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JKL2000
06-13-2015, 03:26 PM
I have no idea, always wondered. Anyone know if Gabriel ever explained? Or what's your interpretation.

When the night shows
the signals grow on radios
All the strange things
they come and go, as early warnings
Stranded starfish have no place to hide
still waiting for the swollen Easter tide
There's no point in direction we cannot
even choose a side.

I took the old track
the hollow shoulder, across the waters
On the tall cliffs
they were getting older, sons and daughters
The jaded underworld was riding high
Waves of steel hurled metal at the sky
and as the nail sunk in the cloud, the rain
was warm and soaked the crowd.

Lord, here comes the flood
We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent
in any still alive
It'll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry.

When the flood calls
You have no home, you have no walls
In the thunder crash
You're a thousand minds, within a flash
Don't be afraid to cry at what you see
The actors gone, there's only you and me
And if we break before the dawn, they'll
use up what we used to be.

Lord, here comes the flood
We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent
in any still alive
It'll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry.

Sturgeon's Lawyer
06-13-2015, 03:33 PM
"When I wrote this song [Here Comes The Flood] I had an obsession with short-wave radio and I was always amazed at the way in which the radio signals would become stronger as daylight faded. I felt as if psychic energy levels would also increase in the night. I had had an apocalyptic dream in which the psychic barriers which normally prevent us from seeing into each others' thoughts had been completely eroded producing a mental flood. Those that had been used to having their innermost thoughts exposed would handle this torrent and those inclined to concealment would drown in it." ('Peter Gabriel' by Armando Gallo, Omnibus Press, 1986.)

Rand Kelly
06-13-2015, 03:47 PM
I thought it was about the Earth becoming 100% water again and starting over. Thanks for posting Peter's explanation.

godbluff75
06-13-2015, 04:07 PM
"When I wrote this song [Here Comes The Flood] I had an obsession with short-wave radio and I was always amazed at the way in which the radio signals would become stronger as daylight faded. I felt as if psychic energy levels would also increase in the night. I had had an apocalyptic dream in which the psychic barriers which normally prevent us from seeing into each others' thoughts had been completely eroded producing a mental flood. Those that had been used to having their innermost thoughts exposed would handle this torrent and those inclined to concealment would drown in it." ('Peter Gabriel' by Armando Gallo, Omnibus Press, 1986.)

Also, from 1977 ‘Night at 11’ program on CHUM-FM “The Solo Album Debut of Peter Gabriel”:

Peter: “The Flood is a sort of impressionistic song, which was written very quickly, in fact."

Interviewer interjects: ‘It sounds very fatalistic’.

Peter: "In some ways it is. I’m not quite sure whether it is pessimistic or optimistic, though, because, as I see it, it’s a sort of flood of the mind, a telepathic flood, which some people are able to swim, and others not. The situation where those people, who cut themselves off as islands, not being honest with themselves or with other people, will be bombarded by other people’s thoughts and other people reading their own minds, and the people who have been open and straight forward would be no different.”

JKL2000
06-13-2015, 06:05 PM
My definitive version of this is the one from Fripp's Exposure album. Just amazing.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY96UGHG-j4

Of course, this one ain't bad either, from the Kate Bush special:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0GcqYGv1AA

Genital Giant
06-13-2015, 06:11 PM
Yeah, initially the lyrics might give you the impression that the song is about nuclear war or something, but of course, Peter being Peter, it's about something a lot weirder.

JKL2000
06-13-2015, 06:16 PM
I thought maybe it had something to do with the "great flood" from the old testament.

I just found a nice, more recent version on YouTube from some televised performance called The Guitar Center Sessions. Is this just the one song, or is there a whole set out there somewhere? Never heard of it.

Scrotum Scissor
06-13-2015, 06:23 PM
I thought maybe it had something to do with the "great flood" from the old testament.

