Rush’s “Cinderella Man” Lyrics Meaning

Rush member Giddy Lee is acknowledged as the primary writer of “Cinderella Man”. And he based it on one of his favorite movies, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” (1936). Said film is premised on a normal dude from a small, fictional locality called Mandrake Falls unexpectedly inheriting 20-million big ones. And likewise at the beginning of this song, we see its subject is “a modest man from Mandrake” who still had the wherewithal to ‘travel rich to the city’. Moreover it is identified that he is the recipient of “newly-found wealth”.

Now we don’t have to dive too deeply into the plot of the film since the lyrics of the song basically read like a very-general synopsis anyway. Or rather instead of trying to encapsulate the entire movie, “Cinderella Man” focuses specifically on its main character, Longfellow Deeds. And he shares two characteristics with the fictional Cinderella which apparently inspired the naming of this tune. First and foremost would be that both of their lives read like rags-to-riches stories. And secondly, we can say that Rush was probably inspired to reference Cinderella since like Longfellow Deeds, she is a good person.

Deeds of Longfellow

In fact it is Longfellow’s “deeds” which this song is actually focused on – or rather let’s say the spirit behind them. In the first verse we are made aware of the aforementioned, that he struck it rich and moved to the city. But the second verse is based on the interpersonal after results of this decision. For instance, he is ‘betrayed by his love’. “Reality” has also become “cold” to him, basically meaning that he’s in a despondent state. Indeed he is even described by the singer as a “manic depressive”. 

Also, there are apparently a number of people around who want to exploit his riches. And then in the midst of these difficulties, he has an epiphany.  And that is he can actually use his wealth to assist his fellow man, i.e. the less-fortunate.

But even in taking such altruistic action, he still has to deal with haters, i.e. those who label him “insane”. And based on the movie, these would be the individuals who are after his wealth. So we can assume also that one of the reasons he decided to become so generally charitable, feeding the “hungry” for instance, was also to spite them.


So conclusively, we can say that the “Cinderella Man” is someone whom the singer is feeling. That is to say he sympathizes with him due to the persecution he is going through. Moreover he applauds him for being charitable to the poor. So at the end of the day, what Rush is telling this individual is to keep on doing what he’s doing.

Lyrics of "Cinderella Man"

Release Date of “Cinderella Man”

Anthem Records released this song on 1 September 1977. It is from Rush’s fifth-studio album, which is entitled “A Farewell to Kings”.

Writing Credits

The credited writers of “Cinderella Man” are Rush members Giddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.

Meanwhile the entire band is acknowledged as having produced the track, in conjunction with Terry Brown.

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