Rush, a Canadian rock band, released this song in 1981 on their Moving Pictures album. The song’s lyrics were written by the band’s writer (and drummer), Neil Peart, with help from Alex Lifeson, another Canadian lyricist, and Pye Dubois.
The song is about a man by the name of Tom Sawyer who sees the world through the perspective of a rebellious, free spirit. The man is seeking reality. Geddy Lee, the band’s lead vocalist, declares that “his mind is not for rent,” which means that while he navigates life, he won’t be swayed by the government, media, or society. It would be incorrect to characterize his unwillingness to fit in as haughtiness when it really serves to protect him.
“Today’s Tom Sawyer” aspires to the highest degree of wisdom, reality, and logical reasoning while also serving as a philosophical role model for society. The “space he invades” refers to his day-to-day employment and the office setting he must negotiate on his quest for the truth. The people he runs across on the road are referred to as “the friction of the day” since they are so many doubters and barriers in his way.
Watch the incredible cover in the video below by Asha Blaine with one take vocal recording with additional effects applied to fit the tune. Keep going for the video below: