Ruled by Secrecy (song)

MuseWiki, wiki for the band Muse
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Muse song
Name Ruled by Secrecy
Length 4:54
Alternative titles Milky Piano[1], Rule By Secrecy
First live performance 14 March 2004
Latest live performance 24 October 2012
Recorded Grouse Lodge, 2003[2][3]
Writer/composer Matthew Bellamy
Producer Rich Costey



Matthew Bellamy: "This song is kinda like about some geezer who's come back from work and he's just like kinda shot everyone and blown everyone up, and comes back to his wife with a load of blood all over his hands and going 'I've just blown it ... I lost it ... I lost the plot.' and the reason being because its slowly dawning on him that everything he is doing is out of his power." [4]

According to Dominic Howard: "'Rule by Secrecy' is about fear of people with power or responsibility. Fear you can't control no matter how hard you try to fight against."[5]

Additional information

Ruled by Secrecy starts off very quiet, followed by an explosion of sound. It was one of the band's (and Tom Kirk's) favourite songs to play live during the Absolution tour.

The bass of this song is very simple, with Wolstenholme playing just one note every 2 bars. From the bridge section, the bass is heavily distorted & the octave pedal is used, yet the simple playing continues.

At 3:19 in the song, there is a very subtle mistake in Bellamy's playing.

The video that plays in the background during live performances counts down to the piano climax, (at 2:57 in the album version) appearing to count down to an apocalyptic event, such as an atomic bomb explosion.

The title and the song's meaning are also related to a book called Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs, a book about conspiracy theories of how there are secret societies dictating the way the world is run. The song probably refers to the 'underground' group called Illuminati.


Ruled by Secrecy was not performed at any 2003 concerts and wasn't performed live until March 2004. Upon its debut, however, it was continually performed throughout the year at the majority of gigs. The vast majority of Ruled by Secrecy performances took place in 2004; so few performances outside of 2004 exist that only two post-2004 pro-shots have surfaced. It is believed that Ruled by Secrecy took Endlessly's setlist spot as Endlessly's last performance was the gig before Ruled by Secrecy's debut.

More here


At the end, a heart-beat can be heard. It's very quiet though it is possible to hear. There is also a Shepard Tone[1] as the songs fades out. On the pre-release promo CD, the song is longer as the Shepard Tone continues to fall.


Repress and restrain

Steal the pressure and the pain Wash the blood off your hands This time she won't understand

Change in the air And they'll hide everywhere And no one Knows who's in control

You're working so hard And you're never in charge Your death creates success Rebuild and suppress

Change in the air And they'll hide everywhere And no one Knows who's in control

Change in the air And they'll hide everywhere And no one Knows who's in control


  1. Absolution UK bonus DVD
  2. Making of Absolution (2003-09-29). Taste Media. [verify]
  3. Richard Buskin. (2003-12). Rich Costey: Recording Muse's Absolution. Sound on Sound website. Retrieved 2006-11-04 from [verify]
  4. Muse- Stairway To Devon Radio Documentary - BBC Radio 6 - September 2003
  5. We feel sorry for bands being hyped (2003-10-02). Laut. Retrieved 2007-05-01 from [verify]

Go back to Absolution