The Lamb Story

  • Have heard a number of people over the years refer to the Lamb story as too bizarre and mostly hogwash. I've researched the lyrics thoroughly and feel that as rock operas go, this is by far the most brilliant. A spiritual journey where the protagonist starts out as a street punk and finally achieves the "it", a term from Zen Buddhism, I believe, that refers to the transpersonal self. Tommy, Quadraphenia, the Wall and others, have nothing on Gabriel and this ingenious concept told through all kinds of metaphors from religion and mythology that I'm not going to pretend to fully understand, but much of it is decipherable, despite what many people say about it being a lot of nonsense.

    I don't believe Gabriel ever really wastes words with his lyrics. There's not a lot of filler here. Almost every lyric is necessary to get to the over-arching meaning he wants to convey. Though the second album has some weak moments musically, or seems to get too drawn out, the lyrics don't fail and continue to tell of maybe the greatest obstacle in Rael's spiritual evolution, his shedding of his physical (or "earthly") urges, his sexual perversions, as told through the Lamia and the Slippermen. Awesome.

    I am always interested in more insight on the Lamb if anyone would like to weigh in. Most of what I've learned was from members on an old forum years ago.

    Edited once, last by hogweeds ().

  • You may not get as many people noticing this thread as it is currently in the Board Discussion section, which is where people discuss how the board itself functions, not for discussion about Genesis music. Perhaps the mods will be able to move this to the Genesis Music Board, which is where these kinds of threads usually reside.

    In terms of the Lamb's story, while I agree that Peter had the ambitious aim to tell the story of a transformative journey, I think that in execution it ends up being a lot more muddled. Part of the problem is that it is not always clear (to me) why Rael goes through these changes. It seems that things were done to Rael to cause changes, but it less clear that Rael was necessarily engaged in spiritual reflection and choosing to make changes. The choice that Rael makes about choosing his brother over returning to his old life in NYC is the only clear example of him picking this pathway. Even then, I am not sure why he is making this choice. Now I may be wrong about my interpretation of things, but then I would argue that the story should be clearer for me to pick up on what I have not.

  • If I didn't get everything wrong Peter constantly rewrote and rearranged the story during the making of the album until his bandmates urged him to get it finished so the version as it is printed in the album was not so much a final version, rather an umptieth draft of which there was no time left to re-change it.

    What I miss most in that story is Rael is kind of a blank slate: who were his parents? How did they raise him, which values or lack thereof coined his actions? Where did he want to get in life? What did he try to avoid? Every writer of a novel or a film asks these questions about their character to give them directions and obstacled that motivate their actions. I can't see any of that in Rael. None of his deeper wishes and fears are ever revealed except for his overboarding sexuality. Even his brother John seems to a projection of himself, he has no lover, no friends, no enemies, no teacher or mentor, nobody who puts him in a certain direction.