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XANADU Lyrics

Artist: Rush
Album: Different Stages

Words by Neil Peart, Music by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson

"To seek the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
To break my fast on honey dew
And drink the milk of Paradise...."

I had heard the whispered tales
Of immortality
The deepest mystery
From an ancient book. I took a clue
I scaled the frozen mountain tops
Of eastern lands unknown
Time and Man alone
Searching for the lost ---- Xanadu

Xanadu ---- To stand within The Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste anew the fruits of life
The last immortal man
To find the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
Oh, I will dine on honey dew
And drink the milk of Paradise

A thousand years have come and gone
But time has passed me by
Stars stopped in the sky
Frozen in an everlasting view
Waiting for the world to end
Weary of the night
Praying for the light
Prison of the lost ---- Xanadu

Xanadu ---- Held within The Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste my bitter triumph
As a mad immortal man
Nevermore shall I return
Escape these caves of ice
For I have dined on honey dew
And drunk the milk of Paradise
Comments/Interpretations
by Starstruck on 5/29/2008 10:50pm
Fuck Yeah!
by Razor Ray on 6/13/2008 10:38am
Brutal. One of the best tunes of all times...........
by 2112Fan on 6/22/2008 1:43pm
Yes, Rush is the best....Xanadu is one of the greatest!
by Cooleridge on 7/18/2008 3:59am
Xanadu is a powerful song and tale of an empty immortality. The protagonist finds the lost resort of Kubla Khan (the grandson of Ghengis Khan), called Xanadu--a place which has the promise of immortality--not unlike the holy grail legends. He goes, partakes, and becomes immortal, but then is stuck in Xanadu eternally feasting on the fruits of his desired and empty immortality. He becomes a prisoner to a lonely eternity, from which he cannot return to humanity.
by nolesrock on 7/18/2008 9:18am
peart was a lyricist and scholar in addition to being one bad-ass drummer! be sure to check out the poem kubla khan, on which this song is based...pretty cool!
by Guajiro on 8/20/2008 10:51pm
The poem kubla khan? Thanks for the info nolesrock!!!
This band touches evry nerve of my intellect.
by jeffm on 11/15/2008 8:32pm
Hell ya Rush rocks
by I'mARushFan on 12/7/2008 7:51pm
i hate rush
by Neil Peartfan 12 on 2/24/2009 10:02am
I would love to see this song live. All the synthisizers and guitar and stuff. That is why I love Rush. Its because all there music is so complex. They have one song within a song, go to another, then a 3rd, then go back to the first and somehow they make it all fit together. Yes Rush is the best band of all time although there is the argument that Geddy Lee's vocal chords are too high pitched and annoying but that isnt true. :)
by christine on 3/1/2009 4:14pm
i love rush--- this song really speaks to me about the meaning of life and coming to terms with the inevitable.
by PeterStockings on 4/21/2009 10:02am
If anyone's interested, the poem's called Xanadu also and it's by Samuel Coleridge.

As for the song. Simply awesome.
by AndreB on 6/9/2009 8:49am
I don't understand why its

For I have dined on honey dew
And drunk the milk of Paradise

Whats so special about honey dew and well... milk of paradise?
by Brandyn on 6/18/2009 5:18pm
I think the milk of paradise refers to the milk that Kubla Khan drank, and sometimes awarded to champions.
As for honey dew, it probably means the rich honey made from aphids.
by NEILPEARTISGOD on 10/18/2009 10:57pm
Id rather drink Mountain dew and eat a bowl of stir fried rice myself....but hey whatever floats ur boat Kubla
by Cowz! on 3/15/2010 5:26am
Wat i dnt get is tht all of the lyrics are from the poem ... So would i get famous if i sang "roses are red" ? ... You tell me.

Then again rush i awesome so i dnt rlly care

by TheVadiian on 3/28/2010 12:15pm
NeilPeartfan12> Check out Exit Stage Left. I got it on the Rush Replay X3 DVD set. Xanadu is like the 3rd or 4th song on DVD. Awesome song.
by Lost years on 4/23/2010 3:23am
I have loved Rush for more than 10 years, and haven't truly paid attention to the lyrics until now! (Too wrapped in the music) But what a loss! Alas!
by For I have dined on honeydew! on 7/18/2010 5:01pm
Undoubtedly in my top 5 Rush tracks!

In no particular order:
1. Tom Sawyer
2. Caravan
3. Limelight
4. Working Man
5. La Villa Strangiato
6. Closer to the Heart
7. Xanadu
8. Bastille Day
9. YYZ
10. Fly By Night
by RickRush on 10/28/2010 6:07pm
You ought to follow the 2112 Saga through all 3 albums - It's an AMAZING legend!

They just don't do it like this anymore!
by snowdog on 11/5/2010 10:08pm
2112 IS amazing!
by Neilbubbachuck on 11/10/2010 7:54pm
This song is about me. What the hell are you guys talking about.
by rocksfield on 12/22/2010 5:44am
Almost another nod to the incredible 'Twilight Zone' series the band so loved, Xanadu would have made a great episode.
by ThatDarnDragon on 2/19/2011 6:53pm
One of my favorite Rush songs.

It's up there with my top 5 songs by rush.

by dick on 3/1/2011 9:54pm
xanadu is the name of the palace in citizen kane
by Phelyx on 8/2/2011 5:26pm
I discovered Rush when I was in high school in the late 70s. Saw them live many times in those days... Perfect timing. Xanadu is about looking for paradise... wanting immortality - but then once you have it, you're trapped - waiting for the world to end....
by TomSawyer2112 on 8/31/2011 5:48pm
FOR I HAVE DINED ON HONEY DEW!
by laura jones on 1/18/2012 2:43am
"That goes perfect with your robe, Glee!" - Geddy in Beyond the Lighted Stage
by KS on 2/16/2012 3:21pm
Xanadu if a fricken Master piece!
by Robert Lawson on 5/15/2012 5:03pm
Did a comparison/contrast of this song to the poem Kubla Khan. Was interesting playing Rush in a college English class in 1977.
by yaniv weiss on 6/26/2012 3:03pm
rush is the best band ever.i discovered them when i was 13 years old and i cant stop listen to them since than.even my 3 years daughter ask me every time to put rush on the air.so i can say proudly that its not a blood under my skin-its rush.
by KLoe on 1/25/2013 3:42pm
The poem isn't called "Xanadu;" it's called "Kubla Khan." Also, the song borrows lines from the poem, but it's not just putting music to the poem; it's taking ideas and themes from the poem and then creating something new (reference Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls." The title comes from John Donne's "Meditation 17," but it's only an allusion, not a copy). Allusions are a powerful way to say a whole lot in a small amount of space.
by dee_dub on 7/19/2013 11:42am
The song borrows liberally from the poem, other than the fact that there's no suggestion in the poem that the food and drink of paradise confer immortality. Power, yes; eternal life, not necessarily.

I was lucky enough to see this song live. Unbelievable.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
...

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
...
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.


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