70 Days With Hemingway And Me

Every Novel, Back to Back, Starting With the First

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“Losing It”

July 27th, 2009 · No Comments · Rush

Rush is one of my favorite bands, and has been since the mid 70s.

Their song “Losing It,” from the 1982 album Signals, is incredibly profound, and very sad. Some of the lyrics are, I think, about Ernest Hemingway. The song is about creative/artistic people losing their talent. Here are the lyrics:

The dancer slows her frantic pace
In pain and desperation
Her aching limbs and downcast face
Aglow with persperation

Stiff as wire, her lungs on fire
With just the briefest pause –
Then flooding through her memories,
The echoes of old applause

She limps across the floor
And closes her bedroom door…

The writer stares with glassy eyes –
Defies the empty page,
His beard is white, his face is lined
And streaked with tears of rage.

Thirty years ago, how the words would flow
With passion and precision,
But now his mind is dark and dulled
By sickness and indecision.

And he stars out the kitchen door
Where the sun will rise no more –

Some are born to move the wold –
To live their fantasties
But more of us just dream about
The things we’d like to be

Sadder still to watch it die
Than never to have known it
For you – the blind who once could see –
The bell tolls for thee…

It’s an incredibly sad song. Lyricist Neil Peart must really have tapped the ethos to pull that one out. It perfectly captures what must have been Ernest Hemingway’s thoughts in his final moments.

I’ve always loved “Losing It.” It brings tears to my eyes now just as it did when I first heard it. Perhaps more so now that I’ve read Hemingway at length. I highly recommend “Losing It” for anyone who wants to feel what Hemingway might have felt in the final weeks of his life.


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