Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for Rush, died in early 2020, right before the Covid-19 pandemic escalated.
Peart exerted outsized influence on millions of music fans for decades — influence that continues to this day through his lyrics and the band’s recorded music and concerts, in addition to Peart’s memoirs, fiction collaborations, and drumming technique videos.
Soon after Peart died, the US Army Band “Pershing’s Own” arranged, recorded, and filmed this version of the Rush song, “Time Stand Still,” in which Peart’s narrator urges the listener to treasure life, each moment with others, and the friendships we have. As Sergeant First Class Tim Whalen described it:
The lyrics to this song have always resonated deeply with me, and they show Neil’s heart. I wanted to showcase the deep humanity he had in his writing. The song is about life moving too fast, due to both things we can control and things we can’t, and the desire to hold onto something just a little longer. This is such a universal message, whether it be children growing up too fast, a loved one dying, or a soldier leaving home wondering if they’ll ever see their family again.
Whalen is the singer on your left in the video. His high harmonies are excellent.
The performers are:
- SFC Chris Rettig — Vocals
- SFC Tim Whalen — Vocals
- MSG Dan Roberts — Piano
- SFC Zack Pride — Bass
- SFC Matthew Evans — Violin I
- SSG Patrick Lin — Violin II
- MSG Holly Watters — Viola
- SSG Aaron Ludwig — Cello
With the end of the US war in Afghanistan, it seems a good time to remind ourselves that soldiers can inspire and serve in multiple ways — through their music, their voices, and their shared humanity. Sending people into harm’s way should never be a decision taken lightly, or a situation casually forgotten. Life is too fleeting as it is.