It's a kinda punky-poetic approach to an incident when Pete was out camping in a very small tent at the ridge of a cliff once when there suddenly occurred a nocturnal storm and he'd eaten some bad dades n'so got diarrhea and had to go out on that cliff to release himself over it. It was very dramatic, that.

Zeuhlmate
06-13-2015, 06:39 PM
About a changing climate?

On this youtube version from Exposure there is a 'preamble' by John G. Bennett:

"From the scientific point of view it is now very likely that there will be again another Ice Age, quite soon, in the world, that we shall have the north part of the world all frozen like it used to be, and we're beginning to have natural disasters, from the scientists' study it seems likely that we should soon begin to have these great changes in the earth's climate so people will not be able to live where they have, and the oceans will rise, and many cities will be flooded, like London, and Calcutta, and so on. These things, they say, will happen, according to scientific theory, in about forty years at the most, but maybe even quicker."


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DE9XQnISYqg

chalkpie
06-13-2015, 06:40 PM
It's a kinda punky-poetic approach to an incident when Pete was out camping in a very small tent at the ridge of a cliff once when there suddenly occurred a nocturnal storm and he'd eaten some bad dades n'so got diarrhea and had to go out on that cliff to release himself over it. It was very dramatic, that.

No, you're thinking of "Here comes the Fudge".

rcarlberg
06-13-2015, 08:03 PM
I like the German version. The lyrics sound angrier.

http://youtu.be/jj6J-g_qcro

JKL2000
06-13-2015, 08:33 PM
It's a kinda punky-poetic approach to an incident when Pete was out camping in a very small tent at the ridge of a cliff once when there suddenly occurred a nocturnal storm and he'd eaten some bad dades n'so got diarrhea and had to go out on that cliff to release himself over it. It was very dramatic, that.

And so beautiful...

happytheman
06-13-2015, 09:17 PM
I like the German version. The lyrics sound angrier.

http://youtu.be/jj6J-g_qcro
I had a version of this on one side and English on the other.. always kick myself for misplacing that.. Nice album cover as well as I recall

Haruspex Carnage
06-13-2015, 10:39 PM
Huh interesting. i always thought this was some biblically referenced yeah-ok-cool-whatever type of IS-it-Christian? thing.

Baribrotzer
06-13-2015, 11:39 PM
It's always reminded me of the later portions of Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End. Peter may not have consciously intended it as such, but the parallels are surprising. And for that matter, so does "Watcher of the Skies".

mkewlms
06-13-2015, 11:51 PM
There are scenes in the song taken straight from a great apocalyptic book by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle called "Lucifer's Hammer." I believe I've seen Gabriel reference it, but that would have been a long time ago.

rael74
06-14-2015, 01:42 AM
I've always thought climate change, based on the speech on Fripp's version.
Quite advanced to be referencing this in 1978.

bob_32_116
06-14-2015, 01:54 AM
"When I wrote this song [Here Comes The Flood] I had an obsession with short-wave radio and I was always amazed at the way in which the radio signals would become stronger as daylight faded. I felt as if psychic energy levels would also increase in the night. I had had an apocalyptic dream in which the psychic barriers which normally prevent us from seeing into each others' thoughts had been completely eroded producing a mental flood. Those that had been used to having their innermost thoughts exposed would handle this torrent and those inclined to concealment would drown in it." ('Peter Gabriel' by Armando Gallo, Omnibus Press, 1986.)
... and he was I all these years, thinking it was just an innocent little song about the coming apocalypse.

Smörgåsbord
06-14-2015, 04:24 AM
the German version.

His pronounciation is pretty good for an anglophone. Can we thank Charterhouse School for that?

unclemeat
06-14-2015, 04:48 AM
About a changing climate?
From the 'preamble' by John G. Bennett:
"From the scientific point of view it is now very likely that there will be again another Ice Age, quite soon, in the world ...

Yet again, Bennett got it right. Almost.

trurl
06-14-2015, 09:17 AM
And for that matter, so does "Watcher of the Skies".

