Most Relatable Phil Collins Lyrics

  • Back in the eighties (Phil Collins's so-called imperial period) I was a firm fan of PC's music and I remember being asked by someone who most definitely didn't like PC (I think he was into bands like Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Half Man Half Biscuit) why I liked his tunes so much. I replied that I liked the directness of the lyrics and that they were so relatable. "What, so you can relate to lyrics about people getting divorced?" he said. Well, he had me stumped there. At the age of eighteen I had not been divorced. Hadn't even been married. In fact, as a typical Genesis fan, I probably didn't even have a girlfriend!


    Well, many years later I still haven't been divorced but I am married and I do have kids. And I do have skeletons in the closet and bridges that, apparently, refuse to burn. As a grown man I can relate much more easily to Phil's timeless lyrics, whether they concern ex-girlfriends (many of the songs on Both Sides) or - in particular - thoughts of my dad (All Of My Life*) and my own son (Father To Son).


    Phil's strength has always been to say it how it is when it comes to his lyrics. So, are there any other fans for whom a specific lyric hits home?


    *There's another lovely song about a man's relationship with his dad, it's Peter Gabriel's Father Son.

  • as a typical Genesis fan, I probably didn't even have a girlfriend!


    Wait, what are you saying about typical Genesis fans? :/:huh:


    Anyway...


    Unlike you I have been divorced, although I can't say I can relate to much of what Phil has written in that regard. My experience was less like, say, "Please Don't Ask" than it was like some bizarre nightmare. Still, a few lines of "I Don't Care Anymore" have always jumped out at me:


    ...I don't play the same games you play...

    ...I remember all the times I tried so hard / And you laughed in my face 'cause you held the cards...

    ...I won't be there anymore...

    ...All I want of you is just to let me be...

    "Coming up next, we'll be playing songs by The Cars, The Doors... and The Car Doors."

  • I will freely confess I am not a fan of Phil the lyricist, of all his talents, and they are many, this is the one I personally rate the lowest, however, songs like You Know what I mean and Please don't ask truly struck a chord with me.

  • The entire Face Value album, and I wasn't even in a relationship at the time. The Roof Is Leaking, just a brilliant, succinct story. All the 'darker' songs. All of Take Me Home.


    He sat me down to talk to me

    He looked me straight in the eyes

    He said 'you're no son, you're no son of mine'.


    (The lyrics on the CD cover doesn't include the second 'you're' but that's what he sings). There must have been a million songs written on this subject but this is so direct & raw.


    The section in Driving The Last Spike which begins 'we came from the South & ends 'the sun burning your back'. All of Jesus He Knows Me. All of Mama.

  • At the moment I'm recovering from an experience of one-sided love I had this winter and spring. At the time I could totally relate to (most of) the lyrics to "Sussudio", for instance: "Ah if she called me I'd be there, I'd come running anywhere." Now one month after my last (unanswered) SMS I'm sure there's another Collins song for me. Maybe "Find A Way To My Heart", which is really beautiful - musically and lyrically.


    "No Son Of Mine" (with lyrics by Collins) was the song that made me a fan when it was released in 1991. The lyrics really struck a chord with me and the boy in the video was approximately my age. I had had terrible arguments with my parents, although it was never a case of the kind of abuse you imagine based on the song's lyrics and the video. So yes, that song I could relate to.


    When Both Sides was released in 1993 I was 18 years old and liked But Seriously a lot, especially songs like "Something Happened On The Way To Heaven" and "Hang In Long Enough". As a new and enthusiastic fan of Genesis and Phil Collins I had huge expectations on his new album. I bought it on the day of release, but then when I listened to it there was this despair. I really wanted to like the great Phil Collins' new album, but the stripped-down arrangement left me with the lyrics - which I at my age really couldn't relate to. I remember how I tried to suppress my disappointment. Now, 25 years later, I better understand and appreciate the lyrics of Both Sides.

  • When Both Sides was released in 1993 I was 18 years old and liked But Seriously a lot, especially songs like "Something Happened On The Way To Heaven" and "Hang In Long Enough". As a new and enthusiastic fan of Genesis and Phil Collins I had huge expectations on his new album. I bought it on the day of release, but then when I listened to it there was this despair. I really wanted to like the great Phil Collins' new album, but the stripped-down arrangement left me with the lyrics - which I at my age really couldn't relate to. I remember how I tried to suppress my disappointment. Now, 25 years later, I better understand and appreciate the lyrics of Both Sides.

