How many of you are familar with the song In the Air Tonight, by Phil Collins? Did you know this song has a meaning to it? Well, the way the story goes is like this. It’s been said that during Phil’s younger days, he watched a man that wouldn’t help his friend who was drowning. So after some years had past, Phil wrote the song, and brung in the man to a front row seat to one of his concerts. While the man sat in the front row, a spotlight was shown on to him only, and Phil unleased his song In the Air Tonight. The words to the song start out like this:
I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
I’ve been waiting for this moment, all my life, oh Lord
Can you feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord
Hey, this sounds like it fits. He’s been waiting to tell this man this message his whole life. The song then goes on to say:
Well, if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand
I’ve seen your face before my friend, but I don’t know if you know who I am
Well, I was there and I saw what you did, I saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off the grin
I know where you’ve been
It’s all been a pack of lies
Yep, that’s it alright. Phil is giving this man in the front row a big red face. He’s paying him back for watching his friend drown. Boy, this man should have helped out Phil’s Friend.
So that is how the story has been going on for some years. At least this is what most people will say, when they talk about this song and Phil Collins. However, it’s not exactly the way everything went down. To quote Mr. Collins on this “It’s all been a pack of lies”.
Now of coarse, this is just one variation of this legendary song. It has taken a lot of other suggestions on exactly what the song meant. It’s just the most common one is the drowning friend, man gets ticket to sit in front row, and Phil sings the song while looking at him the whole time.
It seems the one person that would know best, would be Phil Collins himself. Now according to him, this is the actual and true meaning of the song. In the Air Tonight and many other songs on the Face Value Album deals with bitterness and frustration over the end of his marriage, to his first wife. He goes on to say that the lyrics do not reference any real-life event.