Marathon (Rush song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Song by Rush
from the album Power Windows
Released29 October 1985
3 June 1997 (remastered CD)
GenreProgressive rock, new wave
Songwriter(s)Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee
Producer(s)Peter Collins and Rush
Rush singles chronology
"Manhattan Project"
"Time Stand Still"

"Marathon" is the fourth track on Canadian rock band Rush's 1985 album Power Windows.[1]

It is written by Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Geddy Lee, and its lyrics are written by drummer and lyricist Neil Peart.[1] The lyrics depict how one would feel while running in an actual marathon, but the meaning of the song is meant to use a marathon (an extreme challenge) as a metaphor for life, and say that life is full of obstacles and is all about achieving one's personal goals.

In a 1986 interview, Peart said "(Marathon) is about the triumph of time and a kind of message to myself (because I think life is too short for all the things that I want to do), there's a self-admonition saying that life is long enough. You can do a lot -- just don't burn yourself out too fast trying to do everything at once. Marathon is a song about individual goals and trying to achieve them. And it's also about the old Chinese proverb: 'The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."[2]

The live-version released on "A Show of Hands" reached #6 on the US Mainstream Rock chart in 1989.[3]


During the mid-1980s, Rush's style was beginning to lean towards a more synthesizer based style of rock music, as opposed to their earlier, heavier guitar based hard rock and progressive rock. During the mid-1980s, Neil Peart was also beginning to experiment with an electronic drum kit. Power Windows is perhaps Rush's most heavily synthesizer influenced album. All of these elements are evident throughout the album, including on "Marathon". It contains different sections with both Geddy Lee's synthesizer as the lead instrument, as well as Alex Lifeson's guitar as the lead instrument. During the chorus, Lee's synthesizer is most prominent, while during the verses and solo passages there is a mix between synthesizer and guitar.

Live performances[edit]

Marathon was first played on the 1985-1986 Power Windows Tour[4] and was dropped after the 1990 Presto Tour.[5][6]

The song was brought back live into the set list of Rush's 2010-2011 Time Machine Tour.[7] When the song was played on this tour, a pyrotechnic effect was used during the second verse after Lee sang the lyrics "more than just the bottom line or a lucky shot in the dark."

Performances of Marathon are included on the A Show of Hands concert film[8] and A Show of Hands live album[9] as well as the concert DVD, Blu-ray and double CD Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Power Windows —". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  2. ^ Hansen, Eric. ""Surviving With Rush" - Canadian Composer, April 1986". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Rush - Chart history". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Power Windows Tour |". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Presto Tour |". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Roll the Bones Tour |". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Time Machine Tour |". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  8. ^ "A Show of Hands [Video] - Rush | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  9. ^ "A Show of Hands - Rush | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland - Rush | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2017.

External links[edit]