Illegal Alien

Album: Genesis (1983)
Charted: 46 44
  • Got out of bed, wasn't feeling too good
    With my wallet and my passport, a new pair of shoes
    The sun is shining so I head for the park,
    With a bottle of Tequila, and a new pack of cigarettes

    I got a cousin and she got a friend,
    Who thought that her aunt knew a man who could help
    At his apartment I knocked on the door,
    He wouldn't come out until he got paid.
    Now don't tell anybody what I wanna do
    If they find out you know that they'll never let me through.

    It's no fun being an illegal alien
    It's no fun being an illegal alien

    Down at the office had to fill out the forms
    A pink one, a red one, the colours you choose,
    Up to the counter to see what they think
    They said 'It doesn't count man, it ain't written in ink'.
    Don't trust anybody least not around here, cause

    It's not fun being an illegal alien,
    It's not fun being an illegal alien,
    It's not fun being an illegal alien,
    It's not fun being an illegal alien,
    An illegal alien, O.K.

    Consideration for your fellow man
    Wouldn't hurt anybody, sure fits in with my plan
    Over the border, there lies the promised land

    So don't tell anybody what I wanna do
    If they find out you know that they'll never let me through.

    It's no fun being an illegal alien,
    It's no fun being an illegal alien,
    It's no fun being an illegal alien,
    It's no fun being an illegal alien.
    Writer/s: Michael Rutherford, Phil Collins, Tony Banks
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 14

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenSome twerps live to perceive *something* as "offensive." And why is it "racist" to ask that outsiders obey a nation's laws when they wish to enter it?
  • Jay from LowellGeez people, just enjoy the f'n song, it's lighthearted. I like Charlie-Montreal/Daniel-Baltimore/Jenny-Port Angelas/and ESPECIALLY ATHENA'S-Pheonix comments (the rest of you, get a damn life people!)
  • Patti from MichiganOther than the verse that mentions the sister who'd be willing to oblige, there's still a line missing in the lyrics posted here. After "Over the border, there lies the promised land," the next line is "Where everything comes easy. You just hold out your hand." That line is even in the video. Not sure why it wasn't posted.
  • Charlie from MontrealHi, this song is not bad. It's a fun song. The whole album is quite good.
  • Armin from GermanyI always considered this song to make fun of the prejudices of the U.S. Americans towards the Mexicans.
  • Rob from Bowie, MdI 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.
  • Daniel from Baltimore, MdBlender 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".
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxNowadays the PC police would say 'undocumented.' Doesn't make it any less of a crime.
  • Jenny from Port Angeles, WaWhere'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!!!!
  • Jude Anne from Utica, NyI 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
  • Athena from Phoenix, AzActually, Phil wouldn't need his passport to cross the border illegally like he sings in the song.
  • Athena from Phoenix, AzI 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.
  • David from N.providence, RiWell 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".
  • Joshua from La Crosse, WiI'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.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Laura Nyro

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Bill Withers

Bill WithersSongwriter Interviews

Soul music legend Bill Withers on how life experience and the company you keep leads to classic songs like "Lean On Me."

Philip Cody

Philip CodySongwriter Interviews

A talented lyricist, Philip helped revive Neil Sedaka's career with the words to "Laughter In The Rain" and "Bad Blood."


PrinceFact or Fiction

Prince is shrouded in mystery, making him an excellent candidate for Fact or Fiction. Is he really a Scientologist? Does he own an exotic animal?

Roger McGuinn of The Byrds

Roger McGuinn of The ByrdsSongwriter Interviews

Roger reveals the songwriting formula Clive Davis told him, and if "Eight Miles High" is really about drugs.

Thomas Dolby

Thomas DolbySongwriter Interviews

He wrote "She Blinded Me With Science" so he could direct a video about a home for deranged scientists.