Genesis’ Ripples

Sail away, away
Ripples never come back.

 

I loved Progressive Rock. I loved Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Yes and Mike Oldfield. And, but, there’s a little special place in my heart for Genesis… Probably because of Tony Banks (the keyboard player)…

Peter Gabriel left the group in the seventies and, well, the drummer (yeah, it’s Phil Collins) had to stand up : he was the only one who could really sing. They made Trick of the Tail (1976)…

I love Ripples because I don’t understand the lyrics, because I love the fragility, the finesse of the song, because I love how the group “quits” the love song in the middle of it (go to 4’00”), to take off like a plane in the clouds of a SO ENGLISH instrumental, with a plaintive guitar, a science of “what a bass line is”, modulations, and this “we don’t really care” aspect which is a good sign of…

Whatever.

Why does it hurt so much? Is the melancholy in my youth, or in the music? Why do I always come back to these lyrics?

 

Ripples

Blue girls come in every size
Some are wise and some otherwise,
They got pretty blue eyes.
For an hour a man may change
For an hour her face looks strange –
Looks strange, looks strange.
Marching to the promised land
Where the honey flows and takes you by the hand,
Pulls you down on your knees,
While you’re down a pool appears.
The face in the water looks up,
And she shakes her head as if to say
That it’s the last time you’ll look like today.
Sail away, away
Ripples never come back.
Gone to the other side.
Sail away, away.
The face that launched a thousand ships
Is sinking fast, that happens you know,
The water gets below.
Seems not very long ago
Lovelier she was than any that I know.
Angels never know it’s time
To close the book and gracefully decline,
The song has found a tale.
My, what a jealous pool is she.
The face in the water looks up
She shakes her head as if to say
That the blue girls have all gone away.
Sail away, away
Ripples never come back.
They’ve gone to the other side.
Look into the pool,
Ripples never come back,
Dive to the bottom and go to the top
To see where they have gone
Oh, they’ve gone to the other side…
Sail away, away
Ripples never come back.
Gone to the other side.
Look into the pool,
The ripples never come back, come back,
Dive to the bottom and go to the top
To see where they have gone
They’ve gone to the other side

 

Peter Gabriel, before this, gave to their music… more weight. Firth of Fifth (1973) is haunted by something. The piano intro is great, the song is more intense, but… Go to 3’26, where they kill it into music before the middle of the track! A bass flute, a twirling piano, a clever bass… At around 6’00, the guitar tries a solo before understanding it has to let go, and fly like a swan (6’30”).

The sheep remains inside his pen

 

 

To say goodbye, I add Steve Hackett‘s solo album. He’s the flying guitarist of Genesis you heard in the two previous songs, a very special sound he had, right?… I adored this album. But ain’t it too complex for today’s ears?? If you go the the Shadow (35’00), you’ll hear a carillon. These little bells drown into this swanny guitar sound climbing in clouds of mellotron (and ah, oh, this art of bass, made in UK, John Barry like, cf Persuaders).

Too lyrical, right?

 

Have a nice day! Thanks for reading.

 

Angels never know it’s time

 

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