Peter Gabriel

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It’s only in uncertainty
That we’re naked and alive.

Peter Brian Gabriel (born 13 February 1950) is an English musician who was formerly the lead vocalist of the progressive rock group Genesis. After leaving the group, he had a successful solo career, and is also known for his involvement in various humanitarian efforts.



The Kate Bush Story (2014)

Quotes from the BBC documentary The Kate Bush Story (2014)
  • The Man with the Child in His Eyes is still one of those things, which right from the get-go … has its own life, because it's just a great song. … For all the time that she or I or anyone spend decorating and creating moods, its actually the key element of what your saying, the melody and the chords which still speak louder than all the stuff around, on a great song.
  • Creativity comes from the freedom to fail. And freedom to fail comes from experimentation, and that's what gives something its individuality. And, you know, I think her courage, which is the positive way of interpreting it, or bloody-mindedness, which is the negative, is part of what gives her real value as an artist.
  • It's extraordinary what that song has been used for — I think a lot of people who have gotten into trouble, have attached themselves to that song, and I think a lot of it is Kate's wonderful voice is there, in a sort of reassuring and loving way, and it just makes them think that perhaps there is going to be that type of love out there for them.

Song lyrics


All songs written by Peter Gabriel, except as noted.

  • Climbing up on Solsbury Hill,
    I could see the city light.
    Wind was blowing, time stood still.
    Eagle flew out of the night.
    He was something to observe.
    Came in close, I heard a voice.
    Standing stretching every nerve,
    Had to listen had no choice.
    I did not believe the information.
    I just had to trust imagination.
    My heart going boom boom boom.
    "Son," he said, "Grab your things, I've come to take you home."
  • D.I.Y., D.I.Y., D.I.Y., D.I.Y.
    Don't tell me what I will do, 'cos I won't.
    Don't tell me to believe in you, 'cos I don't.
    Be on your guard, better hostile and hard, don't risk affection;
    Like flesh to the bone in the no-go zone,
    You're still looking for the Resurrection.
    Come up to me with your "What did you say?"
    And I'll tell you, straight in the eye:
    D.I.Y., D.I.Y.
    • D.I.Y
  • Dressing up in costumes, playing silly games
    Hiding out in tree-tops shouting out rude names
    — whistling tunes we hide in the dunes by the seaside
    — whistling tunes we piss on the goons in the jungle.
    It’s a knockout.
    • Games Without Frontiers
  • You can blow out a candle
    But you can't blow out a fire
    Once the flames begin to catch
    The wind will blow it higher
  • Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
    — The man is dead.
    • Yihla Moja are Xhosa words which can be translated "Come Spirit."
    • Biko
  • And the eyes of the world are
    watching now.
    • Biko
  • The time I like is the rush hour, cos I like the rush
    The pushing of the people — I like it all so much
    Such a mass of motion — do not know where it goes
    I move with the movement and... I have the touch.
  • I'm waiting for ignition, I'm looking for a spark
    Any chance collision and I light up in the dark
    There you stand before me, all that fur and all that hair
    Oh, do I dare... I have the touch.
    • I Have The Touch
  • Fox the fox
    Rat on the the rat
    You can ape the ape
    I know about that
    There is one thing you must be sure of
    I can't take any more
    Darling, don't you monkey with the monkey.
    • Shock The Monkey
  • Cover me, when I sleep
    Cover me, when I breathe
    You throw your pearls before the swine
    Make the monkey blind
    Cover me, darling please.
    Monkey, monkey, monkey.
    Don't you know you're going to shock the monkey?
    • Shock The Monkey

So (1986)

  • Red rain is coming down.
    Red rain.
    Red rain is pouring down,
    Pouring down all over me.
  • I am standing up at the water's edge in my dream
    I cannot make a single sound as you scream.
    It can't be that cold, the ground is still warm to touch.
    This place is so quiet, sensing that storm.
    • Red Rain
  • Red rain-
    Putting the pressure on much harder now
    To return again and again.
    Just let the red rain splash you,
    Let the rain fall on your skin.
    I come to you defenses down,
    With the trust of a child.
    • Red Rain
  • You could have a steam train
    If you'd just lay down your tracks.
    You could have an aeroplane flying
    If you bring your blue sky back.