    Very similar to my experience of Both Sides. I was 14 and, apart from Both Sides of the Story and We Fly So Close aside, nothing got me instantly hooked like so much of his previous work. It's now up there with Face Value at the top of the list for me (although the title track is now probably my least favourite on the album).


    Every line of Can't Turn Back The Years, I've Forgotten Everything, Can't Find My Way, There's A Place For Us, We Fly So Close, and Please Come Out Tonight I find immensely moving. I've been very happily married for over a decade, but those songs all remind me of times that I'd otherwise forgotten, that I often didn't enjoy when experiencing them, but look back on now as having shaped me positively and often put a smile on my face rather than reflecting with the sadness of the moment.

  • I heard two songs by Phil yesterday. One was I've Forgotten Everything. It's interesting to read AWA's comments on this song & also be aware of how personal it is for Phil. He said he based it on the standard I Get Along Without You Very Well. I get that & I feel for him BUT - and this is what the topic is about - I can't relate to the lyrics on a personal level, as I have never experienced that sort of heartache. The songs where he's angry about breaking up, I do understand. Perhaps that is wrong; I don't know. Perhaps it's because the song about his situation which crowns them all for me is You Know What I Mean, closely followed by If Leaving Me Is Easy. He never surpassed those two in my view.

    The other song I heard was Just Another Story. Some of this is quite similar to Both Sides Of The Story, but I liked it. He's quite detached in the way he describes it.


    And speaking of Both Sides Of The Story there is one line that leaps out at you - 'The world is watching now'. I don't think I have to explain where I think he got that from, I hope?!

  • I've Forgotten Everything reminds me of the opening of I Wish It Would Rain Down, another big favourite of mine. The love, loss, and anger songs are all pretty common, but I think these two go an unusual step beyond that and into the consequences of being reminded of what you once loved, and the associated feelings, when you thought it was all over and done with. I can certainly relate to that but, fortunately, not in an "I wish I had that again" way.


    Totally agree on You Know What I Mean and If Leaving Me Is Easy. For all the stick Phil gets about ballads and love songs, when he gets it right, no one nails it quite like him.

  • I remember when "I Missed Again" was a brand new song. I always thought that Phil always owed me royalties for spying on me and talking about my love life (or lack thereof) behind my back... 8|;)^^

  • There are quite a few that really hit home for me. I Wish It Would Rain Down, Everyday, and Please Come Out Tonight still connect on a very personal level. I'm glad I'm not the only one that's thought Phil was secretly writing my own life story.


    One of the strangest feelings I've had is getting to a place in my life were a particular lyric "clicked" and suddenly an old song took on a lot more meaning and weight. The line in All Of My Life about "playing records upstairs while he watched TV" cuts deep after you realize you really didn't spend the time you should have.

  • Totally agree on You Know What I Mean and If Leaving Me Is Easy. For all the stick Phil gets about ballads and love songs, when he gets it right, no one nails it quite like him.

    Oh, If Leaving Me Is Easy is quite possibly the very peak of his lovelorn ballads. He sounds on the verge of tears on the studio version. On his first tour he played the song at a slower tempo and it would often go on for a good eight minutes. As his success grew, though, and theatres gave way to arenas, he found that the audience would get restless during the song and he ended up dropping it from the set.


    Since Don Myrick's death, I can't listen to this song (and others such as Inside Out, All Of My Life etc) without reflecting on his passing.

  • phil's lyrics are usually very direct and leave little to imagination. that's why i like those that make you wonder what they are about or what he was thinking when he wrote them: in the air tonight (there are many theories about this one), don't lose my number, hang in long enough, wake up call...

  • "Hang In Long Enough" is a song which I have loved ever since I first heard it in 1992 (after having become a fan of Genesis when WCD was released). But only a couple of months ago I started to really listen to the lyrics. There's a very positive and optimistic tone to the lyrics, something like: don't give up, if you keep trying you will succeed. Is there more meaning in the lyrics than purely that? I don't know, but there are some peculiar wordings in there too.

  • Hang In Long Enough is about ambition and hanging on in there without selling out to the people who'll sell you down the river. Phil used to meet with young adults on weekends with the Princes Trust and they'd ask him "If you have loads of money do your problems go away?" to which he said "No, you just have a different set of problems". I suppose encounters like this informed the lyrics of Hang In Long Enough. The lyric seems to be a message to those kids who want success but haven't had the break they need in life and might be tempted to sign a Faustian deal just to get some money in their pocket.