The fifth song on the self-titled
first album by the Canadian band Rush
. Words and music by Geddy Lee
and Alex Lifeson
. John Rutsey
on drums, Lifeson on guitar and Lee on bass and lead vocals.
This song has that hard rock feel, with strong guitar and straightforward rhythm. What, at first glance, appears to be an ordinary structure is found to be actually complicated. The first, second, fourth and fifth stanzas have a very simple AABB rhyme pattern (with an extra "now" thrown onto the last line in stanzas four and five). The chorus (third, fifth and eighth stanzas) has an AABA pattern. The seventh stanza follows an ABAB pattern.
The lyrics are angry and direct. A bully or boss ("mister") is addressed by the singer on behalf of a group of rebellious people. The boss has been trying to control things ("try'n' to run the town") and this has caused a lot of frustration and resentment among the people ("Who do you think you are?" and "Why'd you have to make us so uptight?"). Finally, the singer challenges the boss ("you say you've been try'n'/ you know that you're ly'n'"), sets down some new rules ("you better start changin'/...you better do some talkin'), before uttering the threat that the people are not going to accept the old treatment any longer ("or you better do some walkin'"). The seventh stanza (the one with the oddball rhyming pattern) reflects this change and the line "you been feelin' long" seems to indicate that the people don't care what the boss feels, but they have waited long enough (or too long?) for improvement.