Lighthearted and poppy for a Rush song, “Entre Nous” broaches serious issues surrounding relationships. The verse is a bouncy jaunt of a part with singer/bassist Geddy Lee coolly philosophizing through the words of lyricist and drummer Neil Peart. “We are secrets to each other, Each one’s life a novel no one else has read…” This couplet sets up the generative theme of the song as Peart deals with the idea of relational proximity, or lack thereof. (The first line repeats at the beginning of every stanza replacing “secrets” with “planets”, “strangers”, and “islands”.) There is an apparent disconnect between love and tangible emotional interconnectedness in Peart’s world. The first stanza continues “Even joined in bonds of love, We’re linked to one another, By such slender threads.” We’re left with the indelible feeling that our relationships (family, friends, lovers) are tenuous at best.
The chorus pulls the jaunt backwards into an oddly-metered half-time driven by Alex Lifeson’s glorious guitar strumming. Peart offers the listener his best “advice”: “Just between us, I think it’s time for us to recognize, The differences we sometimes fear to show, Just between us, I think it’s time for us to realize, The spaces in between, Leave room for you and I to grow.” The chorus provides a foil to the dilemma presented in the verses. It seems that Peart is calling for us to seek real honest connection with those we love. “Entre Nous” means “between us” and Peart’s song is a plea to an unnamed partner to acknowledge the differences that pull them apart. I would encourage you to listen to the song yourself and pay close attention to the lyrics. I imagine you might come up with a drastically different interpretation. I know that this song elicits powerful emotions from me and likely will for anyone who has had trouble maintaining open, free-flowing, and dynamic relationships. I leave you with one of “Entre Nous“‘s unanswered questions: How can we embrace our differences so that we grow stronger together?