What I'm listening to: Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel (track 11 "In Good Company" soundtrack)

A friend sent me a surprise gift of music.

In Good Company

One of the tracks, Solsbury Hill, in particular tele-ported me to my youthful days.

According to this web page, the song is autobiographical about Gabriel as he prepared to leave the group Genesis.

Here are the lyrics:

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."

To keepin' silence I resigned
My friends would think I was a nut
Turning water into wine
Open doors would soon be shut
So I went from day to day
Tho' my life was in a rut
"Till I thought of what I'd say
Which connection I should cut
I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" he said "Grab your things
I've come to take you home."
(Back home.)

When illusion spin her net
I'm never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouettes
Who close their eyes but still can see
No on taught them etiquette
I will show another me
Today I don't need a replacement
I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" I said "You can keep my things,
they've come to take me home."

When I first read the lyrics, I have to say I thought of death. For those who believe in an afterlife, a metaphor for death is going home. Also, there is a sense of liberation in death and you see that in the imagery of an eagle flying free in the first stanza and in the last stanz the release death affords leading to that "smile on my face."

Indeed, if Gabriel was writing about his departing from the group Genesis, the whole sense of "death" and "loss" makes sense because he was a part of that group and it hurts to leave. But then there is also freedom and liberation at finally breaking the ties that had become burdens as in " Which connection I should cut... I was feeling part of the scenery... I walked right out of the machinery."

Stay tuned for more music blogging as there are many wonderful tracks on this CD! I'm hunting the internet to find out when "Soundtrack of our lives" (2 tracks on the CD) will be in LA. I'm also curious to know more about "Iron and Wine" (3 tracks on the CD). In addition to lifting music from these groups, Stephen Trask supplies a few nice little instrumental tracks which just fits into the film so well.