Rush: Subdivisions Meaning
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In geometric order
An insulated border
In between the bright lights
And the far unlit unknown
Growing up it all seems so one-sided
Opinions all provided
The future pre-decided
The song is quite straightforward: it's about the isolation of growing up in the mundane, groupthink-infested surroundings of suburbia. In the suburbs, uniformity is the way of life: same houses, same cars, same interests, same lifestyles, same beliefs. There's no room for youthful dreamers, for people who want to do something more than live a mundane middle-class existence where everything from material comforts to opinions and thoughts are shoved down your throat whether you want them or not. There's nothing to accomodate the square pegs who don't fit into the round holes, or for those who desperately want to march to the beat of their own drum. In short, you are denied the right to be different and unique, and it's incredibly frustrating and isolating.
And yet, the people who do live in the 'burbs and seemingly enjoy it are, in truth, no happier. They give up their most profound dreams of happiness to settle for the superficial contentment of suburban life, and let themselves sink into complacency. They let themselves live their routine lives of going to work, going back home, living in the community, being caught up in the rat race, etc. But they are still drawn to and fascinated by the city, which serves as a symbol for the dreams, action, and excitement that the suburb-dwellers, in their hearts, so desperately seek.
I think this is a song that a lot of young kids can relate to. Love it.
anonymous Oct 16th, 2017 10:09pm report
I think it is about how teens struggle with the fact that they have to do what everyone else thinks is cool or else they're not branded as cool. Hencewise it says "be cool or be cast out" meaning do what everyone else thinks is cool or you won't hang out with anyone or be cool.
kooljohn176 Jul 31st, 2015 7:58pm report
Another great song by RUSH, about the long term consequences paid by the youngsters that feel alienated in the suburbs by the urban sprawl that divided them from the temptations of the cities that the youngsters wanna experience the love of life in it's multiculture melting pot that got a little crazy for their parents to distance themselves from, to find a peace of mind like a ''Buddah In Suburbia'' did who wanted to change things in waiting for a better future to become sane in it again.
anonymous May 16th, 2011 5:53am report
This song is about conformity in the suburbs, and how the few that are different are cast out. But I also think that towards the end it is hinted that many grow tired of the life of conformity and travel to the city, only to realize that what they really want is the conformity and stability that is life in the suburbs. Basically, this song is just conveying that everyone is different, and that should be appreciated.
anonymous Jan 9th, 2011 1:39pm report
this song has to with conformity and that in suburbs people are basically told to live live the same life as everyone else. they are told what to think what to like and who to be. there is no space for people to act for themselves and say what they think. it i imporatant that people shouls get as ay on what they believe.
This is kind of like in the 50's when eveyone lived a uniform life and they were told how to act and how to live. everyone had a uniform of how to dress and they all had a certain role in their family and if they didnt go along with it then you would basically be an otcast
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