Keep It Dark

Album: Abacab (1981)
Charted: 33


  • A wistful song about the meaning of life we're not meant to know, Tony Banks explained on the 2007 DVD re-release of Abacab, "The idea was that this character had to pretend that he'd just been robbed by people and that's why he'd disappeared for a few weeks, and in fact what had happened [was] he'd been taken up in a spaceship and gone to this fantastic world where everything was wonderful and beautiful and everything... but he couldn't tell anybody that, because no one would believe him." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    S.D. - Denver, CO

Comments: 4

  • Robert from UsaI was puzzled for the longest time about where the beat is at the start of the song. Finally figured out the 6/4 time starts with the drums at the "4-and." Fun musical puzzle by the master musicians.
  • Stella from London, United KingdomOh. I thought it was about this guy who gets kidnapped and robbed by the police who are then set upon by different animals 'who have happier lives' and the police ask the man to 'keep it dark' so nobody finds out they've been attacked by different animals.
  • Jesse from Madison, WiI'm with you Brian! After listening to it hundreds of times in nearly thirty years, I always got the impression that the nondescript central character was abducted, returned and the song just kind of told his tale. But hey, rock songs are always just kind of "out there", right? I mean, go through the verses - " a band of thieves, who mistook him for a man of means..." - seems almost to a T for most abductions/kidnappings... Seems almost a diary of daily life in New York City or something!

    Whatever the meaning behind the song, I've always been taken (and probably have more authority or ability to know about it than the lyrical content and story) by the synthesizer and keyboard work of Tony Banks, which TO ME, was the standout essence of this whole album. Synthesizers were the focal point of MUCH music in 1981, and this album is no exception. Take extra notice of the very "dreamy" (hence the "space theme"???) synthesizer pads during the buildup to the "Keep It Dark" breakdowns. I have ALWAYS exceptionally admired the chords played, and the ever-so-slightly off-kilter and syncopated structure of the synth pads. It's not the straightforward, run-of-the-mill, ho-hum keybored (sic) work that so many others clung to!

    Always a perennial favorite song AND album! In my personal opinion, this was Genesis' best work. They had many fine singles and lots of great experimentation throughout their entire career, but this was the best whole product they produced!

    BRAVO Genesis!
  • Brian from Kc, MoI used to think this song was about the reverse--a guy gets kidnapped and roughed up. He wishes what he could say was that the world is beautiful, not that bad things can happen to them at any moment, but he can't tell them THAT so he tells them nothing..and keeps it dark
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