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The Meaning Behind The Song: A Passage to Bangkok [Exit…Stage Left] by Rush

The Meaning Behind The Song: A Passage to Bangkok [Exit…Stage Left] by Rush


As a DJ, I am always drawn to songs that have a deeper meaning or tell a captivating story. One such song that has fascinated me over the years is “A Passage to Bangkok [Exit…Stage Left]” by Rush. I remember stumbling upon this song at a friend’s house, and from the moment the first notes hit my ears, I was captivated.

Exploring the Lyrics

The lyrics of “A Passage to Bangkok [Exit…Stage Left]” take us on a journey through various locations, all connected by a common theme – the pursuit of different experiences and pleasures. The song starts off in Bogota, where the band tells us about checking Colombian fields and being offered a sample of their yield by the smiling natives. It immediately sets the stage for a travelogue-like adventure that is both exciting and intriguing.

The next few lines paint vivid pictures in our minds as the band takes us to Jamaica, Acapulco, Morocco, and the East. We are transported to different cultures, each with their own unique attractions. It’s a celebration of diverse experiences and the desire to seek out the best in every destination.

On the Train to Bangkok

The chorus of the song reveals the ultimate destination – Bangkok, aboard the Thailand Express. The band sings about hitting stops along the way, emphasizing that they only stop for the best. This reflects their intention to seek out the most incredible and memorable experiences as they travel.

Lebanon and Afghanistan are mentioned in the lyrics, signifying a journey that spans across the Middle East. The band describes immersing themselves in the culture, pulling into Kathmandu, with its smoke-filled air and the intoxicating scent of a Nepal night.

The Journey of the Song

“A Passage to Bangkok [Exit…Stage Left]” is a live version of the original song, and it was included in Rush’s 1981 album, “Exit…Stage Left.” The album captures the incredible energy and stage presence of the band during their live performances.

The Music and the Message

The music in “A Passage to Bangkok [Exit…Stage Left]” perfectly complements the lyrics, with its energetic guitar riffs and powerful drumming. It further enhances the sense of adventure and exhilaration that the song evokes.

While the lyrics may seem to glorify drug references, it’s important to understand that Rush often used metaphors and imagery as a way to explore themes beyond face value. “A Passage to Bangkok [Exit…Stage Left]” is ultimately a celebration of exploration, cultural experiences, and the quest for the extraordinary.


Every time I listen to “A Passage to Bangkok [Exit…Stage Left],” I am transported to a world of adventure and discovery. It reminds me of the beauty and diversity of our planet and the importance of embracing new experiences. So hop aboard the Thailand Express, and let the music take you on a journey like no other.

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