    All you do is call me.
    I'll be anything you need.

  • In this proud land we grew up strong;
    We were wanted all along.
    I was taught to fight, taught to win;
    I never thought I could fail.

    No fight left or so it seems;
    I am a man whose dreams have all deserted.
    I've changed my face, I've changed my name,
    But no one wants you when you lose.

  • Don't give up
    'cos you have friends
    Don't give up
    You're not beaten yet.
    Don't give up
    I know you can make it good...
    • Don't Give Up
  • Rest your head.
    You worry too much.
    It's going to be alright.
    When times get rough,
    You can fall back on us.
    Don't give up;
    Please don't give up.
  • Don't give up.
    You know it's never been easy.
    Don't give up.
    'Cause I believe there's a place,
    There's a place where we belong.'
    • Don't Give Up
  • I’m hearing right and wrong so clearly.
    There must be more than this.
    It’s only in uncertainty
    That we’re naked and alive.
  • What I carry in my heart
    Brings us so close or so far apart.
    Only love can make love.
    • That Voice Again
  • Love I get so lost, sometimes.
    Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart.

    When I want to run away,
    I drive off in my car.
    But whichever way I go,
    I come back to the place you are.
  • All my instincts, they return.
    And the grand façade, so soon will burn.
    Without a noise, without my pride
    I reach out from the inside.
    • In Your Eyes
  • In your eyes,
    The light, the heat.
    In your eyes,
    I am complete.
    In your eyes,
    I see the doorway to a thousand churches.
    In your eyes,
    The resolution of all the fruitless searches.

    In your eyes,
    I see the light and the heat.
    In your eyes,
    Oh, I want to be that complete.
    I want to touch the light, the heat I see in your eyes.

    • In Your Eyes
  • I get so tired of working so hard for our survival
    I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive.
    • In Your Eyes
  • Looking down on empty streets, all she can see
    Are the dreams all made solid
    Are the dreams all made real.
  • All of the buildings, all of those cars
    Were once just a dream
    In somebody's head.
    • Mercy Street
  • The place where I come from is a small town.
    They think so small;
    They use small words
    -But not me.
    I'm smarter than that.
    I worked it out.
    I've been stretching my mouth
    To let those big words come right out.
  • Souma Yergon, Sou Nou Yergon, We are shakin' the tree.
    Souma Yergon, Sou Nou Yergon, We are shakin' the tree.
    • Shaking the Tree, written by Peter Gabriel and Youssou N'Dour
    • Translation: If we had known, if we only had known.
  • Waiting your time, dreaming of a better life.
    Waiting your time, you're more than just a wife.
    You don't want to do what your mother has done,
    She has done.
    This is your life, this new life has begun.
    It's your day - a woman's day.
    It's your day - a woman's day.
    • Shaking the Tree
  • Turning the tide, you are on the incoming wave.
    Turning the tide, you know you are nobody's slave.
    • Shaking the Tree
  • There's nothing to gain when there's nothing to be lost.
    There's nothing to gain if you stay behind and count the cost.
    Make the decision that you can be who you can be,
    You can be.
    Tasting the fruit come to the Liberty Tree.
    • Shaking the Tree
  • Changing your ways, changing those surrounding you.
    Changing your ways, more than any man can do.
    Open your heart, show him the anger and pain, so you heal.
    Maybe he's looking for his womanly side, let him feel.
    • Shaking the Tree

Us (1992)

