The Musical Box

Album: Nursery Cryme (1971)

Songfacts®:

  • This 10-minute epic is a Victorian fairy tale about two small children in a country house. The song touches on themes of death, reincarnation and lust, and is based on a 1969 demo by Anthony Phillips and Mike Rutherford called "F Sharp." Phillips has never received credit for his part in writing the song. It became one of Genesis' signature tunes from their progressive rock-era and was a staple of their live performances for many years.
  • Nursery Cryme was the third studio album by Genesis. Although not a success upon release in their homeland, the album became an unexpected hit in Italy, reaching #4 in the LP charts.
  • In an interview with Mojo magazine April 2010, former Genesis lead singer Peter Gabriel cited as influences on Nursery Cryme the Dickens novel Great Expectations and the Henry James novella, The Turn of The Screw, which was filmed as The Innocents and also adapted by Benjamin Britten into an opera.

    Said Gabriel: "One of the influences on Nursery Cryme was the dark childhood of The Turn of The Screw. Also Great Expectations. These are very English and evocative. One of the reasons, I think, that films and programs about school are of interest to people is because that is when so much of your interface with the world gets formed."

Comments: 4

  • Slipperman from N.yPhil collins drumming adds a whole new dimension to the Band and is very evident with his killer drumming on TMB.
  • Matthew from Milford DeIt's about a broken down old man in a nursing home, alone, feeble, heart broken , but still has his wits.( and the nurse will tell you lies, of a kingdom beyond the skies ) Tired of being treated like it's "his end" he finally snaps ( you stand there with your fixed expression, casting doubt on all I have to say, why don't you touch me, touch me, why don't you touch me, touch me, touch me NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW!!! )
  • Adam from West Palm Beach, FlNursery Cryme is simply a fantastic album from start to finish...
  • Valentin from Beijing, Chinaone of the greatest guitar solos ever
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Second Wind SongsSong Writing

Some songs get a second life when they find a new audience through a movie, commercial, TV show, or even the Internet.

The Girl in That SongFact or Fiction

Billie Jean, Delilah, Sara, Laura and Sharona - do you know who the girls in the songs really are?

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)Songwriter Interviews

Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai were two of Graham's co-writers for some '80s rock classics.

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular MusicSong Writing

Starting in Virginia City, Nevada and rippling out to the Haight-Ashbury, LSD reshaped popular music.

AdeleFact or Fiction

Despite her reticent personality, Adele's life and music are filled with intrigue. See if you can spot the true tales.

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.