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He returns from his mixed-up memories to the passage he was previously stuck in. this time he discovers a long carpeted corridor.

There is lambswool under my naked feet.
The wool is soft and warm,
- gives off some kind of heat.
A salamander scurries into flame to be destroyed.
Imaginary creatures are trapped in birth on celluloid.
The fleas cling to the golden fleece,
Hoping they'll find peace.
Each thought and gesture are caught in celluloid.
There's no hiding in my memory.
There's no room to avoid.

The walls are painted in red ocher and are marked by strange insignia, some looking like a bulls-eye, others of birds and boats. further down the corridor, he can see some people; all kneeling.
Broken sighs and murmurs they struggle, in their slow motion to move towards a wooden door at the end. having seen only the inanimate bodies in the grand parade of lifeless packaging, rael rushe
Talk to them.

The crawlers cover the floor in the red ochre corridor.
For my second sight of people, they've more lifeblood than before.
They're moving in time to a heavy wooden door,
Where the needles eye is winking, closing in on the poor.
The carpet crawlers heed their callers:
Weve got to get in to get out
Weve got to get in to get out
Weve got to get in to get out.

What's going on? he cries to a muttering monk, who conceals a yawn and replies it's a long time yet before the dawn. a sphinx-like crawler calls his name saying don
K him, the monk is drunk. each one of us is trying to reach the top of the stairs, a way out will await us there. not asking how he can move freely, our hero goes boldly through the door.
D a table loaded with food, is a spiral staircase going up into the ceiling.

There's only one direction in the faces that I see;
It's upward to the ceiling, where the chambers said to be.
Like the forest fight for sunlight, that takes root in every tree.
They are pulled up by the magnet, believing they're free.
The carpet crawlers heed their callers:
We've got to get in to get out
We've got to get in to get out
We've got to get in to get out.

Mild mannered supermen are held in kryptonite,
And the wise and foolish virgins giggle with their bodies glowing
Through a door a harvest feast is lit by candlelight;
It's the bottom of a staircase that spirals out of sight.
The carpet crawlers heed their callers:
We've got to get in to get out
We've got to get in to get out
We've got to get in to get out.

The porcelain manikin with shattered skin fears attack.
The eager pack lift up their pitchers - they carry all they lack.
The liquid has congealed, which has seeped out through the crack,
And the tickler takes his stickleback.
The carpet crawlers heed their callers:
We've got to get in to get out
We've got to get in to get out
We've got to get in to get out.

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  • j
    jparaujoMay 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm
    Very interesting what have written the previous comments, and probably most of it is correct, but at the same time I have no doubt that Rael's journey is litteraly a voyage through the cave of Platto from his allegory. Throught the various stages of his journey in the cave, Rael, as in the allegory, is seeking the Truth bur he can not find it because he is the cave .
  • l
    Lillian GalfiMay 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm
    This song knocked me out when I first heard it back in the 70's
    It's still has the same appeal! Not sure what it means but it is so beautiful to listen to. Genesis was probably the best band from the 70's
  • U
    UnregisteredAug 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm
    The "carpet crawlers" sounds to me like "the masses", and getting up the stairs and through the wooden door the goal. Perhaps they are the religious masses, and there are others ion this who have the same exact problems, such as to stand upon the carpet, or to be a monk, or a salamander, its through the door or whatever baggage you have is how far you have to go - "neti neti" type gabriel perspective, perhaps? In this case, i could imagine everyone is as the expression goes "trying to solve the puzzle" which is solved by its own destruction and the masses are the carpet crawlers.
  • k
    kcasmanJul 31, 2010 at 3:28 am
    I heard that the lyrics mean conception. Think about it, it makes as much sence as some of the other stuff I've read.
  • y
    YunusJan 13, 2010 at 8:31 am
    Not withstanding the complex religious references accurately noted by Shakeepuddn, it can not be asserted unequivocally that Gabriel's intent is an anti-religious one, but only that human beings are undeniably religious or more so spiritual as demonstrated by their penchance for religiousity.

    Gabriel's protaganist, Rael, is on a "spiritual" journey and represents the spirtual "everyman". Rael's observations, as reported by the lyrics, are "truths" and insights into the spiritual nature of man. As noted by Shakeepuddn, religion is indeed a spiritual and social safe haven, but so much more than "myth". The "staircase that spirals out of sight" spirals upwards, not downward, to the "chamber" that lies above.

    If it is true as reported by gabrielite that this song was LSD induced, then I would speculate that the religious/spiritual imagery of the spiral staircase, "revealed" to Gabriel, suggests a journey to Higher Consciousness, or God Consciousness, which is indeed the intended purpose of all true religions however inefficient applied or selfishly abused those religious may be by their adherents.

    For me, the most striking words of this song is the refrain, "You've got to get in to get out." Although this phase can be interpreted in different ways, to me it clearly means that the spiritual journey is an inner one. In order for man to get "out" of his state of spiritual ignorance, he must make the deliberate, meditative journey into his psyche and soul. As lilliwhitelilith noted, man has both an inner and outer aspect to his life. Both are equally important their own right, and both are necessary to the growth and fruition of human self-knowledge (consciousness), and spirituality. As the Moody Blues sang, you've got to make the journey "out" and "in".

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