and stern in the sweltering night, the mob moves like demons possesed.
Quiet in conscience, calm in their right, confident their ways are best.
The righteous rise with burning eyes of hatred and ill-will.
Madmen fed on fear and lies to beat and burn and kill.
They say there are strangers who threaten us: our immigrants and infidels.
They say there is strangeness to danger us in our theatres and bookstore shelves.
Those who know what’s best for us must rise and save us from ourselves!
Quick to judge, quick to anger, slow to understand.
Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand…