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Posted By: BenD Lampson
Posted On: Wednesday February 12, 2020 at 3:58 AM
An old Rush favorite about a boy, a race car, and a dream....................................(video)
I first saw Rush perform this great song in 1982!

We just lost their drummer, Neil Peart, about a month ago to brain cancer.

Please scroll down past the lyrics to read the carstory.com
interpretation of this wonderful song.

Red Barchetta by Rush

My uncle has a country place
That no one knows about
He says it used to be a farm
Before the Motor Law
And now on Sundays I elude the eyes
And hop the turbine freight
To far outside the wire where my
White-haired uncle waits
Jump to the ground as the turbo slows
To cross the borderline
Run like the wind as excitement shivers
Up and down my spine
But down in his barn
My uncle preserved for me
An old machine
For fifty-odd years
To keep it as new
Has been his dearest dream
I strip away the old debris
That hides a shining car
A brilliant Red Barchetta
From a better vanished time
We'll fire up the willing engine
Responding with a roar
Tires spitting gravel
I commit my weekly crime
In my hair
Shifting and drifting
Mechanical music
Adrenaline surge
Well-oiled leather
Hot metal and oil
The scented country air
Sunlight on chrome
The blur of the landscape
Every nerve aware
Suddenly ahead of me
Across the mountainside
A gleaming alloy air-car
Shoots towards me two lanes wide
Oh, I spin around with shrieking tires
To run the deadly race
Go screaming through the valley
As another joins the chase
Ride like the wind
Straining the limits
Of machine and man
Laughing out loud with fear and hope
I've got a desperate plan
At the one-lane bridge
I leave the giants stranded
At the riverside
Race back to the farm
To dream with my uncle
At the fireside

And this from carstory.com

Imagine a near future of motor laws, turbine freights and zones fenced off by what they call “the wire.” Now imagine that every Sunday you go outside this “wire” to an old farm nobody knows about where your uncle lives. Finally, imagine that he preserved an old machine for you from fifty years ago. It’s not a driverless car, it’s not a flying car and it’s not a post-apocalyptic war machine.

It’s brilliant red. And it’s a Barchetta. And so the story begins in the first-person narrative rock and roll masterpiece, “Red Barchetta” by Rush, one of the best storyteller bands of the 70s and 80s, and if this song is not the only futuristic-hotrod-in-a-science-fiction rock song, then it’s the best futuristic-hotrod-in-a-science-fiction rock song. The song appeared on their 1981 album Moving Pictures and was inspired by the short story “A Nice Morning Drive” by Richard S. Foster.

The narrator—yeah, we’re talking about rock and roll lyrics—the narrator, in the voice of lead singer Geddy Lee, leaves the city, eludes “the eyes” and hops a “turbine freight.” “The eyes” may have been just human eyes, but we’ve been so educated in science fiction since 1981 that we know eyes could be cameras.

Our hero visits his “White-haired uncle” every Sunday at what used to be a farm where his uncle has hidden “An old machine” and “To keep it as new/Has been his dearest dream.” It’s a “brilliant Red Barchetta/From a better vanished time.”

So the kid takes it out, feels the wind in his hair, feels the “Well-oiled leather,” and sees “the blur of the landscape.” All of that until “a gleaming alloy air-car” that’s “two-lanes wide” starts chasing him. Upon re-reading the lyrics today I’m befuddled to admit I don’t know why I always thought this was a cops and a cop car. I mean, who else would it be. You got a kid driving a fast car then the cops aren’t far behind.

And what ensues I can accurately guess is the absolute only car chase set in the future in a rock and roll song. A second air-car even “joins the chase.” They’re called air-cars so they must be flying. Of course, the police would have flying cars before we do. However, they might be hovercraft that stay just above the ground because as our hero rides like the wind “Straining the limits” he finally leaves both vehicles stranded at a one-lane bridge, which a hovercraft probably couldn’t go over. After that he goes back to his uncle’s and they dream by the fireside.

Remember those times you didn’t drive or couldn’t drive or maybe you were stuck in town for a bit and you finally get out on the open road? That’s what this kid felt every Sunday, and with no Sunday drivers at that, except those pesky police.

A barchetta—pronounced with a “k”; Yeah, Geddy knows now—a barchetta is an open 2-seater Italian style sportscar according to Wikipedia. Some sources explain that it’s a particular type of Ferrari, but I’m not about to destroy everybody’s interpretation of their own fantasy red Barchetta.

While we’re all waiting for our flying cars, I’d like to get behind the wheel of a Red Barchetta. Maybe one day I’ll feel the wind in my hair if I have any left, and I’ll feel the “shifting and drifting/mechanical music/adrenaline surge” with “every nerve aware.”

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Message thread:

An old Rush favorite about a boy, a race car, and a dream....................................(video) by BenD Lampson #46737
Superb! (EOM) by John Kuvakas #46737.1Moderator
every now and then I get into my '72 Corvette and just drive... by Joop Gisbers #46737.2
77 Fiat Spider, 81 280zx, and 93 Corvette. Top off or down and just drive off two tanks of gas. by Robert Bolin #46737.2.1

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