The Fountain of Lamneth

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"The Fountain of Lamneth"
Song by Rush from the album Caress of Steel
Length 19:58
Label Mercury
Lyricist(s) Neil Peart
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.[1] It chronicles a man's lifelong journey to find the Fountain of Lamneth.

Song information[edit]

"The Fountain of Lamneth" is the first of three sidelong epics Rush would write. It is broken into six section as follows:

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

However, unlike later extended songs such as "Xanadu," "Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres," and "La Villa Strangiato," the sections do not segue seamlessly, but rather each segment fades out as the next fades in.

Regarding the section "Didacts and Narpets", 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." [2]

Geddy Lee mentioned this song in a somewhat unfavorable light in this interview excerpt from the book Contents Under Pressure: "[The song] was just something we had to do. But it’s kind of absurd. I mean, it’s just where we were at. We were a young band, a little pretentious, full of ambitions, full of grand ideas, and we wanted to see if we could make some of those grand ideas happen. And 'Fountain of Lamneth' was the first attempt to do that. And I think there are some beautiful moments, but a lot of it is ponderous and off the mark. It’s also the most time we ever had to make a record. I think we had a full three weeks, and we were just indulging ourselves.'"[3]

Alex Lifeson cited Steve Hackett as a major influence on the sound he strove for in this song and album, particularly on the guitar solo during "No One at the Bridge": “Steve Hackett is so articulate and melodic, precise and flowing. I think our Caress of Steel period is when I was most influenced by him. There's even a solo on that album which is almost a steal from his style of playing. It's one of my favorites, called 'No One at the Bridge.'"[4]

As to Lifeson's thoughts on the "Panacea" section: "It was an attempt at something that didn't really work out. It was ... innocent."[5]


See also[edit]