I thought Watcher was specifically inspired by Childhoods End... and written by Mike? Have to look that up.

bob_32_116
06-14-2015, 09:40 AM
I know I've read that Watcher of the Skies was specifically inspired by "Childhood's End".

Here Comes the Flood however does not seem to have any particular relation to that novel, "Childhood's End" is not about an apocalypse as such, it is about the arrival of an alien race forcing humankind to "come of age."

If PG was obsessed with short-wave radio, it's possible that the lyrics were inspired by the short story "The Waveries" by Frederick Brown - although again the connection is rather tenuous. It's more likely that the lyrics are a collage of impressions from various things Gabriel had seen and read.

2steves
06-14-2015, 10:00 AM
PG always seemed to have the apocalypse on his mind both before and after Genesis---so Here comes the Flood for me is revisiting this theme---with whatever artistic way he wants to explain it.

Sturgeon's Lawyer
06-14-2015, 12:53 PM
Childhood's End or not, it cribs a line from Keats's "On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer":

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;

BravadoNJ
06-14-2015, 02:35 PM
whatever it's about, my favorite by PG. one of the best songs he ever wrote.

Baribrotzer
06-14-2015, 04:55 PM
I know I've read that Watcher of the Skies was specifically inspired by "Childhood's End".

Here Comes the Flood however does not seem to have any particular relation to that novel, "Childhood's End" is not about an apocalypse as such, it is about the arrival of an alien race forcing humankind to "come of age."

Not forcing us to "come of age", so much as giving us time to do so. And some of the later scenes, as and after the children of the new race start appearing - the boy saved from a tsunami by the Overlords, the murderously violent sports indulged in by the remnants of Humanity 1.0, the island of artists blowing themselves up rather than sink into savagery, and the final union of humanity with the Overmind - can be seen or intuited in the song.

MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER
06-16-2015, 12:50 AM
I've always thought climate change, based on the speech on Fripp's version.
Quite advanced to be referencing this in 1978.

"forty years at the most, but maybe even quicker."

we got 3 left

proggy_jazzer
06-16-2015, 07:22 AM
whatever it's about, my favorite by PG. one of the best songs he ever wrote.
Yep. :up

JKL2000
06-16-2015, 08:21 AM
Yep. :up

My fave too.

Spiral
06-16-2015, 10:47 AM
At first I never realized how great this song could be since I initially learned it from PG1. I can sort of see what Bob Ezrin was thinking in making it a big epic closer to the album, but that was just the wrong way to go. It felt a little too close to a prog cliche. It's in that slower quiet setting that the piece really thrives.


My fave too.
I don't know if I could pick one, but this would be a top choice if I had to narrow it down. It'd have some seriously stiff competition with "Secret World," "Mercy Street" or "The Family and the Fishing Net."

trurl
06-16-2015, 12:45 PM
I always thought Here come the flood was about peeing while you were asleep.

Dave (in MA)
06-16-2015, 12:49 PM
It's about 5 and a half minutes.

Halmyre
06-16-2015, 02:44 PM
I know I've read that Watcher of the Skies was specifically inspired by "Childhood's End".

Here Comes the Flood however does not seem to have any particular relation to that novel, "Childhood's End" is not about an apocalypse as such, it is about the arrival of an alien race forcing humankind to "come of age."

If PG was obsessed with short-wave radio, it's possible that the lyrics were inspired by the short story "The Waveries" by Frederick Brown - although again the connection is rather tenuous. It's more likely that the lyrics are a collage of impressions from various things Gabriel had seen and read.

I've read somewhere that Childhood's End in turn borrows something from William Blake - but I can't remember where or when I read it - it might even have been in PE.

JKL2000
06-16-2015, 03:18 PM
I always thought Here come the flood was about peeing while you were asleep.

Here Come the Warm Jets

trurl
06-16-2015, 03:39 PM
Here Come the Warm Jets

Ah, right you are...

markowitz
06-16-2015, 03:42 PM
Here Come the Warm Jets

"I'd rather be dead, then wet my bed"


H.N. RIP