The Fountain of Lamneth

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"The Fountain of Lamneth"
Song by Rush from the album Caress of Steel
Genre Hard rock, Progressive rock
Length 19:58
Label Mercury Records
Writer Lee and Lifeson
Lyrics by Peart
Producer Rush & Terry Brown
Caress of Steel track listing
"The Necromancer"
"The Fountain of Lamneth"

The Fountain of Lamneth is the fifth and final track from Rush's third album, Caress of Steel. The music was written by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson and the lyrics were written by Neil Peart. It chronicles a man's journey to find the Fountain of Lamneth. It consists of six parts:

    • "I. In the Valley" – 4:18
    • "II. Didacts and Narpets" – 1:00
    • "III. No One at the Bridge" – 4:19
    • "IV. Panacea" (music: Lee) – 3:14
    • "V. Bacchus Plateau" (Music: Lee) – 3:16
    • "VI. The Fountain" – 3:49

Song information[edit]

"The Fountain of Lamneth" is the first of three sidelong epics Rush would write. It is broken into six smaller parts; however, unlike later extended songs such as "La Villa Strangiato", "Xanadu" and "Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres," the individual parts do not segue seamlessly, but rather each segment fades out as the next fades in.

The meaning of the song is often viewed to be the entire life a man, from birth to death. Section one "In The Valley" refers to birth and growing up. "Didacts and Narpets" refers to the rebellious teenage years, as the opposing lyrics go back and forth. "No One at the Bridge" is referring the first years of being alone with no one to rely on when times become difficult. "Panacea" refers to finding something in life that brings happiness or joy, such as falling in love. "Bacchus Plateau" is referring to the life of retirement and growing old. The final section, "The Fountain," refers to the end of one's life, the last swell in the music being the man's final breath. The fountain itself is said to be the constant idea of looking for something more in life. For example, in the beginning it is looking forward to growing older, while at the end the man seeks to be young again.

Regarding the section "Didacts and Narpets" (which consists mostly of a drum solo), Neil Peart, in the October 1991 news release from the Rush Backstage Club, said: "Okay, I may have answered this before, but if not, the shouted words in that song represent an argument between Our Hero and the Didacts and Narpets - teachers and parents. I honestly can't remember what the actual words were, but they took up opposite positions like: "Work! Live! Earn! Give!" and like that." A didact is a teacher, and "narpet" is an anagram of "parent".

See also[edit]