Tom Sawyer By Rush

Moving Pictures

1981 | Rock

Spotify | Amazon

What you say about his company, is what you say about society.


  • Hit #25 on the UK Singles chart & #24 in Canada,. Hit #44 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and #8 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart.
  • Lyrics stem from a poem by Pye Dubois (of Max Webster) named "Louis the Lawyer" that Peart modified and expanded.
  • Deadsy released a cover on the album comencement in ‘02 in the style of other goth bands of the era, ie Orgy or Static-X.


Luke Tatum

"His mind is not for rent." That is one of my favorite lyrics from any song. As a child, my mind was absolutley for rent. Ideas came and went, and my allegiances were quick to shift from one system of thinking to another. In other words, I was a mess of ideas. For all the hours I was shoved into the sardine can known as public school, I did not learn how to think. Only years after vacating "the system" entirely could I dare to call myself a Tom Sawyer.

Sherry Voluntary

This is the quintessential Rush song. A lot can be said about it.The strong backbeat that opend the song and the synth overlay sets the stage for a unique and intriguing set of lyrics. Using Tom Sawyer as the main character certainly draws on rich imagery from a much beloved story. I feel it also mixes with the character the creator, Mark Twain and the kind of man he was. Intelligent, witty, cuttingly satirical, and an independent free thinker. The line "He knows changes aren't permanent, but change is," has always intrigued me. To me it's saying society's change all the time. Shifting and moving positions, those changes are perpetual. The really important thing to remember is that change is a reality that itself is permanent. Whatever is happening, you may not know what the next societal shift will be, but you can bank on the fact that it will change. As libertarians, I think the lesson is to just keep working, keep staying the course, be unapologetically true to principles, in hopes you direct that change more towards liberty than away from it.

Nicky P

I suspect I was born an anarchist. At the very least I never trusted anyone enough to allow them to rent my mind. I’m surprised I survived a lot of days when I questioned everything anyone ever told me. The Church. Family. Teachers. No authority was taken as given. I tried to fit in different cliches in school but nothing fit. Political ideologies in college felt the same. I went through the same system of indoctrination Luke did and yet somehow our worlds were different. All of that is a long preface to say freedom of thought will absolutely get you labeled as arrogant, especially when it comes to living out the liberal principles our culture lauded for hundreds of years. Humanity’s failure to meet the hope of freedom is not a failure on freedom but on humanity and as long as the idea stands we as individuals need to ride those rapids til we simply cannot.

Created By
Nicky P

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