  • The wretched desert takes its form, the jackal proud and tight.
    In search of you, I feel my way, through the slowest heaving night.
    Whatever fear invents, I swear it makes no sense.
    I reach through the border fence.
    Come down, come talk to me.
    • Come Talk to Me
  • And in this moment, I need to be needed.
    With this darkness all around me, I like to be liked.
    In this emptiness and fear, I want to be wanted.
    'Cause I love to be loved.
    I love to be loved.
    I love to be loved.
    Yes, I love to be loved.
    • Love to Be Loved
  • This old familiar craving.
    I've been here before, this way of behaving.
    Don't know who the hell I'm saving anymore.
    Let it pass, let it go, let it leave.
    From the deepest place I grieve.
    This time I believe
    And I let go...
    • Love to Be Loved
  • I caught sight of my reflection;
    I caught it in the window.
    I saw the darkness in my heart;
    I saw the signs of my undoing.
    They had been there from the start,
    And the darkness still has work to do.
    The knotted chord's untying.
    They're heated and they're holy.
    Oh they're sitting there on high.
    So secure with everything they're buying.
  • In the blood of Eden,
    Lie the woman and the man.
    With the man in the woman,
    And the woman in the man.
    • Blood of Eden
  • Give me steam.
    And how you feel to make it real;
    Real as anything you've seen.
    Get a life with this dreamer's dream.
  • Don't talk back;
    Just drive the car.
    Shut your mouth;
    I know what you are.
    Don't say nothing;
    Keep your hands on the wheel.
    Don't turn around;
    This is for real.
    Digging in the dirt.
    Stay with me, I need support.
    I'm digging in the dirt
    To find the places I got hurt.
    Open up the places I got hurt.
  • From the pain come the dream.
    From the dream come the vision.
    From the vision come the people.
    From the people come the power.
    From this power come the change.
    • Fourteen Black Paintings
  • So what's one little kiss, one tiny little touch?
    Aah, he's wanting it so much.
    I swear that this is royal blood, running through my skin.
    Oh, can you see the state I'm in?
    Kiss it better, kiss it better.
    • Kiss That Frog
  • Don't you know that I'm not joking?
    Aah, you think you won't, I think you will.
    Don't you know that this tongue can kill?
    C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon.
    Lady kiss that frog.
    • Kiss That Frog
  • I grieve for you
    You leave me
    So hard to move on
    Still loving what's gone
    They say life carries on
    Carries on and on and on and on...
    • I Grieve
  • Life carries on
    In the people I meet
    In everyone that’s out on the street
    In all the dogs and cats
    In the flies and rats
    In the rot and the rust
    In the ashes and the dust
    Life carries on and on and on and on.
    • I Grieve
  • Did I dream this belief
    or did I believe this dream
    how I will find relief
    I grieve...
    • I Grieve

OVO (2000)

  • In the big house,
    Where the sun lives,
    With the walls so white and blue.
    In the red soil,
    All the green grows.
    And the winds blow across your face.
    They blow across your heart.
    It's the time of the turning and there's something stirring outside.
    It's the time of turning and we'd better learn to say our goodbyes.
    • The Time of the Turning
  • It's the time of turning and there's something stirring outside.
    It's the time of turning and the old world's falling.
    Nothing you can do can stop by the next emerging.
    Time of the turning and we'd better learn to say our goodbyes.
    • The Time of the Turning
  • If we can stand up
    When all else falls down,
    We'll last through the winter.
    We'll last through the storms.
    We'll last through the north winds
    That bring down the ice and snow.
    We'll last through the long nights
    Till the green field's growing again.
    Growing again.
    • The Time of the Turning

Up (2002)

  • I'm scared of swimming in the sea,
    Dark shapes moving under me.
    Every fear I swallow makes me small.
    Inconsequential things occur,
    Alarms are triggered,
    Memories stir.
    It's not the way it has to be.
    • Darkness
  • Now we're busy making all our busy plans
    On foundations built to last.
    But nothing fades as fast as the future
    And nothing clings like the past, until we can see.

    More than this,
    More than this.
    So much more than this.
    There is something out there
    More than this.
    It's coming through
    And more than this.
    I stand alone and so connected
    And I'm all there,
    Right next to you.

    • More Than This
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