All inducted songs
“The themes of reconciling the boy and man within and the difference between what people are and what others perceive them to be,”
Tom Sawyer
  • Year Inducted: 2010
  • Written In: 1981
Sebastian Bach
Mindless Self Indulgence
Fifty One’s
Run for Cover
In 1981, Rush produced its biggest-selling record to date, “Moving Pictures,” featuring the hit Tom Sawyer, which has become a rock classic.

After its release on Mercury Records and PolyGram, it reached number 25 in the U.K. singles chart in October as the follow-up to the band’s breakthrough hit, The Spirit of Radio, which was released only a year and a half earlier. In the U.S., it reached number 44 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 8 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. In 2009, it was named the 19th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. The song was also featured on several Rush compilations, such as “Chronicles” (1990).

Tom Sawyer, titled after Mark Twain’s literary character, was co-written with Canadian lyricist Pye Dubois, lyricist of rock band Max Webster. During a rehearsal one summer on a farm just outside Ontario, Peart was presented with a poem of Dubois’ entitled “Louis the Lawyer” (Louis the Warrior), which he later modified and, with the help of Lee and Lifeson, set to music. According to Peart, the original lyrics were “a portrait of a modern-day rebel, a free-spirited individualist striding through the world wide-eyed and purposeful.” He stated that “the themes of reconciling the boy and man within and the difference between what people are and what others perceive them to be,” were later added by him.

Tom Sawyer has been featured in several movies such as “The Waterboy” (1998), “Rob Zombie’s Halloween” (2007), “Fanboys” (2008), and “I Love You, Man” (2009), as well as television shows such as “Chuck”, “Family Guy”, “Trailer Park Boys”, “Freaks and Geeks” and “Futurama”. On July 16, 2008, the band made its first American television appearance in 33 years, performing the song during an airing of The Colbert Report.

A cover version of the song is included in the popular video game Rock Band.

Read full story
Tom Sawyer (Rush) - performed by Alexisonfire
"Tom Sawyer" was performed by Juno Award-winning rock band Alexisonfire at the 2010 CSHF Induction Ceremony.
Related News
December 15, 2023

Snow talks newly-inducted CSHF song “Informer”, collaborations and new music

December 04, 2023

The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Remembers Myles Goodwyn, 2023 CSHF Inductee, Songwriter, Producer, and Founder of April Wine

Our Partners