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Genesis – Blood On The Rooftops lyrics

Dark and grey, an english film, the wednesday play
We always watch the queen on christmas day
Wont you stay?

Though your eyes see shipwrecked sailors youre still dry
The outlooks fine though wales might have some rain
Saved again.

Lets skip the news boy (Ill make some tea)
The arabs and the jews boy (too much for me)
They get me confused boy (puts me off to sleep)
And the thing I hate - oh lord!
Is staying up late, to watch some debate, on some nations fate.

Hypnotised by batman, tarzan, still surprised!
Youve won the west in time to be our guest
Name your prize!

Drop of wine, a glass of beer dear whats the time?
The grime on the tyne is mine all mine all mine
Five past nine.

Blood on the rooftops - venice in the spring
Streets of san francisco - a word from peking
The trouble was started - by a young errol flynn
Better in my day - oh lord!
For when we got bored, wed have a world war, happy but poor

So lets skip the news boy (Ill go make that tea)
Blood on the rooftops (too much for me)
When old mother goose stops - theyre out for 23
Then the rain at lords stopped play
Seems helen of troy has found a new face again.

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  • t
    The lyrics reference the 72 Munich Olympics when 11 Israeli athletes were shot on the roof of their living quarters in the Olympic village by Arab/Palestinian terrorists. "Arabs and Jews, boy too much for me"
    In the same year that Nixon went to Peking (now Beijing) China to broker a deal with eastern nations that included a staged withdrawal from Vietnam "Word from Peking".

    Lindesfarne's Fog on the Tyne was a number 1 album that year.

    I think it is actually the first socially and politically charged song that I can think of from Genesis.
    It references the horrors going on around the world and also the mindless celebrity hedonism ("the trouble was started by a young Errol Flynn") of the entertainments world, on tv and film that distracts the people from all that`s bad in the world. All cast in a pastoral English flavoured piece of music.
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  • a
    Excellent explanation, thank you, but I think the song was described by the band as just about an old couple watching television generally, incorporating all the examples which you quote. Just out of interest, the earlier "Battle of Epping Forest" was also a socio-political song. As an aside, I particularly like the guitar introduction. This song is from one of the best albums ever made ("Wind and Wuthering", 1977), the follow-up to "Trick of the Tail". If you don't own Wind and Wuthering, go and buy it now, then buy the rest of the 70's Genesis studio albums (the original mix if possible). They are simply works of exquisite genius.
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