A Trick Of The Tail

Album: A Trick Of The Tail (1976)
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  • Bored of the life on the city of gold
    He'd left and let nobody know.
    Gone were the towers he had known from a child,
    Alone with the dream of a life
    He traveled the wide open road,
    The blinkered arcade,
    In search of another to share in his life.
    Nowhere.
    Everyone looked so strange to him.

    They've got no horns and they've got no tail
    They don't even know of our existence.
    Am I wrong to believe in a city of gold
    That lies in the deep distance, he cried

    And wept as they led him away to a cage
    Beast that can talk, read the sign.
    The creatures they pushed and they prodded his frame
    And questioned his story again.
    But soon they grew bored of their prey
    Beast that can talk?
    More like a freak or publicity stunt.
    Oh
    No.

    They've got no horns and they've got no tail
    They don't even know of our existence.
    Am I wrong to believe in a city of gold
    That lies in the deep distance, he cried

    And broke down the door of the cage and marched on out.
    He grabbed a creature by the scruff of his neck, pointing out:
    There, beyond the bounds of you weak imagination
    Lie the noble towers of my city, bright and gold.
    Let me take you there, show you a living story
    Let me show you others such as me
    Why did I ever leave?

    They've got no horns and they've got no tail
    They don't even know of our existence
    Am I wrong to believe in a city of gold
    That lies in the deep distance, he cried
    And wept.

    And so we set out with the best and his horns
    And his crazy description of home.
    After many days journey we came to a peak
    Where the beast gazed abroad and cried out.
    We followed his gaze and we thought that maybe we saw
    A spire of gold - no, a trick of the eye that's all,
    But the beast was gone and a voice was heard:

    They've got no horns and they've got no tail
    They don't even know of our existence
    Am I wrong to believe in a city of gold
    That lies in the deep distance

    Hello friend, welcome home. Writer/s: TONY BANKS
    Publisher: CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 11

  • William from Bardstown, KyFor Absent Friends" is a short and understated folk-based song about two widows going to church and praying for their deceased husbands. It is also the first song by the band to feature drummer Phil Collins as the lead vocalist and was the first song written by the new members Collins and Steve Hackett within the band context.
  • Bruce from San Antonio, TxCollins has done Beautiful "harmonies". it was so well done,On early live shows (1970's),it was hard
    to separate Gabriel's voicing to Collins. very well done.
  • Bruce from San Antonio, TxI am sorry Michael,if your speaking about
    Collins's first solo song,it was "More fool me"
    (selling England by the pound) . He never sang lead
    in for "Absent Friend" Just want to be clear.
  • Angus from Monteal, QcHarlequin, also from Nursery Cryme, has Phil's distinct voice
  • Mike from Nashville, TnMichael from Hatboro is correct about Phils first lead vocal.
  • Steve from Struthers, OhWhat about'Harold the Barrel' from nursery cryme. That is one of the first songs in which phil sang lead(although he shares the vocals with Peter).
  • Joshua from Twin Cities, MnThe lyrics include the phrase "a trick of the eye" but NOT "a trick of the tail."
  • Joshua from Twin Cities, MnThe cover of the "Trick of the Tail" album features caricature drawings of various characters from the album's eight songs, including the beast from the title track.
  • Robb from Hamburg, NyUntil you said that, I didn't even realize that was Phil, but now I can clearly tell it is him.
  • Kent Lyle from Palo Alto, CaA song about a devil-like creature who leaves his city of gold and is captured by humans and kept in a cage as a freak-show creature. Genesis already had a penchant for storytelling and character sketches in their songs, and it persisted even after Gabriel's departure.
  • Michael from Hatboro, PaThis is incorrect. The first song he sang lead on was "For Absent Friends" off of "Nursery Cryme" in 1971.
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