Browse by Title
V W X Y Z #  

Illegal Alien



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This is a light-hearted, humorous look at the frustrations an illegal immigrant Mexican faces when attempting to illegally enter the United States. Even though the lyrics are satirical, some listeners perceived it to be racially offensive. Phil Collins' phony Mexican accent doesn't help matters.
Particularly controversial was the part of the song where the immigrant offers sexual favors from his sister as a bribe to let him cross the border. This was edited from radio versions of the song.
This song was #13 in Blender magazine's list of the 50 Worst Songs Ever. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above)
Genesis Artistfacts
More Genesis songs
More songs that were altered for radio
More songs about being misunderstood
More songs that deal with immigration

Comments (9):

I think this song is great! That being said, it's a bit long and can be mistaken offensive. Removing the "Sister that is willing to oblige" part isn't so bad.
- Rob, Bowie, MD
Blender could not be more wrong!!! This is a fine song, it's just not as good as "Firth Of Fifth", "Turn It On Again" or "Alone Tonight".
- Daniel, Baltimore, MD
Nowadays the PC police would say 'undocumented.' Doesn't make it any less of a crime.
- esskayess, Dallas, TX
Where's your sense of humor?? I love this song and get a laugh out it every time I hear it or see it!!! We need more things that help us laugh, at least I do!!!!
- Jenny, Port Angeles, WA
I am a huge Genesis fan. I love every lyric and every note from them going way back to the beginning. However, Illegal Alien was the worst song ever. I could not stand the song or the video; and the fact that this song was composed by three brilliant, intelligent, and good looking men is unacceptable. It looked like they were struggling to have a good time in this video-I sit thru this video thinking, I must have an unconditional love for this band to sit thru this. My favourite from Genesis is In The Cage and how Genesis incorporates Cinema Show, Slipperman, and Afterglow into one is amazing and brilliant. I do love Genesis and Tony is a "hottie" and my favourite. Tony, I do love the words to Afterglow; they are haunting beautiful and memorable. Jude Anne, NY State
- jude anne, utica, NY
Actually, Phil wouldn't need his passport to cross the border illegally like he sings in the song.
- ATHENA, Phoenix, AZ
I loved the video for this song when I was a kid. I thought it was hilarious! And most of my family came from Mexico....legally.
- ATHENA, Phoenix, AZ
Well I don't know if many living in Los Angeles would be offended by this today. My guess would be no. Were they to play Mexico, for instance? Maybe. Not a bad song, if you take it for what it is - a humorous piece. I really can't stand it when people take a song like this and compare it to something like "Supper's Ready".
- David, N.Providence, RI
I'm not the greatest fan of post-Steve Hackett Genesis, but this song and "Land of Confusion" resonate at least as well today as they did when first recorded. That said, I don't suppose Genesis will be performing this much on their 2007 reunion tour, especially not in cities like, say, Los Angeles.
- Joshua, La Crosse, WI
You have to to post comments.
Corey HartCorey Hart
The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."
Kim Thayil of SoundgardenKim Thayil of Soundgarden
Their frontman (Chris Cornell) started out as their drummer, so Soundgarden takes a linear approach when it comes to songwriting. Kim explains how they do it.
Sam PhillipsSam Phillips
Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind. Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.
Julian LennonJulian Lennon
Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.